Creative Support Options/Bartering

After the identification of natural, community and generic funding resources, the circle will have a basic idea of the amount of time that the person still requires to complete their identified support needs, or to complete their support schedule.

When people require direct support staff to be with them for extended periods of time or need “Twenty four hour coverage”, this can drive the costs of individual supports and services to a prohibitive amount. With creative planning and the use of the circle’s connections individuals can identify people who want to spend time with them providing direct services and support in exchange for some benefit other then financial compensation. People who provide the support for “Bartered” compensation will be trained and supervised by Shared Support inc. Bartered resources can be arranged for small supports or large budget items such as eight hour “shifts” of support and supervision. Listed below are examples:

  • Sweeping the floor of a beauty shop in exchange for a haircut.
  • Offering free room and board to a person in exchange for any portion of staff support. These options can look very different, one supporter may want to agree to be home every night from 9pm until the next work day for five days a week in exchange for free room and board. This would reduce the necessary support hours by sixty hours per week, and provide a steady reliable companion chosen by the circle.

In order to identify potential bartering candidates the circle needs to think of all of their personal connections. Where does the person spend time? Who do people know who might want the use of the car after providing transportation to all of the necessary places I a weeks time? What benefits can the circle offer another person?

The facilitator will lead the circle in brainstorming exercises where “Maps” will be completed to identify possible places to look for people who may want to “Barter” for support or service. Listed below are some people who may be good options for bartering.

  • College Students
  • Young couples just starting a new life
  • Land lords
  • People you know or someone you trust may know who may be having a hard time making ends meet
  • Ministers and religious leaders may know of people
  • People who want a part time job for something interesting to do

The Shared Support coordinator will follow up on all of the leads generated by the group and determine which may be viable options to include on the persons individual plan of supports.

Requesting funding from the county MH/MR

After the extensive planning process, the circle will be able to identify the need for funded supports. Personnel will include funding for a program coordinator who will be responsible for scheduling, coordination and implementation of the weekly support schedule, licensing of a home and program if necessary, and development of the habilitative assessment and plan of care. The program coordinator will be responsible for training and supervising all supporters who will be providing service to the individual whether thorough bartering or wages. The program coordinator will be responsible for maintaining a viable back up staffing plan. The budget will include any habi8litative staff, special therapies, or any other habilitative need that the individual requires. The budget request will include any residential support for which funding has not been obtained through the planning process. Shared Support Administrative personnel in partnership with system representatives from the county and the circle will develop the budget and submit the request.

Providing Continuous, Flexible Supports and Services

Following the development of the initial set o supports and services the circle will need to continue to meet and to identify what is working well and what needs to be modified. The schedule of support will be adjusted in response to many dynamics, such as:

  • Obtaining a new resource
  • A current resource doesn’t not work and ceases to be an option for support
  • A current resource doesn’t not work and ceases to be an option for support
  • The focus person learns a new skill or achieves a desired outcome and the need for supervision or support decreases.
  • A new relationship emerges as a natural support
  • Supporters in the focus person’s life move on to other options personally or professionally.

Some circles meet weekly depending on the complexity of supports. Others find success and begin to hold monthly meetings. Initially, the Shared Support coordinator will call weekly meetings in an effort to ensure successful transition. The circle will meet at a minimum monthly throughout the course of the planning year.