Lifesharing creates new and enduring relationships that provide an ideal foundation for learning, encouraging self-esteem, and fostering interdependence. Becoming a Lifesharing family with a person with disabilities, 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. When individuals and Lifesharing families are matched, the lives of everyone involved become richer and fuller.
Since 1985, KenCrest's Lifesharing program has successfully brought together more than 140 people with disabilities and Lifesharing families, some of whom have been together for over 30 years.
Our Lifesharing families meet the physical, medical, emotional, and social needs of the people supported. Each family provides an environment that promotes community engagement, a chance for volunteerism, employment, and family-oriented social events. Participants receive support and encouragement to achieve their goals, dreams, and lifelong plans while living a more independent and enriched life.
We currently serve more than 50 Lifesharing families in seven Pennsylvania counties: Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Montgomery, and Philadelphia. This also includes birth family Lifesharing and medically complex Lifesharing for children.
The people we support are always at the center of our Lifesharing program. KenCrest aims to provide high-quality services and support in Lifesharing in the following ways:
- A person-centered individualized plan to help with realizing potential and reaching goals
- Individualized training for your team members and provider family
- Support with medical appointments, medications, and doctors
- Clinical supports, such as behavior therapists and counseling
- Arranging transportation services for easy access to community activities or employment
- Development of relationships in the community
- Support with budgeting
- Coordination of special events, trips, and vacations
The matching process is key to a successful Lifesharing experience for everyone involved. The matching process begins with an initial meeting to discuss participants' wants, needs, and desires in a Lifesharing family arrangement. If we identify a provider family as a match based on their shared mutual interests, we will arrange a meet and greet so both can get to know one another. The next step will be possible extended visits (day, overnight, weekend, and two weeks).
After a few visits, our Lifesharing team will meet with the participant, the new Lifesharing Family, and the supports coordinator to discuss proceeding and set a move-in date.