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Become a Shared Lives Carer

shared lives08A Shared Lives carer is someone who opens up their home and family life to include an adult with support needs. Shared Lives carers come from all walks of life and don’t need qualifications or experience, just the right attitude and a willingness to truly share their lives with another person.

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Sign the social care petition!

CSA graphic

 As part of the Care and Support Alliance, Shared Lives Plus has launched a petition to ensure the Government to bring forward their proposals to fix the social care system so it helps all those that need it. 

Right now, over one million disabled and older people are left to struggle each day without the support they need. Very basic support such as help to get out of bed, wash, eat. The numbers of people needing help have gone up by 50% in the past seven years and are only going to get worse.

We need 100,000 signatures on our petition to get the Government to act and publish their proposals to give people the basic support they need, which includes meaningful consultation with those that need care.



About Shared Lives

about shared lives coverShared Lives is a way for people who need extra support to live well. It's an alternative to home care and care homes for disabled adults and older people. It is used by nearly 14,000 people in the UK and is available in nearly every area.


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What is Homeshare

Shared Lives Plus works with Homeshare schemes to develop common methods of working, research new areas of potential growth and campaign on issues which affect Homeshare. 



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Join Shared Lives Plus

You can join Shared Lives Plus either as a Scheme or as an individual carer. Use the buttons below to pick which suits you most.

Scheme Registration

Shared Lives carer Registration

Alternatively you can complete and return this membership form docCarer membership form 

Please see details of our Public Liability Insurance docPL Insurance information

About Shared Lives Plus

Shared Lives Plus is the UK network for family-based and small-scale ways of supporting adults. Our members are Shared Lives carers and workers, and Homeshare programmes. Shared Lives used to be known as Adult Placement.

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We are building a new website!

We know it’s tricky to find what you need. Early next year, you’ll find a new website here with a fresh new look!

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 0151 227 3499 and we will help you.

For latest news, check our Twitter feed @SharedLivesPlus

Shared Lives in my area

Shared Lives plus has projects throughout the UK.

Find out more about Shared Lives Plus in your area.

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Shared Lives at the Heart of Health

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The Royal College of GPs have recently published a new toolkit of resources for GPs, with the aim of helping them to support the needs of their patients who have autism.  The toolkit aims to be a ‘one stop shop’ guide to autism for primary care professionals and commissioners, people directly affected by autism and the general public. It’s a welcome and helpful resource which tackles some challenges in accessing primary care which we hear about people from with autism who live in Shared Lives households.

In Shared Lives, an adult (and sometimes a 16/17 year old) who needs support and/or accommodation moves in with or regularly visits an approved Shared Lives carer, after they have been matched for compatibility. Together, they share family and community life. Half of the 13,000 people using Shared Lives are living with their Shared Lives carer as part of a supportive household; half visit their Shared Lives carer for day support or overnight breaks. Shared Lives is also used as a stepping stone for someone to get their own place. The outcomes can be startling, with people reporting feeling settled, valued and like they belong for the first time in their lives. They make friends (a third make five or more friends through Shared Lives) and get involved in clubs, activities and volunteering. Half of people using Shared Lives went on their first ever holiday as a result of the support and companionship of their chosen Shared Lives carers.

Shared Lives carers support over 13,000 people UK-wide, many of whom have autism as well as others who have learning disabilities, mental health problems, dementia and other support needs. Because Shared Lives carers often get to know the person they support more deeply than traditional services, they can help spot unnoticed health symptoms and support the work of doctors and their primary care colleagues. Shared Lives carers have told us about being the first to alert their GP to minor and more serious illnesses: “We alerted our GP to early cancer symptoms that we had spotted but others hadn’t” as one put it. Another says, “They thought she was deaf until I found that she hadn’t had her ears syringed for over five years. This was easily sorted by a visit to the practice nurse at our surgery and her hearing is fine now.”

As a younger person Ben spent most of his childhood in Foster and Residential Care. As a 29-year-old living with autism he had been living in an expensive “out of area” service for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder after previous placements broke down due to Ben’s behaviours towards himself, others and properties. Ben can find new situations, being around crowds and communicating his views stressful and challenging.

In May last year Shared Lives began a matching process for Ben to find a suitable Shared Lives carer. This included Ben meeting other members of the Shared Lives carer’s family who all play a part in support and inclusion of Ben in the household. Becoming a part of the Shared Lives family has changed Ben’s life. He enjoys a full and active week that includes horse riding, walking, ice skating and bike riding at a cycling scheme and he enjoys going to the art and drama classes. Ben’s Shared Lives carers provide him with a family unit of support and fun. With the focus now much more on enjoying life, Ben’s ‘challenging behaviour’ has reduced dramatically. He enjoyed his first New Year’s Eve with his Shared Lives carers at North Sea Ferries and more recently a holiday in a motor trip and a trip to Scarborough.

New research shows that autistic people die on average 16 years earlier than the general population and that gap in morality is increased if autistic people have learning disabilities.

Alex Fox, CEO of Shared Lives Plus said: “Shared Lives is growing rapidly as evidence builds that through Shared Lives people can live more independently, positively and for longer, accessing the health services they need more effectively. We welcome this helpful toolkit and are keen to work with the Royal College of GPs and the National Autistic Society to raise awareness of the benefits of Shared Lives as part of a range of more integrated and community-based support approaches.”

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