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Date published: November 2, 2022

Launch: Growing Shared Lives – a toolkit for commissioners, directors and heads of service

This afternoon at the 2022 National Children & Adult Services Conference in Manchester, Shared Lives Plus launched Growing Shared Lives – a toolkit to help commissioners, directors, and heads of service who want to offer more personalised, strengths-based adult social care.

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Shared Lives is social care’s best kept secret, accounting for just 1% of all adult social care provision in England. Growing Shared Lives could have significant benefits across the social care sector, and this practical toolkit will help people with responsibility for social care provision to plan and deliver that growth in a supported and sustainable manner.


You can download the toolkit from the bottom of this page.

From the foreword of the toolkit

Ewan King, CEO, Shared Lives Plus

“Anyone working in social care knows that the future of social care is deeply uncertain. The cost-of-living crisis is placing huge additional pressures on social care and those of us who draw on support. We believe Shared Lives has to be part of the solution to the challenges we face. Growing Shared Lives will help transform the social care landscape, giving far more people a better quality, more personalised care and support option, along with significant potential cost savings for commissioners. We call on leaders across social care to join us in developing a positive vision for the future and to commit to growing Shared Lives.”

Cath Roff – Director of Adults and Health, Leeds City Council

“Growing Shared Lives, especially with additional pressures brought about during the pandemic, has proven to be very difficult. Despite this, we have achieved some success and remain committed. It is central to our vision of building a strengths-based approach to care and support across Leeds, which is based on what is strong about local people – their strengths, aspirations and networks – rather than what is wrong.”

Tandra Forster – Director of Integrated Adult Social Care, Devon County Council

“It will be difficult, but far from impossible, to grow Shared Lives. If we work together, share resources and learning, and are creative and brave with the money we have, we can continue to invest in and grow Shared Lives, to ensure that even more people benefit from one of the highest quality and safest forms of social care in the future.”

Heather Thomson – Shared Lives Ambassador

“If I knew about Shared Lives when I was 16, my whole world would have changed faster and I wouldn’t have had the anxiety of my future being so unknown. I think more social workers and people that work within the care system should know about Shared Lives because it could change someone’s life for the better.”