Shared Living

Shared Living enriches the lives of people with developmental disabilities and those fortunate to love and care for them, as well as the communities in which these families thrive.
Pioneered by Pathlight in 1974, Shared Living matches individuals with developmental disabilities with individuals and families so they might live and grow in a home-based situation and experience the everyday activities of family and community life.

Making and maintaining relationships within a family and within the community is the essence of Shared Living. In a private home with committed care providers, individuals benefit from highly individualized, flexible assistance. Expanded opportunities within their care providers’ social group and community increase self-confidence and independence.

Just as the individuals we serve learn, develop skills, and enjoy personal growth within lasting, meaningful relationships, so do their care providers.

FAQ for Care Providers and Individuals

Who We Serve

The people we are privileged to serve are of all ages and abilities.

They may have extensive physical disabilities, developmental disabilities, or require medical involvement.

Or they may function with little or no assistance.

Our highly skilled staff have considerable expertise in addressing these issues and have access to an array of clinical and behavioral consultants.

Care Provider Eligibility

In order to explore care providing, you must:

  • be at least 21 years of age
  • own or rent a home
  • be able to provide personal car
  • may be employed elsewhere
  • be married or single
Individual Benefits
  • Develop new skills
  • Relationships with family and friends
  • Participate in community activities
  • Advocacy support
  • Medication management oversight
  • Individualized Service Plans (ISPs) that support reaching new goals
Care Provider Benefits
  • Generous, tax free stipend
  • Paid room and board
  • Responsive case management
  • Satisfaction of making the difference in someone’s life
Is Care Providing for You?

Successful care providers understand the individual’s viewpoint, are highly motivated to make a difference in their life, and have the flexibility to adapt as the living situation evolves, as families do.

As a care provider, you care for an individual either in their own home—if they live independently—or in your own home.

Common attributes of care providers consist of an ability to set boundaries; provide structure; be open, honest, and stable; function easily as part of a team; be involved in their community; and adapt flexibly as everyone’s needs and abilities change with personal growth.

Before you begin providing services, you receive six weeks of training, which helps you to understand the history of developmental and other disabilities, your role in establishing a successful relationship, and the importance of community integration and working as a team.

In addition to an annual stipend, Family Based Living is there for you with ongoing education, respite care, high-level case management, support from our clinical staff and consultants, and 24-hour back-up in the event of an emergency.

Making A Match

Bringing individuals and families together is an individual-centered process.

We work hard to match the care provider’s qualities with the needs and personality of the individual they care for.

We make matches based on attributes like energy level, personality, tolerance, values, and the wishes of the individual’s guardian or biological family, who are included in the new living situation as much as possible.

We know that care providers truly want to make a difference. Our job is to ensure that a successful match is made. Of primary concern is that care is provided in a highly individualized way. This means we adapt our program to the individual, rather than the individual to a set-in-stone program. And because the care is generally long-term, it must be flexible, always adapting to the needs of all involved.

Why Pathlight

For decades, Pathlight has developed a talented and coordinated team of social workers, support staff, and consulting specialists who monitor, provide assistance, and ensure our families receive the support they need.

We address a wide range of disability, medical, and personal care issues and handle complex cases. We take great pride in our reputation as the leader in Massachusetts in Family Based Living.

Our experience with Family Based Living bolsters our belief that people with developmental disabilities reach their fullest potential  when they live in private homes and develop meaningful relationships while learning to be as independent and integrated with their community as possible.

Want to Learn More?

If you’d like to find out more about either Shared Living or Adult Family Care, please call our Family Based Living Services line at 800-652-2201 or email info@pathlightgroup.org.

Interested in becoming a Pathlight care provider?

Please fill out this form and a Pathlight representative will contact you. Please Note: At this time we are only seeking Care Providers in the following areas of Massachusetts: Hampden County, Hampshire County, Berkshire County, and Franklin County.

Do you have a valid MA driver's license and reliable vehicle?

Which are you interested in becoming?

Do you have an extra bedroom in your home?

Do you have pets?

How did you hear about Pathlight's Shared Living program?

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Want to know more?

Click on a picture to take a deeper look into Shared Living! Featuring our Home Study Coordinator, Deb Lauder.

Learn About Pathlight’s Lifecycle of Services

       Paths to Family

       Based Living



MassHealth program


Department of Children and Families program