PaRA Co-operative is a non-distributing co-operative that supports three young adults with autism who live in a house in Chatswood in Sydney.
About PaRA Co-operative
PARA stands for Parent Assisted Residential Accommodation. The PARA house at 33 Dalrymple Avenue, Chatswood, NSW was established in November 2010. Patrick Anthony was the first resident. Douglas Skerrett moved into the house in 2012and Hayden Goodmanson in 2013. The three young men started at school together when Giant Steps opened in 1995 so they have been friends for over 20 years.
The operational model relies on involvement and commitment by family of the residents and the employed support workers through membership of the co-operative and democratic decision making to achieve best practice in care and accommodation for people with disabilities and their families. Until September 2015 PARA was run as a family governance model under the auspices of a large NGO Service Provider.
PaRACo-operative Ltd (PaRA) was formed in September 2015 to deliver a co-operative residential accommodation model supporting family members with disabilities and registered as a Service provider with ADHC and later NDIS. PaRA is a non-distributing co-operative.
In March 2018 PaRA Co-operative adopted SILC as its Service Provider.
Fundamental to the philosophy of PaRA and SILC is the belief that parents and family of people with disability want to spend as much time as possible with their child/family member and they wish to facilitate or acquire services to provide the best supported accommodation for them. Concurrently, it is understood that people with disability benefit most from continued engagement and contact with their parents and family.
PaRA Co-operative and SILC provide a responsive service that reflects a co-operative approach between theResidents, families, staff, service providers and the Residents’ Community Participation (Day) Programs. The key focus of the accommodation model is to provide individualised support to establish and maintain a lifestyle that complements family relationships and enables interaction with a range of people and support workers to enhance broader life experiences. A key feature of the model is a roster that encompasses a live-in staff position, regular activities and attendances at CP Programmes and the Resident spending nominated periods with family members.
Family relationships are integral to the model with family involvement and is regularly reviewed by the Members. In general, it is expected that family involvement is planned and in line with the operational needs of the residence, the individuals’ best interest and the principles and practices related to the NDIS Quality and Safeguards PracticeStandards and SILC’s Policies and Procedures.
Residents are encouraged to maintain relationships with friends and family by having them visit the home and have them participate in activities. It is appropriate for visitors to make arrangements in advance, so that the needs of all Residents can be accommodated. On rare occasions it may not be possible for visitors to come to the House because there may be a risk or an impact on them or a Resident. The Board and Staff will support the development of special relationships but has a responsibility to ensure that those relationships are safe and appropriate.
“Fundamental to the PaRA Philosophy is the belief that parents or family of children with a disability want to spend as much time as possible with their child and they wish to facilitate or acquire services to provide the best supported accommodation for their children. Concurrently, it is understood that children with a disability benefit most from continued engagement and contact with their parents or family.”
Extract from the PaRA Members’ Charter.
Watch the PaRA Co-operative featured on ABC News.