Residential care to prepare disabled people for independence
- 31 Aug
An award-winning care home is offering learning disabled people a path to independence by training them in the life skills that they need to move on.
From the outside, Sunnyside House may look like any other small residential care home, but it bills itself as an "independence skills training academy". Its success in preparing residents with moderate to substantial learning disabilities to live independently was recognised at this year's Skills for Care Accolades, where it won the overall "winner of winners" category as well as the "most effective new approach to service delivery award".
Managing director Andrew Azzopardi developed the My Life (Learning Independence ForEver) programme to provide residents with the skills they need for sustainable independent living, and also set up a "training flat" next door to the home to be used as the final step towards independence
Learning life skills
My Life has 21 modules including personal hygiene, communication skills, dealing with conflict, assertiveness, money management, travel training, and job searching. My Life group sessions are held three days a week in the home's training room and service users are assessed on their understanding and competency after completing each module before they can move on to the next one.
On average it takes about three years for a service user to complete the whole programme, including living in the training flat on their own for up to a year.
Assessment and review
To decide when a service user is ready to move into the flat their key worker and manager assesses and reviews their independent living skills and My Life programme progression. A placement review is held with the service user and funding local authority, and funding then decreases in line with the lower levels of one-to-one support the service user will need.
All placements at Sunnyside House are council funded - Thurrock Council funds the majority with the remainder coming from Essex, Barking & Dagenham, and Havering councils. But Azzopardi has found it difficult to spike the interest of some local authorities he has approached.
Everyone is focused on not placing people in residential care homes. We constantly say we may be registered as a care home but our services are much more about supported living and independent living, but when you go before a funding panel that can be difficult.
How the My Life programme works
The My Life team at Sunnyside House consists of four tutors overseen by Jan Faulkner, the programme lead. The tutors come from support worker backgrounds and have the Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector qualification.
They run three group sessions each week working on a module at a time; additionally, each key worker works on two or three modules with their service user on a one-to-one basis each week.
Read more about the My Life programme:
http://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles ... ndence.htm
- 10 Sep
Young people with learning disabilities more likely to be abused
A group of children’s charities have said that young people with disabilities have the “same vulnerabilities” as all young people but face extra “barriers” to getting protection or support,...
- 07 Sep
Success for a disability sport programme
The programme ran for three weeks and included multi-sport camps at Aberdeen Sports Village, reports the Mearns Leader. Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning and Leisure Committee...
- 21 Jul
Hartlepool to open a disability centre
Work has begun on the Hartlepool Borough Council project which aims to provide the Centre for Independent Living on the site of the current Havelock Centre in Burbank, reports The Hartlepool Mail.It...
- 14 Jul
Reform for care of adults with learning disabilities criticised for being slow
Following the care home abuse scandal at Winterbourne, Sir Stephen Bubb headed a review into care home abuse, which was published in November, reports the BBC.England's chief nursing officer said...
- 18 Jun
Campaigners warn that people with disabilities are losing rights due to government cuts
Charities are concerned that the rights of people with learning disabilities to live independent lives are slipping due to government cuts to benefits and social care, reports the Guardian. A letter...
- 11 Jun
Concern over disability benefits following council change
On the 30th of June a £500m Independent Living Fund will be in the control of local authorities, leaving people fearing how the benefit allowance for disabled adults will be affected, reports the...
- 21 May
Victims of disability hate crime are being let down
Police, prosecutors and probations services have failed to bring in need change over the past two years, a report by the Criminal Justice Inspectorate has found, reports the BBC.The CPS, police and...
- 08 May
New initiative to support young people with disabilities
Liberty Staffordshire Community Interest Company have been developed to maximise opportunities for young people due to growing concern they could be left isolated following the withdrawal of...
- 05 May
How technology is helping people with disabilities
At the exhibit people presented all-terrain wheelchairs, adapted smartphone for people whose fingers can't cope with normal devices, wheelchairs that allow the user to become level with the people...
- 01 May
Charities call for action on accessible housing
Leonard Cheshire Disability charity has told The Yorkshire Post that the lack of housing which is accessible for people with disabilities must become and election issue and is calling for the...
Responding to the DWP Consultation: Housing Benefit Reform - Supported Housing "Found the seminar very informative and gave an interesting and full insight into current thinking about the consultation. Michael was a very engaging and knowledgeable presenter and encouraged interaction with the audience which led to further relevant points being shared with the room. I shall certinaly look out for future events!" M.E. - Care Housing Association