Supported Independent Living (SIL)
Supported Independent Living is the model of support that most people think of when considering disability supports outside of the family home. Supported Independent Living is the model of support that is usually delivered in Group Homes (Community Residential Units). SIL is the biggest ticket support item on the NDIS, costing on average $340,000 per Participant as of 2020
SIL is for those who require a 24 hour support in their day to day lives. SIL supports typically can be described as one support provider (although this is not always the case) working in a home to deliver all in home supports, including personal care, support with meals and organising a person’s day to day life, communication with other providers and in some cases, transport. SIL providers have duty of care for people who live in their homes, and for this reason, some families and participants preference this model of support, as the model has a lot of built in safeguards for vulnerable people.
SIL works on what is called a Roster of Care (ROC). This roster sets out all supports that are to be delivered within a given property and at what ratio (eg 1:1, 1:2), how many hours of support are required outside of the home (Community Participation hours) and how many incidental hours (unplanned hours for days at home etc) are required.
Be aware that SIL to live alone is very hard to get in an NDIS plan and requires very specific evidence as to why living alone is reasonable and necessary. You will need an experienced Allied Health team behind you to make a case for living alone. It is not uncommon to have to go to review and potentially to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) to have SIL to live alone funded in your NDIS plan. If you want to live alone, you will need to make sure you have presented evidece to suggest to the NDIA that living alone is Reasonable and Necessary.
This model of supports needs to be carefully considered as in some instances it can limit choice and control. It is also important to ensure that there is a separation of housing and support i.e. the landlord is not also the provider of Supported Independent Living. Separation of housing and support is extremely important for people who are considering their support options in the community. This is so that if there is an issue with either the landlord or support provider there is no conflict of interest.
People living in SIL will have taken time to carefully select and employ a Supported Independent Living provider who is responsible for the duty of care. It is recommended that people who employ a SIL provider have clear expectations of the service they would like to receive, which is set out in an agreement signed by all parties. The provider of SIL can be the biggest determinant of a good life for many people with this level of needs requirement. Remember that Participants hold the funding in these arrangements and therefore the power. Its important that you have an agreement that states how you want to be supported that is agreed upon by your provider.
It’s important to look for a provider that clearly wants to work with you towards your individual goals, and is prepared to take time and invest in knowing who you are and how you want to be supported.
For more info on SIL, check this link: SIL for Participants – NDIS