Host families welcome a person with a disability into their family home on a full time basis, or sometimes just for weekends or short breaks. A host family provides an opportunity to support a person with disabilities in one of the most natural and beneficial ways possible: through connection, participation and a mutual sharing of lives.
Directions has implemented a new organisational structure to support our host families and to ensure that everyone involved is properly safeguarded. All potential host families undertake a comprehensive assessment which includes all aspects of family life and everyone in the family who will potentially be involved. A host family arrangement is then established by following a very careful matching process that focuses on natural connections and relationship development. Once a potential match has been made, it is brought to our independent host family panel. The panel consider all the information that has been gathered and, if they feel it is a good match, approve the host family. We are honoured to have the following skilled, experienced and dedicated people make up our panel:
– Jill Mason, independent consultant, psychologist with 18 years’ experience in human services
– Leanne Pearman, CEO of WAIS, with 30 years’ experience in individualised services and citizenship
– Denise Lennane, teacher and parent of a young man with a disability who has a wealth of experience of services
To ensure the sustainability of the host family arrangement, the Coordinator regularly visits the host family in their home, reviewing all aspects of the relationships and arranging any necessary training. The Coordinator also provides opportunities for Host Families to get together as a network, share their experiences and support each other.
Here is a story about one of our host families:
Karen lives on a large 5 acre property in the country south of Perth with her partner and her father in law. Karen and her family are a Directions host family and they, along with their dog and chooks are really enjoying sharing their lives. Karen has worked in human services for many years, and she’s passionate about sharing experiences with others. Karen has a strong belief in making time for the small things that can go unnoticed, and this makes her such a great host mum who really makes a difference.
Karen says: “Welcoming someone into our home while providing Host Family Respite, opens our world up to new and exciting experiences, fun adventures and interesting challenges. It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to be part of someone else’s journey, to share in their experiences, to help create special connections, joyous moments and happy memories. All made possible with the ongoing support we receive from Directions”.
For more information about Host Family, please contact our Coordinator Karina Lodge on 9262 4900