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Shared lives schemes (residential and day care schemes)

The shared lives scheme offers placements for adults who need support in a carer's home, as an alternative to a stay in a residential care home. Find out more about the scheme, who can join and how to become a shared lives carer. 

What are shared lives schemes?

Shared lives schemes are designed to support adults with care and support needs.  

Under these schemes vulnerable adults and an approved shared lives carer can live together in a way which allows the adult to receive the most appropriate care and support.  

Shared lives schemes were previously known as adult placement schemes. They are an alternative to the traditional care offered to adults with support needs. 

The shared lives schemes are regulated and inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Who can join shared lives schemes?

The shared lives schemes are designed for people who:

  • need support to live in the community
  • are over 18
  • are eligible for social care services

This includes people who have:

  • a learning disability
  • a mental health issue
  • difficulties due to their age
  • a physical disability
  • other disabilities or impairments which cause them to be vulnerable or at risk

How can I access the shared lives service?

To access the shared lives service you need to have an eligibility assessment. If you want to join the shared lives scheme but haven’t had an assessment visit getting adult social care support or call the customer service network: 

Tel: 01482 393939 

What are the benefits of having a shared lives carer?

Sharing a home, family and community life with a shared lives carer allows you to get to know your carer and create a trusted bond with the person who will consistently provide support for you.

You will have time to get to know your carer before you commit to receiving support from them. It is up to you to decide what type of support you want and for how long. 

Who can be a shared lives carer?

Anyone over the age of 18 can be a shared lives carer. The scheme is open to:

  • couples
  • families, with or without children
  • single people, regardless of their sex
  • grandparents 
  • single parents

Shared lives carers can be:

  • homeowners or tenants
  • employed or unemployed
  • coming from a different background than the adult they will be providing support for
  • without previous experience as training and the opportunity to attend work experience is provided

What are the benefits of becoming a shared lives carer?

Being a shared lives carer is a hugely rewarding role and a great opportunity to make a positive difference to the life of a vulnerable adult. 

Shared lives carers help adults in a way which:

  • improves vulnerable people’s quality of life
  • creates new life experiences, such as celebrating birthdays and weddings 
  • develops relationships which could last a lifetime
  • supports social inclusion
  • creates a family network, introducing adults to an extensive group of people in the wider community
  • involves adults with their local community
  • delivers a better service for users than traditional forms of care

How do I become a shared lives carer?

To become a shared lives carer you need to be assessed and approved by a scheme which is registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The application process can take 3 to 6 months. It includes:

  • home visits
  • a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check
  • a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) disclosure at enhanced level
  • health and safety checks

You don’t need to have any experience of caring, but you need to be committed to improving other people’s lives. Training and support is provided for carers under the shared lives scheme. 

If you are interested in becoming a shared lives carer, call the shared lives service: 

Tel: (01482) 881144

Can I get financial support as a shared lives carer?

Shared lives carers are self-employed and receive a fixed payment for the services they offer. The payment depends on what support is provided and the needs of the adult. This payment also covers carer’s expenses such as food, heating and lighting.

Carer’s receive a payment for renting a room. In most cases the adult who needs support makes a contribution from their benefits towards the household costs. 

If the circumstances of the vulnerable adult change, the money paid to the shared lives carer may change. 

How do shared lives carers take a short break/respite care? 

To take a break from their normal duties, shared lives carers can apply for a short break, also known as respite care. The amount of respite care for shared lives carers is agreed between the person who requires support and the carer. 

Visit breaks for carers (respite care) to learn more about how to take a short break as a shared lives carer. 

How can I find a shared lives centre in my area?

You can find details of local shared lives services on the NHS Choices website. The NHS Choices website allows you to use your current address to find the closest shared lives centre, including:

  • contact details of the closest shared lives centres in your area
  • whether the service accepts new clients and how to get in contact
  • ratings from people who have used the service
  • whether the service meets the national standards set by the government regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC)

 

Last Updated: Thursday, 05 July 2018