“Supported Independent Living is described as living arrangements for people with disabilities and mental illnesses assisting them to live as independently as possible. However, I urge everyone to remember that people living with disability deserve more than a cookie cutter living arrangement in order to truly experience their highest capacity of independence,” Scott Papas said.
Scott Papas is the CEO and founder of Pursue Ability, an NDIS provider of Supported Independent Living facilities and other services for people living with psychosocial disability. Pursue Ability was founded in early 2020 and comprises a number of sites across New South Wales.
“Every NDIS participant, or person that requires supported living arrangements, should always receive a tailored approach. If the client requires a different level of support, a Supported Independent Living facility should work with the individual and their loved ones to identify and develop the best possible accommodation model to meet everyone’s needs,” Papas said.
“This is one of the key reasons why I established Pursue Ability. I found a gap in the services and accommodation being offered across the community for those who have a diagnosed psychosocial disability, or have a forensic or social admission history. I wanted to ensure there were services and facilities available for them that truly understood their situation and catered to their unique needs. And so, I established Pursue Ability to meet this need.
According to Papas, the National Disability Insurance Scheme is centred on providing people with more choice and control in their life, but it is imperative that the support provided meets the unique needs of each person.
“Supported Independent Living arrangements provide important benefits to people living with disability and mental illness including:
Achieving the long-term goal of living independently by learning the skills required to do so, and easing into the process,
Sharing the cost of rent and household expenses is beneficial financially for a number of people so that their funds saved funds can be put together other experiences or products,
Sharing support workers between a number of housemates also means that each individual is not solely paying the entire cost out of their own NDIS funding; and
The opportunity for social connection and to develop interpersonal skills.
““Supported Independent Living operators should always develop accommodation solutions to meet a wide range of requirements, however as a baseline there are three models of support that can be customised for each participant.
“Group accommodation is ideal for participants who thrive in the company of others. With one staff member for every three participants, this model is made for transitionary housing. In this accommodation, the participants will have the overall capacity to live independently, however may need minimal support to actively transition to community or private housing,” Papas explained.
“Our dedicated staff work with the client and their loved ones to build on personal hygiene, dressing and clothing care, health care, cooking, eating and nutrition, home management and home safety, financial management, personal growth, awareness and problem solving, and community access within this housing arrangement.”
Accommodation with additional support
“This accommodation option is ideal for individuals that may need a higher level of support. In this model, carers work with their clients and their loved ones to build on their capacity and emotional regulation to identify and manage their support needs,” Papas outlined.
“In this model, the focus is primarily on developing the skills of self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.”
Accommodation with one on one support
“Accommodation with one on one support is ideal for individuals that require the assistance of ‘round the clock’ support to stay safe,” Papas said.
“We provide support in line with recommendations from the client’s trained health practitioners to ensure this is done in the most supportive way possible while enabling them to work towards whatever independence may look like for them – which is why professional input is incredibly important.”
According to Papas, within this accommodation option, Pursue Ability works with the client and their team of supports to ensure clear phase-out strategies are in place, and submit notifications and monthly reports to the NDIS Commission on supports provided, ensure staff are appropriately trained to implement positive behaviour strategies, and work hand in hand with behaviour clinicians to phase out any support practices that are not required.
“Our mission at Pursue Ability is to enhance the lives of those living with uncertainty by creating opportunity and fostering a sense of belonging and independence. We provide ongoing support and advocacy to assist our participants in securing long term housing solutions that aim to increase their capacity by providing trained and qualified mental health trained staff with a passion for supporting our community,” Papas added.
“We pride ourselves on supporting participants to identify their triggers and work on building resilience for them to overcome their challenges, and live a full and happy life.”
Scott Papas is experienced in community services and disability support. With over nine years of diverse experience in the industry, Papas is dedicated to supporting NDIS participants throughout every phase of life.
Pursue Ability provides quality housing and support by trained mental health staff currently in seven houses throughout the western suburbs of Sydney, the central coast and Newcastle, and have extensive plans to expand in their future. Pursue Ability’s focus is on psychosocial disability with participants who have a history with the Community Mental Health Team, Justice System or NSW Health System. Pursue Ability works collaboratively with external stakeholders to support the participant’s goals and ensure they feel a sense of belonging within their service, allowing them to regain control of their life.