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About the Shared Lives scheme

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

New skills and independence 

Sharing a family’s life means that people who need support can become part of an ordinary household instead of staying in residential care or being looked after by a team of support workers. 

People using the scheme make new friends, develop new skills and gain the confidence to be as independent as possible, helping to reduce isolation and allowing them to live independently for longer.  

Different arrangements

The scheme offers different types of arrangements.

  • Trial period - Before any arrangement is made, there is a trial period, which will vary according to individual circumstances.
  • Day care - Supporting a person for a few hours daily but not overnight.
  • Short breaks - Providing a short break for a person. This can be anything from one night to a few weeks at a time and maybe a one-off or on a regular basis.
  • Emergency care - When support is needed urgently, for example, the same or the next day, without time for introductory visits.
  • Long-term care / permanent arrangement - When the plan is for a person to live long-term with a carer (anything over three months).

Contact us to learn more about the role of a Shared Lives carer and the type of arrangement that would work best for you. 

Regulating the scheme

The Shared Lives Scheme is registered and regularly inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). View our latest report and rating (2019).

Highlights of the March 2019 report

Inspectors rated 'outstanding' our approach to caring and 'good' across the board in all aspects of the service.

The report went on: 'The service is designed to carefully match people to households which in turn contributes to creating a personal touch and a strong, visible person-centred approach.'

'The scheme exceeded in recognising what was fundamental to people's individual diverse needs and ensured placements were tailored to match people's spiritual needs, cultural wishes and choices. Where shared lives family members were of different heritage and backgrounds we saw evidence of how shared lives carers went to exceptional lengths to ensure other professionals and services acted in people's best interests.'

Read more in our news item.