The Exploration and Design stage is the important starting point for an ILO. Exploration and Design funding gives a participant the opportunity to choose a support provider to work with, and work with their family and friends to help decide where they want to live and how they’d like to be supported.
Some people choose not to use a service provider for this stage, which is fine too.
The role of the Exploration and Design provider
An ILO provider plays a critical role in understanding a participant’s vision for their life and developing support arrangements that meets that vision. ILO providers support participants to make decisions about where they live, who they live with and how their supports can enable them to live a full life.
Exploration and Design providers could be:
- a Support Coordinator or an ILO provider
- a peer support or capacity building organisation.
During Stage 1 participants, their families and carers will work with providers to:
- explore the participant’s vision for their future home and help all involved to understand the full range of options, including how they can be supported in the community. Wherever possible, decisions about a participant’s ILO should be made by them. They should be supported to be involved and make decisions as much as possible
- understand how primary and supplementary supports, such as hosts and housemates (see Stage 2 below for more detail) will fit into the ILO package
- gain an understanding of a participant’s strengths, with a focus on what they can do, and an understanding of how informal, formal and community supports will play a role in the participant’s life
- identify strategies to help the participant choose where to live, who to live with and what support they would like their primary and supplementary supports to provide
- find out what is possible and assess risks in the context of the participant’s preferred way of living, and explore if there could be other options that might suit better
- depending on the circumstances, the exploration and design tasks may include assistance to locate suitable housing or linking with other funded or community or mainstream services.
At the end of Stage 1 Exploration and Design, participants and providers should have:
- decided on the preferred home and living arrangement and the package of supports
- identified the provider who will implement the ILO
- completed the ILO Service Proposal that describes the participant’s needs and preferences, primary and supplementary supports and cost estimate for their Stage 2: ILO Supports.