What is the Shared Lives scheme? | Oxfordshire County Council

What is the Shared Lives scheme?

Shared Lives carers share their family and community life with someone who needs support.

There are adults in Oxfordshire who need care and support. In most cases, a member of their family or a close friend provides this care. Sometimes, however, this is not possible.

Sometimes the person who needs help may be offered sheltered accommodation, day care or residential care. But these traditional services may not always be the answer, for example where:

  • the person has no close family or friends
  • the family is no longer able to provide care and support
  • relationships between the family have broken down
  • the adult does not want to continue living at home
  • the adult does not want to enter (or wants to leave) residential care.

One of the best ways of providing them with the kind of care they require is to offer them the chance to stay in a Shared Lives carer's home. Or, alternatively, to be supported in their own home by a Shared Lives carer.

The Shared Lives service gives vulnerable and disabled adults this opportunity, enabling them to live as independently as possible by sharing in the carer's family life.

We need people like you to offer this care.

Meet the people who have benefited from Shared Lives and find out how it has changed their lives.

Rated 'Good'

Our Shared Lives service is regulated and inspected by the Care Quality Commission. In November 2016 the service was rated 'Good' across all five areas. Read a full report on the Care Quality Commission website

Find out more about Shared Lives

Use our online form to express an interest or find out more or contact us if you would like to speak to someone.

Download our guides and forms


What is Shared Lives?

Read video transcript

What is adult placement (Shared Lives)?

Lindie: "It's a flexible service for people who need support in an ordinary setting."

Sue: "It means commitment, hard word – a great deal of joy."

Laura: "It's about improving someone's quality of life."

Lindie: "It's very flexible, could be having tea once a month, a whole day, weekends or you could live there. It can be whatever you need it to be."

How Shared Lives works

Read video transcript

How it works:

John: "Someone came from social services with Annie and her mother who was in poor health, eventually she stayed. Annie’s been with us 15 years now!"

Sue: "Gordon came to meet us. We had tea. You stayed a couple of nights to see if we all liked each other. That was four years ago."

Laura: "We were introduced weren't we? You came over with your social worker and met me and Chris, and the dog. You asked some questions about things we do. It progressed from there didn't it?

What are the benefits?

Read video transcript

The benefits: Sally: 'By and large people tell us they love the service, they get a choice of where they go. It's an opportunity to have an ordinary lifestyle in an ordinary setting, and to do things other people take for granted. In this setting people can develop a network of relationships that count and may go on for many years.'

George: "I've had lots of different respites. This is the best so far. So relaxed.'

Aimee: 'Fantastic carers. They do things with me like go to the theatre." Laura: 'A favourite of mine was going to Euro-disney and seeing how much you enjoyed yourself."

Lindie: 'Service users can more or less design their own service. They can tell us what they want, tell us what support they need, they may need a long term placement but may just need a break. They don't have to fit in with someone else's service.'

Aimee: 'I can do more things myself, go out on my own, meet my friends, go to the town centre, swimming, go to the cinema.'

George: 'It's really friendly. You can do what you want, get up when you want . It's brilliant really. Well , I've enjoyed it anyway.'

Annie: 'Makes me feel happy!'

New experiences

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New experiences:

Laura: "Do you remember when we went to the theatre?"

Aimee: "Yes. I really enjoyed that. It was technicolour dreamcoat."

Laura: "Ten pin bowling. We socialise quite a bit don't we? And you’ve got a lot of friends. I think you’re more confident now. We sometimes help with lifts."

Aimee: "The McFly concert."

Annie: "We go to Wales at weekends. Sue’s got a border terrier. I take it out for walks."

Bob: "What did you think of the trip to Florida, David?"

David: "It was very good. I enjoyed seeing all the sights. Afterwards I was feeling pretty emotional because of some of the things we found out at the space centre."

Last reviewed
20 September 2017
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