StepIn is an Irish charity enabling people with disabilities to live in the heart of their communities. It was initiated by the Brothers of Charity in Roscommon based on a model successfully developed by Keyring in the UK. A fact-finding team viewed a network in Inner London and then came home to consider how it might be adapted to more rural demands in Ireland.
The solution was StepIn, this independent not-for-profit organisation with the goal of bringing truly independent living to network members.
Created independently so it could support independence for others.
StepIn offers network members the opportunity to live more fulfilled, engaged and participative lives. A network offers many advantages over traditional residential care — both personal and economic.
We set up our first network in Athlone in 2012; followed that up with a second in Roscommon and then a third in Castlerea. The early experiences, setbacks and learning from setting up networks in rural as well as urban areas make StepIn the organisation best placed to manage the roll-out of networks to other areas in Ireland.
This is the remit of the StepIn board which is a blend of people with different backgrounds from both care organisations and private industry — all with many years of relevant experience. These profiles give a flavour of the StepIn team who work as volunteers on the StepIn board.
The mission of StepIn is: People will live in their own homes at the heart of their communities and will be valued, contributing neighbours and friends.
The aims of StepIn are that: People live successfully in their own homes. People contribute actively to the network and provide mutual support to each other in the network. People are valued neighbours and valued members of their communities.
Equality is at the centre of our work and we aim to reflect this in all of our policies, procedures and service provision.
StepIn believes that home is one of the most important places for all of us and that everyone has the right to a home. For adults who have a disability, StepIn makes living in your own home a real possibility. StepIn works to support people in making their own decisions, in being good neighbours and friends and living their lives to the full at the heart of their communities. How does this work? Finding and keeping a home can be a challenge. StepIn supports people in their home by setting up a network of fellow network members who share their skills, talents and resources. The network members provide support to each other with the everyday tasks of running a home such as: Sorting out a bill, getting something repaired or simply providing company for each other.
To achieve these aims StepIn will: Support each member in finding a home of their own within each network area; ensure that people have legal security of tenure in their home; support people in maintaining their tenancies in their home; ensure that members will be contributing members of the network of support; support people to be good neighbours; work closely with people in the community to ensure that network members are welcomed and included in the community; raise awareness of the philosophy and approach of StepIn - Supported Living Network; make StepIn available to people who need support to live independently in Ireland