As a carer you can join for as little as £60!
If you would like to join as a Shared Lives Scheme then do get in touch with us for further information on Pricing
To join as a Shared Lives carer, you must be currently approved to provide Shared Lives care by a registered Shared Lives (or Adult Placement) scheme in the UK.
Shared Lives carers make their home available as a resource and may provide Shared Lives support to up to three people at any one time (some Shared Lives schemes have a local limit of two people).
Unlike care homes, Shared Lives carers do not employ staff to provide care to the people who they support. You can join as an individual, or with your partner, if s/he is also a Shared Lives carer.
As a member, you can expect: - Use of the free Shared Lives carers’ confidential helpline where you can obtain information advice and support from a dedicated national Carers Development Worker.
- FREE legal expenses cover (up to a maximum of £25000) if you have an allegation made against you as a Shared Lives carer resulting in you being taken to court and/or your Scheme is seekingto de-approve you as a carer.
- Free access to a legal helpline which you can use for advice on any relevant legal issue.
- Public Liability Insurance at a preferential rate as well as access to other insurance provision developed to meet the needs of Shared Lives carers.
- Three Shared Lives carer newsletters a year via post, which keep you up to date.- The opportunity to meet or get in touch with other carers, including through meetings, telephone conferences, an email group and a message board.
- A members-only area of the website containing resources which are free to members
Access to a wide range of toolkits and resources at members-only prices.
- Access to our annual Shared Lives carers’ breaks and conference.
- A conference for your home nation and/or for the UK, with a limited number of places for Shared Lives carers at supported rates.
- An open invitation to attend national network meetings (and regional meetings in England).- At least one seat on the board of Shared Lives Plus for an elected Shared Lives carer.
- A voice with local, regional and national decision makers and a programme of awareness-raising about Shared Lives and the work of Shared Lives carers.
You can also take a look at some of the materials we have available below.
Shared Lives Plus has a number of marketing and publicity materials to help schemes and members spread the word about Shared Lives. You can see copies of them here.
If you are a Shared Lives Plus member and want to know how to get hard copies of the materials, or personalise them to your area, then please contact us.
Shared Lives Plus is developing guidance covering the principles and techniques behind establishing and supporting local independent groups for carers - Carer Forums.
The guidance is currently in development, but if you would like to contribute or provide feedback, then the presentation below is our current thinking and will be starting point for fleshing out the guidance.
Feel free to give Helen or Tim a call in the office - 0151 227 3499 - if you want to contribute.
Local Groups are an opportunity for carers to come together, have fun, share stories and experiences and develop a voice together on issues that are important for them.
Shared Lives Plus believes that independent Carer Forums in each scheme can be invaluable in resolving issues and improving services to the benefit of all our partners and stakeholders.
Shared Lives Week for many people has also meant the first time they have come together as a group of carers.
We would like to see as many groups continue to meet as possible, setting up as independent carer forums - collecting and representing the views of carers in your area.
Judith Holman and Tris Brown have been working with groups of carers across the country - recently in Staffordshire, Lambeth and Wirral - to support them.
Each Carer Forum is different and wants different things, but we believe there are some common aims:
Shared Lives Plus is here to help and can do a variety of things:
So, if you met for the first time during Shared Lives Week and want to carry on, or just want a bit of support, then call Helen or Tim on 0151 227 3499 and have a chat with us.
Shared Lives Plus is an active and campaigning organisation, promoting Shared Lives, Micro-enterprise and Homeshare to decision-makers and the wider public.
Shared Lives Plus also campaigns on issues which are important to members and have an impact on their life and their ability to provide care.
We do these things in several ways:
There is always something going on at Shared Lives Plus - why not get involved.
If you are not a member, there are many ways you can help us and every contribution is valued greatly!
“We all agree that we need to do things very differently, but when try to visualise what ‘different’ looks like, we get stuck.” The challenge facing a group of local leaders will sound familiar to many. As an NHS Trust CEO put it: “We know what we do isn’t working.” So how can we construct a system which is genuinely different, rather than just a pared-back version of our familiar systems, when there’s no money to fund innovation?
The answer is that ‘we’ – public service professionals – cannot, at least not by ourselves. Fortunately, our services are not the only game in town. The group of local leaders felt less stuck when they started to consider the totality of resources in their area. This was not just about the established voluntary sector organisations, although these were important. It was also about seeking and building leadership in the community. We are unlikely to find new leadership if we approach our communities with a fixed idea of what we want them to contribute to. Recent Centre for Social Action research (People Helping People, Nesta, 2014) found few people were interested in volunteering to help public services, but a majority said they would help an older neighbour.
Some services have been able to increase dramatically their volunteer numbers. King’s College Hospital in London trebled its volunteers by creating roles which volunteers and staff really valued. But many attempts to recruit volunteers to contribute to goals set by managers fail. In contrast, Local Area Coordination helps people connect with each other in ways which may not make them part of a service, but which Inclusive Neighbourhoods has found has a dramatic impact upon isolated or vulnerable people, as well as increasing the quality of community life for everyone. Community Catalysts helps people build their own ideas for helping others into viable community enterprises, which often remain outside the sphere of local care commissioning.
At the more formal end of the spectrum, Shared Lives carers are part of a CQC-registered local scheme and offer personal care, but do so in the Shared Lives carer’s own home, including the individual in family life and placing equal value on building a circle of friends and a sense of belonging.
These organisations, along with In Control and Inclusion North, are now working together to support citizens and leaders to have new conversations which can identify what ‘different’ looks like, and to pursue together the simple goal of ‘good lives in good places’, rather than ‘service efficiencies’. Those conversations will be difficult at times, as participants are tempted to revert to their traditional roles of service leaders and service recipients. Trust will be strained as budgets continue to be cut. But in the courage to swap roles – leaders becoming recipients of citizens’ expertise and citizens sharing responsibility for change – lies the possibility of creating something truly ‘different’.
Inclusive Change launches today as a partnership between Community Catalysts, In Control, Inclusive Neighbourhoods, Inclusion North and Shared Lives Plus.
- Welcome recognition of role Shared Lives can play
The Bubb report, WINTERBOURNE VIEW – TIME FOR CHANGE Transforming the commissioning of services for people with learning disabilities and/or autism, started as a conversation from which many people with learning disabilities and self-advocacy organisations were concerned they would be excluded. The last thing which was needed three years on from the Winterbourne View abuse scandal, was another discussion amongst professionals about how they should improve.
It became clear early on in the process, however, that Sir Stephen and his committee were genuinely keen to engage with the views of people with learning disabilities and to take those views seriously. People with learning disabilities have helped the committee to come up with some of the clearest and most radical proposals since Winterbourne.
They are clear that they expect to be involved in decisions and to be employed in peer support, advocacy, inspection and planning roles. They are calling for closures, not just improvement of a broken and outdated model of care. We support this view and the Shared Lives community can demonstrate that people with learning disabilities who are considered ‘challenging’ by some services, can often live safely and well in ordinary family homes, at a fraction of the cost of low-outcome institutional care.
Shared Lives will not be for everyone, but it is one of several tried and trusted community-based support models which everyone should be offered.
My Christmas party season started in style at the weekend as I donned a posh frock and joined Newham Shared Lives scheme at a Glitter Ball at West Ham.