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Council proposes new supported living services

The City of Wolverhampton Council is planning to increase the range of housing options available in the city for people with disabilities or mental health needs.

It says that giving more people the opportunity to move into "supported living" will help significantly improve their quality of life.

Supported living enables adults with physical or learning disabilities or mental health needs to live in their own flat or home with the appropriate level of support.

There are also other types of supported living, including Shared Care, where a group of people with disabilities live together and share their accommodation and support, and Shared Lives, where an individual lives with a family who provides the support they need.

There are already a number of supported living options available in Wolverhampton and the council plans to develop a range of additional services over the next 2 years to increase the choice available.

They will include 4 new supported living schemes offering a total of 50 places, 20 new placements in Shared Lives and 15 more Shared Care properties.

This will give more than 100 adults and young people with learning or physical disabilities, many of whom currently live in residential or nursing homes, the chance to move into supported living in Wolverhampton. It will also give people currently living in care homes outside of the city the chance to move back to Wolverhampton, creating dozens of local jobs in the process.

The proposals were revealed to service users, their families and carers and providers at the Clued Up information session at the Bob Jones Community Hub last week, and a survey of those present confirmed a high level of interest in supported living opportunities.

The majority of participants said they would prefer to live in their own flat in a supported living scheme, or in their own place with care and support coming in. There was also support for the Shared Lives and Shared Care options.

Councillor Sandra Samuels OBE, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said: "As a council, we are committed to supporting adults with learning and physical disabilities and mental health needs to live as independently as possible within their own home or in another supported environment.

"Too many disabled people in our city still live in traditional style residential care. Very often these homes are outside of Wolverhampton, many miles away from family and friends.

"We know that when people with disabilities or mental health needs are given the chance to live more independently, they become part of their local community, can achieve more and, most importantly of all, enjoy a better quality of life.

"Supported living gives individuals more choice about how they live their lives, a bigger say over who plays a part in their lives, more control over their own finances and greater rights to stay in their home.

"It was very clear from last week's event that there is a high level of interest in supported living, and we are therefore developing additional opportunities for people with disabilities and mental health needs as an alternative to residential or nursing care.

"We will continue our discussions with service users, their families and carers and existing and potential service providers to explore these options further."

 released: Friday 30 September, 2016