Shared Lives can support people from age 16 onwards. Whatever a young person’s support needs, many young people find Shared Lives is an ideal way to maintain independence whilst having support. It is also an ideal opportunity for young people leaving care.
There are nearly 70,000 children in care in the UK. Young people usually need to leave care at age 18, and for those with learning disabilities, mental ill health or life-limiting conditions, the transition from child to adult services can be challenging. Shared Lives can support this transition and ensure that young people have consistent support and help throughout these challenging transitions.
Shared Lives offers many unique benefits for young people. It matches them to a family or individual who celebrates that young person’s unique gifts and identities. It helps them to get involved in local youth and leisure opportunities, so they develop their strengths and build on this.
Shared Lives gives young people safe spaces and communities where they can make mistakes, learn lessons and forge their own characters and assets.
Over the last three years, Shared Lives schemes have started to support young people from the age of 16 and now more schemes and local authorities are discovering the life changing difference Shared Lives can make to a young person’s life.
“I can be myself and feel comfortable.”
It’s more than I expected!
“I moved into a flat when I was 18 years old and met people who I thought were my friends, but I did not feel safe. I also found it hard to manage my money. I needed more support and the leaving care team helped me move in with Richard and his family.
They have helped me to build my confidence. I know that I need to trust people to ask for help and advice. I am also so excited as we’re going to Turkey, this was so not expected!
I did have a choice of who I wanted to stay with which helped me feel that it was my decision. I thought it would be down to the size of the bedroom, but I decided to stay, as they were so welcoming and friendly.”
Read Lee and Maz’s story (pictured above) ‘If you get a good family it will change your life‘
In this lovely film below, Becky, 21 talks about her shared life with Ali and Dave who have helped her exceed her own expectations, and build strong, healthy friendships with people her own age.