Lifesharing Through Family Living

Lifesharing Through Family Living - Baseball Games

What is Lifesharing?

Lifesharing through Family Living is a residential services program that enables an individual with an intellectual disability to join a provider family or a companion, in their private home, as a fully participating member of that family.  Through this high quality, long-term living situation that promotes choice and community integration, the individual gets to enjoy sharing life experiences, building mutual relationships and responsibilities. 

Benefits of Lifesharing:

  • Less restrictive, more individual-based residential service than group home services with 24/7 support from Barber National Institute staff.
  • Being part of a family in a caring, committed home.
  • Stability and continuity in one's life.
  • Increased community involvement.
  • Developing relationships and friendships.
  • Providers specifically trained on the individual's diagnosis, needs, strengths, and interests.
Lifesharing Through Family Living - Pets

Supports for the Individual:

  • Person-centered/individualized services support tailored to dreams and goals.
  • Regular communication with biological family.
  • Assistance with coordination of healthcare.
  • 24/7 support from program specialist/on-call.
  • Continuity of support from program specialists within all Barber programs.

Supports for the Provider:

  • 24/7 on-call support from Barber National Institute program specialist and on-call staff.
  • Training specific to daily life, diagnosis, needs and interests of the individual and family dynamics.
  • Assistance with the coordination of the individual's healthcare.
  • Team support and collaboration.
  • Substitute care opportunities.

Lifesharing Through Family Living - Exploring a Ship

Biological Family Involvement:

  • Varies depending on the family's and individual's desires and family dynamics.
  • The provider family is not meant to replace the biological family but to serve as an extension of the family.

What are the Requirements to be a Provider?

Enjoying people and being willing to share and help others are the most important skills for a provider. Our providers are very diverse and include single adults, single parents, two-parent families with children, and "empty-nest" families. No special experience is needed to become a provider; training and support are provided by the staff of the Barber National Institute.

How Does the Process Start?

The potential providers and the individual are carefully interviewed, then matched to ensure they have compatible interests and personalities. The Lifesharing Specialist will then arrange supervised visits to introduce the individual to the provider’s home and family. You will slowly progress, developing a relationship, until all parties feel comfortable with the move into your home.

Lifesharing Through Family Living - Pumpkins

How are Providers Paid?

Providers receive a federally tax-exempt stipend twice every month to cover service and room/board. The individual’s income and benefits cover their own medical expenses and personal purchases. Additional support services are available based on the individual’s needs. Payments to the providers can also be used to cover the cost of "substitute care" if a provider is not able to provide for short periods such as vacations, illness, etc.

How Can I Get More Information?

Lifesharing is a wonderful program that enriches the lives of all involved! If you would like more information, please contact (215) 871-0731 for Philadelphia or, in Erie, contact Cassie Pilarski at (814) 878-4115.

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Lifesharing FAQs

What is Lifesharing?

Lifesharing is a program that allows individuals with disabilities to live with and share experiences with supportive persons in a caring household. Providers can be families, empty-nest couples or a single person. Family members of the individual can also be part of a similar program called Unlicensed lifesharing. Lifesharing matches provider families with interested individuals based on a variety of factors including: personalities, interests, and the overall compatibility of the persons involved

What are the benefits of Lifesharing?
How do I become a Lifesharing provider?
Can I be a Lifesharing provider of a biological family member?
What is the difference between Lifesharing and community group homes?

25th Lifesharing Program Anniversary Celebration

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