It’s very important that young people with an intellectual disability have support and assistance to plan their living arrangements.
Encourage and provide opportunities for them to talk with people their own age about where they want to live. Some will want to leave and others to stay in the family home.
Living in the community
Living in the community is a right under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which the New Zealand Government agreed to in 2008.
It says, “People have the right to live in the community with choices equal to others, so they have:
- The opportunity to choose where and who they live with
- The support needed to make decisions
- Access to a range of in home and community-based supports
- Access to the same community services and facilities as others and these are responsive to their needs.”
Questions to consider when planning future living arrangements
- Where does the person want to live?
- What will suit your family circumstances, culture and community?
- Do they want to live alone or with other people?
- How will they access their friends, family, work, community and their own home?
- What type of house will suit their needs?
- What natural networks are available to support them to live as independently as possible?
- What financial supports are available from Work and Income?
- Will appropriate transport be readily available?
- Are money management supports needed?
- Is support needed around sexuality and relationships?
- Are there any safeguards that need to be put in place?
- Are there technologies available to assist with personal and home safety?
Funded supports are available to assist people with intellectual disabilities to live as independently as possible in the community. Meet with the local NASC to discuss what options are available in your region. Freephone 0800 693 342 for NASC contact details.
Some of the following support options may be available:
- Individualised Funding
- Supported Living
- Choices in Community Living
- Contract Board and Residential Services
Other suggestions for living arrangements
- Families move to a property that has a detached or semi-detached space to be used as a step towards moving out.
- Families, or a group of families, have family-governance arrangements, working in partnership with a service provider or setting up an independent service.
- Your family member flats independently or with friends, with formal and/or informal support.
- Your family member lives in a home owned by a disability service provider with support from that provider.
- The family moves out of the family home and the family member stays there.
- The person uses their KiwiSaver contributions as a deposit on a home.
Young people with high or very high needs
For young people with high or very high needs who remain living at home, Resident Family Support (RFS) could be considered. RFS allows eligible people with disabilities to employ family members to provide their supports for activities such as showering, eating, cooking and cleaning. Find out more about RFS and how it can be used from the Whaikaha website.