Beginning with a Plan
Through comprehensive person centered planning a shared support facilitator will assist a consumer and their circle of support to identify the following personal information:
- People places and things that the person likes and finds important
- Personal qualities, skills, or gifts that comprise their positive reputation
- People, places or things or ďWaysĒ of getting needs met that a person must have in their life in order for their days to have meaning, stimulation and value.
- What supports and services the person needs to be healthy and safe
Identifying a good Location
After the identification of this basic information the circle attempts to identify where in the community the focus person can live, make friends and get to important places based on ďWho ď that person is. The circle also discusses where in the community the right kind of house or apartment could be located, such as a quiet ranch house or an apartment on a busy street near lots of stores.
Necessary Support for the Individual Based on Their Desired Lifestyle.
The facilitator will assist the circle to identify the amount and type of support the person needs to stay healthy and safe, as well as to have the things that are important to them in their lives. They develop a daily schedule that outlines what the person will do most days like work, shopping, fun and complete important things like cleaning and taking care of personal business and healthcare needs. The circle will write in the schedule the kind of help the person will need to have throughout the day, weekly and monthly. The facilitator is an experienced person who understands the components of the service system and all of the information that needs to be included in a personís support schedule. The schedule will include the people, places, traditions and rituals that the person already has in their life and wants to continue.
Identifying What the Circle Has To Offer or Existing Natural Supports
Sometimes people in the personís circle volunteer to do things just because they care or wish to be with the person. There are many examples:
- Pay a personís bills for them
- Mow their grass every week
- Volunteer to help them clean once a week
- Do their laundry
- Spend a weekend a month doing something fun at a circle members house
- Go to church every Sunday and have dinner
- Drive them to important places
- Make sure the house is always clean and that people are doing what they promised
- Take them to doctors appointments and manage insurance or health care needs
- Provide back up if a caretaker calls out sick
- Go grocery shopping with the person
- Sometimes people who have financial resources pay for things the person needs.
- Some circle members have special skills like being a nurse, electrician or landscaper and can offer these services for free.
After circle members decide the kind of support they want to give and what their role will be in the personís everyday life, these roles and responsibilities are added to a personís schedule. People make a commitment to do these things on certain days at certain times. Every circle is different. Some people have a lot of natural support and some people have very little. The Facilitator helps everyone to consider the options and include the support that everyone may have to share.
Identifying Community Resources
Next, the circle looks at what resources the community can offer. Churches service groups, colleges, and other organizations can be great ways to get some needs met and also work on building relationships. Here are some things people can get from the community:
- Rides and companionship to community events like Thursday night Bingo or Sunday night drum circle.
- Friends to volunteer or visit
- Budgeting assistance from a bank or accountant
- Scholarships to classes or gym memberships
- Housing Grants through local banks
The facilitator will write down all of the possible community support options that the circle has identified. The Shared Support Coordinator will follow up on these possibilities with the appropriate community group contact and complete the necessary steps to access the resource, adding this to the personís individualized plan of supports.
Exploring all available funding streams
The facilitator will then begin to assist the circle to identify possible funding sources to meet the personís individual needs. Some examples are listed below:
- Housing- Section 8 certificates, First time home owner grants, technical assistance from the self determination housing project, and community reinvestment funding at local banks. Shared Supportsí Business Director was a mortgage broker in the past and would be instrumental in assisting people with purchasing their own homes if they so desire.
- Personal Income, SSI, Trusts and gifts can all be used to enhance an individualís budget. Whatever the amount of the resource it can be added to the personís budget and used effectively as a resource.
- Low Income Assistance Programs- There are many assistance programs in the area of housing, utilities, and transportation for people with a low income.