What is Lifesharing?
Lifesharing is an adult residential option offered as an alternative to community, independent, or supported living. Since 1985, KenCrest’s Lifesharing program has successfully brought more than 140 individuals and Lifesharing families together, some of which have been together for over 30 years. We currently serve more than 50 individuals with developmental disabilities and 50 Lifesharing families in six Pennsylvania counties: Berks, Bucks, Chester, Lancaster, Montgomery, and Philadelphia.
Lifesharing creates new and enduring relationships that provide an ideal foundation for learning, encouraging self-esteem, and fostering interdependence.
The focus is on the growth and development of each Lifesharing individual. The Lifesharing family supports the individual to achieve their fullest potential, according to their individual needs, while providing the community access and involvement required for success.
Information for Provider Families
Being a Lifesharing family with an individual, who may or may not be biologically related, means opening one’s home and heart to someone who desires to live in a shared, supportive family environment.
Lifesharing families meet the physical, medical, emotional, and social needs of the individuals being served. They provide an environment that supports full access to and integration into the community, including activities, events, employment, volunteering, and more. Individuals are supported to have goals, dream dreams, make plans, and live an Everyday Life.
KenCrest is accepting applications for new provider families! We encourage new families to fill out our Lifesharing Program Interest Form electronically (you’ll need to save it to your computer, attach it to an email, and then send it to firstname.lastname@example.org) or by hand return it to us. If you have any questions, please contact us at (610) 487-1582 to learn more.
Click here to download the Lifesharing Program Interest Form. This form can be filled out electronically, saved to your computer, and then attached to an email and sent to email@example.com. This is the preferred method of completing the form.
Full support is provided to all Lifesharing families and continues for the duration of the Lifesharing program participation. Beginning the first day of participation, the family has access to as little or as much support as they want. Supports available to Lifesharing families include, but are not limited to:
- 24/7 on-call emergency support
- Ongoing, individualized training conveniently offered in the family’s home
- Substitute care (up to 30 days annually)
- Team support and person-centered planning
- Assistance with medical support
Meeting the Lifesharing program requirements is very important. The requirements are based on what is needed to support the success of the Lifesharing program and each individual in a variety of areas.
Lifesharing provider families are required to provide safe, stable, and nurturing home environments. All prospective Lifesharing provider families go through a lengthy and comprehensive evaluation process and must successfully:
- Complete the KenCrest-funded background checks and clearances
- Have a sustainable income
- Be in good health
- Provide multiple references
- Complete required trainings
All families complete a rigorous training program as they enter the Lifesharing arrangement and receive additional, ongoing training with support.
Information for Lifesharing Individuals
Choosing Lifesharing is a decision made by each individual after careful review and consideration of all available living options, and how each option suits their preferred style of living and personal life goals. In Lifesharing, the individual will share their life, traditions, goals, and values with a family or single person in a lasting and caring environment.
New Lifesharing individuals can be referred to KenCrest via supports coordinator, county official, or by contacting KenCrest directly at (610) 487-1582 to learn more about getting the process started. We welcome those who are entirely new to Lifesharing as well as those individuals who have previously had the opportunity to live with a Lifesharing family.
For each individual who chooses Lifesharing, KenCrest provides as much transitional and ongoing support as desired. Supports include, but are not limited to:
- ISP (individual service plan) goals
- Personal dreams and aspirations
- Individual choices and preferences
- Desired control of one’s life
After the completion of a referral packet, individuals will have a series of meetings to identify their desires and goals. The current ISP will also be used in developing a customized plan, which will be used to match each person with a family.
- PA Lifesharing Coalition
Learning more about Lifesharing and advocacy.
- PA Department of Human Services
A variety of PA State approved Lifesharing resources, person-centered planning, ISP, etc.
- PA Department of Human Services office of Developmental Programs
A variety of resources, including the PA DHS publication “Everyday Lives – Values in Action”
- Everyday Lives: Values in Action
- Charting the LifeCourse
- PA Intellectual Disabilities Services
- People First
- Lifesharing Program Interest Form
Interested in participating in the Lifesharing program? Download our form here.
- Frequently Asked Questions
Have questions about the Lifesharing program? Read through our most frequently asked questions.
KenCrest’s Meaningful Life
“Our story begins in 1990 when we heard about Lifesharing. Dan was first to join our family. Things went well, and then Ted joined our family. Watching these two men flourish and grow has been exciting and rewarding. Little did we know that we would also be blessed…not only did Dan and Ted join our family, we also gained an extended family.”
“I love living in Lifesharing because I get to have dogs who sit on my lap and I get to go to fun places with Melissa, Grandmom, and John. I’m going to be an uncle as soon as Guy and Jill have this baby. We are going to Disney again.”