In 2007 our daughter, Claire, then 21 was one of the fortunate few to be successful in the CAP application process. Being successful brought a huge amount of relief to us at a very difficult time.
Determined to make the most of this opportunity we looked at what options were immediately available within the agencies that provide supported accommodation. We were somewhat surprised that group homes were the only viable option to supporting Claire in the community. By November 2007 Claire was sharing a home with four others. Over the next four years we encountered many obstacles as we discovered the disparity between real community inclusion and what the agency were willing and able to provide.
The family decided it was time to review Claire’s circumstances and investigate what else might be possible. There were new and exciting developments in disability services. Shared Management and Self Directed Supports and Services promised all kinds of possibilities. By late 2011 we had establish a relationship with Cam Can and Associates. Finally, in Marc and Anthea, we had people who would listen to our hopes and dreams for Claire! Over many months and during numerous, robust, discussions it was decided that we would engage Bronia Holyoak from Valued Lives to undertake a person centred plan for Claire.
This process established that the shared vision for Claire, validated by her own enthusiasm for the idea, was a home of her own. There was much to organise and major decisions to make about where Claire would live, how much support she would need and who would do what. There were fears to overcome – all the “what ifs” that often prevent us from moving forward. Regardless, Claire transitioned into her apartment and by mid August 2012 had moved in.
Claire laughs more, chats to her neighbours, goes swimming regularly and helps with her own shopping and home duties. (She has been caught on camera mopping her kitchen floor!) Her favourite thing is evening walks along the Swan River. The people supporting her show genuine affection and interest in her well being. They take her to dance classes and her latest venture was Karaoke which she thought was a hoot.
Funding is an important part of supporting Claire to have a good life but the glue that holds the dream to together, is the love and support of her informal network. Dare to dream!!