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Date published: October 25, 2023

Department of Health and Social Care announce £42.6 million boost with Shared Lives and Homeshare highlighted as one of 12 innovations to grow

We are delighted to announce that this week shared living (encapsulating Shared Lives and Homeshare) has been listed as one of 12 innovative adult social care priorities set out by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

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Minister of State for Care, Helen Whately said in her letters to Director of Adult social services,

“Only through innovation and new models of care can we respond to rising demand and the changing needs of our population; and make person-centred care and support a reality for people who use services and unpaid carers.”

Shared Lives Plus have been working closely with members of the DHSC to ensure that shared living is at the forefront of their priorities as they work on their ‘Next steps to put people at the heart of care’. Ewan King, CEO at Shared Lives Plus said, “This is a huge achievement for all of us working within Shared Lives and Homeshare – and presents a massive opportunity to grow these services further across the UK.”

Directors of Adult Social Services have been invited to register their interest in partnership with others in their integrated care systems, to fund local innovations such as Shared Lives and Homeshare. Shared Lives Plus will support Local Authorities to bid on the growth of shared living, and provide an offer of support once funding is secured.

Shared Lives Ambassador, Heather reflects on when she was leaving children’s care and how Shared Lives should be easily accessible for anyone with an adult social care need,

“Leaving care at 16 I can see it from both sides, I know that feeling all too well when a social worker tells you “my hands are tied” – I’d be a rich woman if I was paid for the number of times, I have heard that. There is no doubt that the foster care system is failing, and many young adults are slipping though the net. At 16 my social worker just expected me to move out without a choice, boxes were ticked, and decisions were made that I would not have chosen myself, and to cope on my own I felt very alone. Personally, I wouldn’t want to be a social worker – I feel as if we forget they are human, and I do believe most people go into social care for the right reasons but sometimes have the lack of resources and knowledge to provide person-centred decisions – their hands really are tied.

“Finding Shared Lives, I haven’t looked back! Being part of family life feels normal now, which I never thought I would ever say. Being a role model and a big sister figure to the children, makes me feel so proud. It’s the small things like cooking together to sitting around at the dinner table, even having a little squabble now and then. I have become more relaxed into family life with people that care for me, they have taught me so much and eventually I will feel confident to live independently.

“I am so delighted to see support from Government to grow Shared lives – it’s amazing! As someone who has personally seen the huge difference Shared Lives can make, I welcome this investment in innovations in social care because I consider myself lucky to be in Shared Lives, but it should be made an easily accessible option for anyone who needs it. I encourage the Government to raise further awareness of Shared Lives with social workers, so they can fully support more people like me who are transitioning from children’s to adult social care.”

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