Benefits of Becoming a Shared Living Provider

Benefits of Becoming a Shared Living Provider

Are you a Direct Service Provider (DSP) looking for a stable, rewarding job you can do from home? 

Working as a Shared Living Contractor may be the perfect career opportunity for you! In this blog, we’ll explore the benefits of becoming a Shared Living Provider and how to get started as one.

What is Shared Living?

Shared Living (also known as Professional Family Teaching Model) is a unique living arrangement where an individual with intellectual or developmental disabilities lives with a carefully selected and trained person in a supportive home environment. The Shared Living Model promotes community integration, life skills development, and long-term relationships.

Shared Living Providers

Shared Living Providers ( also called Professional Family Teachers, or PFTs) are the core of the program. They are carefully matched with residents to provide support and guidance in all aspects of daily living while serving as a teacher and positive role model.

Professional Family Teachers are committed to helping the people they serve learn new skills and experience all that life offers. They ensure consistent care for our residents in a safe and caring residential environment. 

Who can become a Professional Family Teacher?

Many Direct Support Professionals choose to transition into the Professional Family Teacher role after they have formed a close bond with a resident they have been supporting, but we encourage anyone interested to contact us to see if our program is a good fit.

Some of the qualities that make a successful Shared Living Provider are:

  • Passion for helping others
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Caring and compassionate nature
  • Organized and able to manage multiple tasks

Benefits of becoming a Shared Living Provider

One of the most rewarding aspects of being a Shared Living Contractor is knowing you’re making a positive difference in the life of someone with intellectual or developmental disabilities. In addition to the personal satisfaction you receive from helping others, you’ll enjoy several other benefits, including:

Job Satisfaction

Our Shared Living program has a low staff turnover rate with the average length of the placement being 7 years. We’ve even had a pair living together for 19 years.


Professional Family Teachers are independent contractors and receive a stable, tax-free income. You also get paid for 10 non-billable days per calendar year and bereavement compensation if the individual in your home passes away.

Growth and Development

Shared Living Providers have access to a variety of training and continuing education opportunities. In addition, you’ll build relationships with others who have similar interests and goals.

Work-Life Balance

As a Shared Living Contractor, you’ll design your schedule around the needs of the individual you support. This allows for a more flexible work-life balance than many other jobs.

Program Support

A team of professionals, including nurses and behavior specialists, supports each Professional Family Teacher. You’ll also have access to GoodLife’s 40+ years of experience working in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities.

How to become a Professional Family Teacher

Being a Professional Family Teacher is more than a job, it’s a fun and rewarding career. In this position, you’ll make a positive difference in someone’s life while also growing professionally.

Here are the five phases from the selection & placement process to living as a Professional Family Teacher

  1. Obtain information about the program: To get started, we recommend you ask questions, explore GoodLife’s website, read the FAQ handout, and talk to a current provider.
  2. Application review: After you complete and return the application, readiness assessment, and minimum contractual expectations, one of our team members will review your paperwork.
  3. Personal interviews and initial assessments: During this phase, our team will learn more about your interests, lifestyle preferences, and unique skills. We also ensure that your home is safe and appropriate, review and discuss the services you would provide, and discuss ongoing quality assurance.
  4. Matching of lifestyles and transition to placement: In this step, the team at GoodLife get to know you and your interests. We also work with the individuals and their families to identify the best match. In the Transition phase, you will meet the individual you will support and begin building your relationship.
  5. Ongoing quality assurance, training, and support: GoodLife offers a variety of supports to ensure your success as a Professional Family Teacher. These include setting clear expectations as outlined in the PCSP and SLPPA, ongoing trainings, team meetings, home visits, satisfaction surveys, and PFT certification.

Interested in becoming a Shared Living Provider?

If you’re looking for a rewarding career that gives you the flexibility to work from home, consider becoming a Shared Living Contractor. You’ll make a difference in the lives of individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities while also enjoying the financial and professional benefits of the job.

To learn more about becoming a Professional Family Teacher, please contact Nichole Reiske’s, Director of Admissions, at ​ or 913-980-8135. You can also check out our Provider Brochure for more information. We look forward to getting to know you and helping you begin your journey as a Shared Living Provider.

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