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New benchmark for Shared Lives safety in Scotland

Shared Lives carers in Scotland  – and their commitment to safety and quality – are now recognised in law, after our submissions to Scottish parliament on your behalf  

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The Disclosure (Scotland) Act, which passed in the Scottish Parliament on 10 June 2020, transforms how criminal record disclosures operate, to make care safer for children and protected adults.

Under this new legislation, membership of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme will be mandatory for people carrying out regulated roles with children and adults.

Our Scotland team gave evidence during the Parliamentary scrutiny process and secured an amendment so the Act now identifies Shared Lives carers within the list of roles that trigger mandatory PVG scheme membership. The Minister for Children and Young People described the amendment as “a helpful addition that captures the uniqueness of the Shared Lives model of care”.

Bill Black, Shared Lives carer, said “It is great to see Shared Lives carers being recognised in law. It is common sense to have these checks in place for everyone involved. Not only will the Act strengthen safeguards for the people we support, but I hope it will also help raise the profile of Shared Lives as a model of care”.

Ben Hall, our Scotland Development Manager, said: “We are delighted to see Shared Lives care is identified as a regulated role within the new Disclosure (Scotland) Act. As Shared Lives continues to grow in Scotland, it is right that the vital work of Shared Lives carers is legally recognised and everyone part of Shared Lives is as safe as possible, so they are able to choose what they do and who they choose to share their lives with.”

“Our members have long called for parity in the disclosure requirements for the households of Shared Lives carers and those for foster carers, and we look forward to working with Scottish Government to try to achieve this. We know that Shared Lives is the highest quality and safest form of social care, so bringing it in line with this broader protective benchmark is the right move.”