“Margarita SVTC”, responding to an important need of its young people and their families, started a Supported Living Pilot Educational Program, in October 2013.
Two four-member groups were trained in a privately owned, fully refurbished and appropriately adjusted apartment in Pagrati. The program was completed in 14 meetings per group, during weekends, on a fortnight basis. The program was staffed by specialized personnel from the center, on a 24hour basis, in shifts.
The approach was holistic and included a parents team, a supported young people team and supervision by the personnel. An external collaborator of “Margarita” had the responsibility of the program.
The program aimed to achieve the participants’ personal development on functional, emotional and social levels, as well as their acquiring the highest possible level of autonomy, with the perspective of autonomous living. The respect of the particularities and the wishes of the young people supported created an atmosphere of security and trust, which contributed in the promotion of assuming responsibility and participating in the planning of their everyday routine.
By living in the community, in the center of the city, the participants participated in outdoors programs (shopping, entertainment etc.), which provided them new experiences, chances to realize various wishes and take part in the happenings of the city as equals.
An important part of the training involved life in the apartment, so that harmonious living together could be achieved. The participation of the supported young people in any decision concerning their lives was the main point of focus and, therefore, both individualized and collective goals were set. The needs and the particularities of each member were examined and thus their skills were enhanced and developed.
The distance from the protected family environment and the cohabitation with peers were factors that contributed significantly in the emotional maturation needed for a smooth incorporation in a permanent home of supported living.
The Program for Training in Supported Living of the SEW “Margarita” aims to provide to as many of its students as possible the chance to acquire the necessary skills for their next step towards autonomy.