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Accelerating Reform Fund, Shared Lives, and Homeshare

Last updated: March 13th 2024

In 2023 the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) launched the Accelerating Reform Fund (ARF) to support innovation in adult social care in England. This fund will provide a total of £42.6 million in grant funding over 2023/24 (£20 million) and 2024/25 (£22.6 million).

The aim of the ARF is to support the adoption or scaling of projects focussing on three objectives:

  • people have choice, control and support to live independent lives
  • people can receive outstanding quality and tailored care and support
  • people find adult social care fair and accessible

Within these three objectives there are 12 priorities – Priority 1 is “community-based care models such as shared living arrangements”

How is the Accelerating Reform Fund distributed?

The Accelerating Reform Fund grants will be allocated to groups of local authorities, working together in an ICS Consortium. There are 42 ICS (Intregrated Care System) in England.

Local authorities can only join one ICS.

However 2 ICS can work together on a join submission if that makes sense for the population in those areas.

How much will each area get?

Each consortium opting in to the fund gets at least £300,000 to cover core project start up costs in the first year. They also get a ‘top-up allocation’ based on the local authorities in that ICS.

The government has published a list of the indicative allocations for each local authority.  These range from just over £6,000 for the City of London to more than £770,000 for Kent County Council.

If a local authority chooses not to opt in to the fund (i.e. not join an ICS consortium), most or all of their funding allocation will be redistributed between ICS consortia across the country.

This reallocation will be based on the adult social care Relative Needs Formula (RNF).

What does this mean for Shared Lives and Homeshare?

Each ICS consortium was asked to develop 2 or more projects to scale using this funding, with at least one project focussed on unpaid carers.

Shared Lives Plus is partnering with a number of ICS areas across England, to support and advise on the delivery of ARF projects focusing on Shared Lives and Homeshare.

This includes working to stimulate growth and expansion of these models at local and across regional areas, through activities such as: 

  • Boosting carer recruitment, 
  • Improving good quality referrals into Shared Lives,  
  • Developing training resources for Shared Lives carer and social workers,  
  • Embedding sustainability in the sector through long term strategy and investment plans,
  • Exploring and piloting options to diversify shared living models to support a wider range of individuals in communities.

These projects were submitted to DHSC in January.

We are now waiting for confirmation about which areas have chosen Shared Lives or Homeshare projects, what those projects are, and how much funding has been allocated to each.