Becoming a Shared Lives carer

Carers are people from all walks of life who are able to provide care in their homes.

The essence of being a Shared Lives carer is that you can offer time, encouragement and opportunity while being aware of an individual's needs.

Shared Lives carers come from all walks of life, and are a diverse group of people. We would love to hear from you if you have a spare room in your home (either rented or owned accommodation), and enough time to provide support to someone.  An aptitude for getting along with people is important .

You  do not need to have previous experience but must be willing to share your home and treat people you support as a full member of your household. Training and ongoing support is provided by the Shared Lives scheme.

Do Shared Lives carers get paid?

Yes, the service pays an agreed fee for the service provided. The amount of payment is reflected in the type and amount of provision. More details about payments.

The role should be considered as either a career or a working from home option to employment.

What other support is given to carers?

As a Shared Lives carer with Oxfordshire County Council you will have automatic membership of the Shared Lives Plus network, a UK charity which represents the interests of all those involved in Shared Lives.

Advice is offered in relation to taxable earnings. You will also automatically qualify for Oxfordshire Public Liability insurance for Shared Lives.

What is the process of becoming a carer?

The approval process includes:

  • a full assessment is undertaken on the applicant or applicants
  • personal and medical references
  • full checks with the disclosure and barring service
  • a pre-application home visit from a member of the Shared Lives Team
  • a pre-approval training programme
  • consideration of the application by an independent panel for approval.

How long do arrangements last?

There is a range of flexible care services:

Day care

Taking care of a person for a few hours per day but not overnight.

Short term or respite care

Providing a short break for a vulnerable person. This can be anything from one night to a few weeks at a time and may be a one-off or on a regular basis.

Emergency care

When support is needed urgently, for example, the same or next day, without time for introductory visits.

Long term care / permanent arrangement

When the plan is for a vulnerable person to live long term with a carer, that is, anything over three months.

Trial period

Before an arrangement takes place there is always a trial period, which will vary according to individual circumstances.


Find out more about Shared Lives

Find out more or contact us if you would like to speak to someone.

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