Lifestyle Support Services
DSA provides support at home and in the local community. Socialising with friends and family, networking with people who share interests, holding a valued role in the community and exercising citizenship are rights and choices that DSA supports every person to explore. Lifestyle Support can be shared support between 4-5 people or individual support. The services are provided to people living in homes that they own, rent from Community Housing, the Department of Housing or the private rental market or special purpose built housing provided by the NSW State Government. They may be free standing homes, flats or units, co-locate villa’s, large special purpose built homes or even caravans. DSA supports people wherever they choose to reside.
Shared or Group Living
DSA can assist you to find the right type of dwelling for you that will be located in the community of your choosing, be affordable and able to accommodate you specific needs. If you want or need to share support to ensure 24 hours a day seven days a week (24/7) support from paid staff, a four-five bedroom home may be the best option. The average suburban home found in most communities can be suitable for shared support. A special purpose dwelling may sometimes be required to support specific needs however as modern building codes continue to be universally accessible, in most aspects the need for special purpose buildings is diminishing.
Why Share Support?
If you or your family member needs support for all or most aspects of daily living 24/7 it may be necessary to share the cost of the paid staff needed to supplement any informal support provided by family or unpaid support networks. In addition to this cost the cost of consumables, rent, utilities, and other services, like gardening and cleaning may be unaffordable on your own. The choice to live with others is often as much about friendship and company as it is about sharing costs. Most people DSA support in shared living situations have developed long-term friendships and bonds that can last a lifetime even when people move on from the shared home.
Sharing support may be a first step out from the family home. Not ready to live on your own yet with much to learn about looking after yourself, living with others and sharing support from trained support staff could be just what is needed.
Currently funded packages for 24/7support, outside the family home are based on the assumption that people will share support. Often only the combine funding for 3-5 people will cover the cost of 24/7 paid staff. However there are also many examples of innovative service design that has made it possible for people to live on their own and still get the right level of support 24/7 to meet their needs.
On My Own
Independence is often the dream of young adults (and sometimes the not so young) and is particularly important to people who have required additional family support throughout their early adult life. Once the decision is taken to find a place of your own, the next big hurdle is to design your formal or paid support service to ensure you have the support when you need it. DSA can assist you to discover what is possible and unearth the hidden or untapped capacity of your natural support networks and own abilities. Technology and modern communication tools can also contribute to a holistic plan of service that ensures you have the paid support when you needed it the most and to stretch your limited funding resources.
DSA’s Lifestyle Mentoring service supports many people to live independently. Using mentoring techniques to support each person reach their potential, the support worker is there at important times during the day or week when support is most needed. As skills are learnt and natural support networks take over, paid support is faded only to be increased or offered at any new life transition stage or times of change where new skills are required. DSA is funded directly by the NSW Government to provide independent living support across the Sydney metropolitan LGAs and several regional LGAs.
DSA is also an eligible provider for Self-Managed Packages under the Supported Living Fund and is able to provide the Lifestyle Mentoring services for people with packages from the National Disability Insurance Scheme in the Hunter launch sites.
Young People Leaving Care
DSA is proud to be supporting many young people who are making the transition from youth based out of home services or foster care into adulthood and independence. For some, growing up has had many difficulties and setbacks. The additional support that was required to overcome barriers may not always have been there when it was needed. Natural family networks may not have been possible or suitable for some young people. So now when others are facing adulthood with excitement, anticipation and the full support of their family, there are young people with addition support needs that have many barriers to overcome and broken linkages to family and friends and their community.
DSA in partnership with the NSW government is supporting young adults who have left the care and parental responsibility of the Minster, to transition to adult life. The aim of the support provided is to develop skills, build self-determination, establish adult citizenship and valued roles, teach protective behaviour and resilience and to assist some young adults overcome the effects of childhood trauma.
This service funded by the NSW government under Stronger Together I & II has provided capital funding for villa style accommodation and recurrent packages of funding for paid support. The voluntary nature of the design lends itself to a Mentoring style service. To mentor in this context is to ease the transition to adulthood by a mix of support and challenge. In this sense it is a developmental relationship in which the young person is introduced to the world of adulthood. Mentoring techniques involve:
Accompanying- making a commitment to a caring way, which involves taking part in the learning process side-by-side with the learner
Showing- mentors are often confronted with the difficulty of preparing the learner before he or she is ready to change. Showing is necessary when you know what you say may not be understood or even accepted to the learner at first but will make sense and have value later when a situation requires it.
Showing-this is making something understandable, or using your own example to demonstrate a skill or activity. You show what you are talking about, you show by your own behaviour.
Harvesting- here the mentor focuses on ”picking the ripe fruit” it is usually used to create awareness of what was learned by the experience and to draw conclusions. The key questions here are:- “what have you learned?” “How useful is it?”
Again DSA uses a mentoring approach to support people to transition to greater independence. This service type has been selected by people who have being sharing support in a group setting and are now ready to live on their own. It is also the choice of adults who have lived in the family home for many years and now wish to gain their independence as their siblings have done. Sometimes living alone is the result of life circumstances like the death of a parent or sibling carer or spouse.
To find out about eligibility or to make an appointment with a support planner email us firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1300 372 121.