The Southern Intellectual Disability Initiative (SIDI)  

Aim: To establish a cooperating network of group homes for intellectually disabled adults

SIDI is a registered Non-Profit Organisation, NPO number 139-270 NPO

The Value of Social Networks

The premise underpinning SIDI is that a cooperating network that shares information and experience can achieve more collectively than any individual home can do on its own. Some recent research gives a sound basis for that premise - see http://www.kurzweilai.net/how-social-networks-can-make-us-smarter

SIDI Pilot Initiative supported by the Premier of the Western Cape:

Following a number of presentations to the Premier in the Western Cape, Helen Zille, the Open Circle was selected as a pilot to test the concept.   This is part of a broader change in focus and priority in the Western Cape to those who are unable to care for themselves through no fault of their own, versus what the Premier calls "demands on resources that arise from careless lifestyle choices". 

Residential Group Homes in the Western Cape

A question that is frequently asked is how to find a group home for a child or sibling.  The Western Cape Forum has a list available to members and there is also a list here. The list  has been gleaned from a variety of sources and is quite likely incomplete. If any additional homes should be added, or if any information is incorrect, please advise. There is no central web based list that we know off so it is included as a resource to help the wider ID community. There is also a list on the Dep of Social Development website, but this list is also incomplete. There is also a list of protected workshops available. Parents or siblings who are looking for a home should contact Cape Mental Health as it is a good way to keep in touch and be informed of new homes or vacant places. 

Census on need for Group Home Placements
A census is being conducted by the Western Cape Forum for Intellectual Disability (WCFID) on behalf of government to determine the extent of the need for group home placements and to act as a database that can be used to connect house with vacancies to parents in need.  See the Census page for more details. All families with an intellectually disabled dependent are urged to respond to the census. 


Two initiatives led to the establishment of SIDI:
    • In the later half of 2012 the Department of Health organised two workshops for parents and relatives of the intellectually disabled. These workshops led to the establishment of PRODD (Parents and Relatives of Dual Diagnosis) who subsequently linked up with Open Circle to plan to establish a group home on the grounds of the Alexandra hospital. (See the Activities page for more details.)
    • A donor had offered a large house in Simonstown to Anchors Away, an NGO who were attempting to start a group home.  After lengthy investigations, the donor agreed to rather sell the house and apply the proceeds to a number a smaller group homes, focusing on homes in the South Peninsula or Southern Suburbs that were in planning stages or had recently started.
Initially SIDI operated informally as a sub-committee of Western Cape Forum for Intellectual Disability (WCFID), but as from June 2014, SIDI became an independent NGO registered both as an NPO and PBO with 18A status. 

Expansion of objectives and focus:

While the initial objectives have been retained, subsequently it has been agreed that the mandate of SIDI be widened to include engagement with government departments such as the Departments of  Health, Social Development, Public Works and Human Settlements and such other entities that would enable the donor funds to be geared to facilitate the establishment of a larger number of group homes in a cooperative network. This widening of the mandate was also necessary because it rapidly became apparent that it is essential that appropriate subsidies be secured to ensure long term viability of group homes, especially those that cater for severe or profound disabilities or dual diagnosis. Without subsidies any homes that are established would only be able to meet the needs of a privileged few and it would not be possible to extend the network into communities that are in desperate need. 

The form and nature of the network is under discussion, but a key aspect is that each home will remain independent and operate under its own trust or governing board.  A variety of NPO structures and disability levels are part of the network.  But the network may, for example, also have a concrete role as an agent for the DSD in the disbursement of grant funding. 

Disability Forums:

SIDI particpates in the Western Cape Disability Forum which was established in October 2014 and is a member of the Western Cape Forum for Intellectual Disability

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