For information contact:
Director of Residential Services
978.353.3480 Ext. 1205
Shared Living arrangements in Massachusetts are typically funded privately or by the MA Department of Developmental Services or the MA Department of Mental Health.
For many individuals, group home living serves as a spring board for launching a more independent kind of residential life via the Shared Living model. As they grow interested in leaving the group home model and moving to a smaller living arrangement, they create an opportunity for someone else to take advantage of group home living. Often, however, individuals are able to move directly to Shared Living, perhaps following graduation from secondary school or from home.
In either case, a comfortable home is shared with a caring and competent individual, family or couple who is professionally trained to meet the needs of someone with developmental disabilities. Shared Living is often referred to as “adult foster care.” Great care and consideration, and often much time, are given to creating a match between the individual who has significant behavioral or medical challenges and the care provider. Personal styles, life histories and goals, and common interests dictate the process of finding just the right match.
People with disabilities who are involved in shared living frequently speak about the new experiences they’ve had (e.g., helping wash the family van; downhill skiing; vacationing on The Cape; enjoying support in weight loss by joining the gym with a provider; getting up late on Saturday mornings; going to the neighborhood church supper). From the perspective of the Shared Living provider, the rewards are many:
- The gratification of helping someone with disabilities reach goals that may have been otherwise unobtainable;
- Being a respected member of a team of dedicated professionals;
- The experience, often unexpected, of companionship and shared focus;
- Financial security offered by the monthly stipend that is provided;
- Acquisition of a new set of skills and competencies.
“My son David receives exceptional care from his shared living provider.”
-Carol, David’s mother and guardian
“The survey team members found excellent systems in place to assess, match and support individuals within Shared Living settings… Home providers themselves were very pleased with the levels of support and ongoing communication provided to them by agency staff. Individuals were living in well-maintained homes and were observed fully engaged and participating in their local communities with the aid and support of their providers.”
-DMR Office of Quality Enhancement Report