Saturday, November 3, 2012

Independent Living Option: Life Sharing

What is Life Sharing? Life Sharing is a residential living program for people with developmental disabilities where they choose to live with a host family in their private home. It is an option for individuals who do not feel comfortable living on their own with staff support but who are looking for a more personal, family like environment with the host family.

Life sharing lets the disabled individual be independent from their natural family while still providing the nurturing a family environment provides. The family and the individual living with them meet life's challenges together, helping the individual who needs assistance to grow more independent with a personal support system in place.

Who can take part in life sharing? Adult individuals with special needs are matched with families who have been carefully screened for safe placement. There is an opportunity on both sides for everyone to get to know each other before deciding on a final placement. Weekends living with the potential host family is often available.

Is life sharing for you? Only you know the answer to that. As a host family you will be taking the individual into your home where they will become part of your family. I recommend talking to other families who are currently doing life sharing to get a feel for what it is like. Choose the organization doing the placement carefully, check with your local ARC and Department of Intellectual Disabilities (search for your county office) for companies providing Life Sharing Placement assistance. Your local Catholic Social Services or other religious social service organization may also be able to assist you. The key to successful Life Sharing is training for the host family and compatibility between the host family and the person with disabilities.

Think about becoming a host family. Many families find it is a great way to expand their family in a rewarding way.


  1. My goodness what a wonderful resource you have created here. Thank you.

    I set this silly sort of goal to visit and follow, where I can and am not already, every mom on the December Bloggy Mom Hop list. It's slightly insane, although sweet to see how wonderfully diverse and incredibly smart and resourceful we all are. Geesh we're pretty stinkin' fabulous. =)

    If you're up for a bit of a ride I'd love for you to join me at Local Sugar Hawaii and we're sharing and growing together at An Aloha Affair this weekend. You are always welcome, Always.

    1. Thanks for visiting (and for the kudos) Nicole! I'm way behind you visiting the December Bloggy Mom Hop, only about half way through! Thanks for visiting, come back anytime!