|A Life-Sharing Invitation
working with two families who were interested in developing a shared
living arrangement for (one son and one daughter), who had been living in
a small medical institution in Vancouver.
families created an extensive list of ideas, qualities and
‘desiderata’ – a description of exactly what they were looking for
in the staff who would care for their children (those notes are included
below). The description would
be used for recruitment, screening, training, and supervision –
benchmarks that could be used by the families, the provider agency and the
funder to guide and track performance.
those notes, we created some suggested text for ads (next item), which
were then edited by the family and the agency (following item), and run in
local newspapers and placed as flyers on university bulletin boards, etc.
The ads (and the related selection, training and supervision
processes) worked – J. and M. are living successfully in their own home,
and the families are happy.
This is the
original suggested text for ads:
are looking for a mature, stable couple to help two young adults with
disabilities establish a warm, welcoming and happy home in an artists’
live/work space in Kitsilano. The
couple will share a unique living arrangement and will have access to a
private studio apartment for their ‘off’ hours. They will work as part of a creative team to establish the
household, facilitate community connections for the young man and woman,
and help coordinate the work of other assistants.
physical care and a respectful, encouraging relationship with the young
man and woman will be essential elements of this unique work/life
opportunity. Ideally, the
couple will bring their own rich network of personal relationships and
interests into the household. Good
common sense, flexibility, and a willingness to receive direction in a
team environment will be essential qualities.
A generous remuneration package, ample time to pursue outside
interests, and high levels of supervisory support will be part of the
the text that was eventually used in the advertisements:
Opportunity: Dream Makers and Vision Builders Wanted!
and M. are two young people with a lifetime of opportunities ahead of
them. Their parents envision
futures for them which will reach beyond anything they have yet
experienced. Soon, J. and M.
will be moving into their own home, an exciting artists’ live/work
community in Kitsilano, Vancouver, BC.
agency] is working in partnership with J. and M. and their families.
We are looking for a responsible team of two adults to support J.
and M. in their home and as active participants in their new community.
support required includes a substantial amount of direct physical care,
and coordination of other resource people involved in their lives.
Training will be provided. This
opportunity offers a way to integrate heartfelt values and attitudes into
a practical, purposeful life-style choice.
you are willing to be accountable to a team, respect differences in
others, have a rich network of relationships, thrive on new initiatives,
use practical common sense, and would be able to relocate, please contact
the detailed notes from the discussion with the families that led to the
proposed and eventual text for the recruitment ads:
who are in a good relationship with each other
in a moral community
to the community
who have trusted relationships that they can bring into the context
happy, nice, colorful, humorous, sharing
interests that they can bring into the context (hobbies, art, social
interests, work outside of the home)
willingness to serve
who are willing to subsume their ‘own’ interests
who might be at a natural transition point in their own lives
(therefore free to serve)
to work under authority
of the nature of the job
that they are not the parents
who are able to 'embrace the paradoxes' of the job
that the elements of the role / arrangement will change
that we may not hit it right the first time
on the pulse’ of the home
skills and experience (less important than many of the qualities