CWS expands Shared Living services

shared living 2Creative Work Systems is expanding its Shared Living program for eligible adults with intellectual disabilities. The program provides an option for individuals not yet ready for the challenges of Independent Living, yet seeking a less intensive environment than 24-hour Residential Service program.

In the Shared Living model, a host provider opens his or her home to an individual program participant, offering a safe, compassionate environment in which the participant can experience community interaction within the security of familial support. The program provides an effective support system that offers an individual the opportunity to enhance essential life skills and increase self-esteem while also promoting social interaction and access to local resources.

“It offers total community inclusion, says Deb Drinkwater, Regional Director of Residential Services.  “Individuals are living in a natural environment, with so many opportunities to make friends with the friends and families of the providers as well as within their community.”

CWS Shared Living hosts are certified Direct Support Providers who have completed Certified Residential Medication Aide (CRMA) training. CWS utilizes a person-centered planning approach that prioritizes the needs and preferences of each individual. The matching process is closely managed to ensure a successful placement between the program participant and the provider.

In addition to being highly trained, CWS Shared Living providers are compassionate and resourceful, and each identifies with the CWS vision to expand opportunities for people with disabilities to pursue their potential, contribute to their communities, and be treated with dignity and respect.

“The state of Maine is backing the model,” Drinkwater says. “It offers more options for the individual, and it’s less expensive” than traditional programs.

Under Drinkwater’s guidance, CWS is in the process of adding several Shared Living homes throughout Southern Maine. For more information, contact Deb Drinkwater in the CWS Auburn office: (207) 795-6737;