Supported Living Services (SLS)
Supported Living is an approach, an ideology and a community-based residential
support service for people with disabilities. The primary focus of Supported Living is to
provide necessary support for people to live an active and integrated life that is truly
their own. People receive services based on individual needs determined by the
individual and their “circle of support”. The “circle of support” may include family
members, friends or lovers, paid support staff, and Regional Center Service
Supported Living can provide services to any person, regardless of the severity of their
disability. Each individual has their own “Support Plan” which acts as a contract
between the individual receiving services, the agency providing the service, and the
Supported Living is not facility based, so therefore, it is not licensed by Community Care Licensing. Supported Living is funded by Regional Center and In Home Support Services through Santa Cruz County (IHSS) system. The Regional Center is responsible for referral and funding living services for individuals with developmental disabilities. Regional Centers receive funds from the Department of Developmental Services, and then in turn distributes those funds to vendors who provide a companion and skill building services to their clientele. Individuals are required to apply for IHSS as a “generic resource” before using Regional Center funds.
The Service Delivery System
The Regional Center serving the Santa Cruz County area is called San Andreas Regional
Center. Each individual who qualifies for services has an assigned Service Coordinator
from the Regional Center. The role of the SARC Service Coordinator is to help identify
necessary and appropriate services, refer local vendors that offer that particular service,
and oversee the quality of the services provided by each vendor.
Each individual meets with their SARC Service Coordinator at least once a year, typically
in the birth month, to review the services that an individual is receiving. A legal document is generated out of this meeting. That document is called the Individualized Program Plan (IPP). The IPP lists the services that an individual will receive and/or is currently receiving.
If Supported Living is requested by an individual or a family member / advocate, then a referral is made to a Supported Living agency to complete an assessment. The
assessment is an opportunity for the individual and their circle of support to identify what specifically needs to happen to create success for that individual when living in his or her own home or apartment. Due to the complexity of the service being provided, it is not uncommon for an individual to wait up to one year before receiving supported
living services after a vendor has been selected.
Supported Living Philosophy
Supported living services assume that a key indicator for life quality is that one can
make choices regarding one’s life, and that the broader the scope of choices, the higher
quality of life.
With this assumption, the philosophy of Supported Living centers around supporting the people we serve to achieve their personal goals and aspirations.
Supported Living is not a prescriptive service. We do not make decisions for the people
receiving services but are giving those individuals the best information possible to make their own decisions.
Guidance and expertise is offered to individuals with disabilities so they may have the greatest success when balancing choice with responsibility in all the
decisions they make.