Shared Lives Plus

Caring for adults in family homes.

  • Involves: individuals, local and national organisation
  • Costs: ££

In Shared Lives, an adult (16+) who needs support and/or accommodation becomes a regular visitor to, or moves in with, a registered Shared Lives carer. Together, they share family and community life. All Shared Lives arrangements come under the management of a Shared Lives scheme, and there are around 150 Shared Lives schemes across the UK.

Shared Lives aims to enable people to experience ordinary life, with real relationships, rather than to provide a service. Shared Lives is not an “off the peg” service – it is highly personalised, relying on achieving a match between the individual requiring support and the Shared Lives carer who wishes to support them.

This video from Shared Lives South West shows gives you a good idea of the many different people who can benefit from local schemes.

How it works

  • Shared Lives carers are carefully selected and trained by a regulated Shared Lives scheme. They are paid a fixed amount, rather than an hourly rate. Some receive up to four weeks paid breaks per year.
  • Shared Lives schemes are either directly run by local authorities or by charities and social enterprises – this could be community-led and co-operatively managed.
  • Almost all Shared Lives schemes operate geographically on the same boundaries as the local council body that has responsibility for Adult Social Care.
  • Shared Lives schemes are responsible for recruiting, training and approving Shared Lives carers and all Shared Lives scheme have to be registered by the Care Quality Commission.
  • Shared Lives schemes can choose to join and be supported by Shared Lives Plus.
  • Shared Lives has traditionally been a service for adults with learning disabilities. It is increasingly being used for people with a range of disabilities or illnesses and for older people.
  • Shared lives care may include: Long term accommodation and support or Short breaks Daytime support. Rehabilitative or intermediate support.