Everyone who lives or visits a Shared Lives carer, as well as the Shared Lives carer are part of a local Shared Lives scheme. There are around 150 Shared Lives schemes across the UK.
Schemes match people who need support with a Shared Lives carer - giving each person time to get to know each other, and choose to share their family and community lives together - whether for day support, respite, or to move in with their Shared Lives carer's family.
Schemes support each match between people and they assess how suitable and safe the Shared Lives carer’s home is regularly.
Shared Lives schemes are responsible for recruiting, training and approving Shared Lives carers. They carry out DBS checks (Disclosure and Barring Service – similar to a police or CRB check) on the Shared Lives carer; and ensuring the property meets fire, electrical and gas safety regulations.
All Shared Lives scheme are registered by the Care Quality Commission (or CSSIW in Wales and Care Inspectorate in Scotland) who inspects them regularly. Shared Lives is consistently rated the best of every type of social care.
Flagship schemes also sign up to the Shared Lives charter, which they agree in partnership with Shared Lives carers.
Shared Lives schemes are either directly run by local authorities or by charities and social enterprises. Almost all Shared Lives schemes operate geographically on the same boundaries as the local council body that has responsibility for Adult Social Care.
Shared Lives schemes can choose to join Shared Lives Plus as Members and we provide them with support, co-ordination and guidance, as well as being a strong voice for the sector with politicians and decision makers. Around 99% of Shared Lives schemes are members of Shared Lives Plus.
Find out about your local Shared Lives scheme here.
Become a member of Shared Lives Plus, to access our up to date resources, guidance, learning and training materials.
The Shared Lives Charter is a way for schemes and Shared Lives carers to talk about their practice and ensure they are inclusive, fair and diverse, where everyone is valued for the contribution they can make. It has been developed with Shared Lives carers and schemes.
We encourage Shared Lives carers, managers and commissioners to adapt this Charter and use it, together with the Quality Framework and The Ambassadors’ Test, to develop and improve their scheme, especially when there are any changes.
The Charter, The Ambassadors’ Test and the Quality Framework together set out what good looks like in Shared Lives. Our hope is that they will help to create an environment where individuals can be supported through Shared Lives to get the best care and support possible in order to live the life they choose.
Flagship schemes using the Charter in 2018:
CVT Shared Lives West Midlands
“We are at a very exciting time in the development of CVT Shared Lives West Midlands Scheme and our aim is for us to be a service that people really want to be part of. We are signing up to the Shared Lives Plus Charter to demonstrate our commitment to the guiding principles, and our ethos of an open and transparent culture where everyone can be involved in developing the service. We will use the Charter’s principles as a tool to ensure we create an environment where individuals can be supported through Shared Lives to get the best care and support possible in order to live the life they choose.”
Kate Morgan, Camphill Village Trust, Dudley
East Lothian Shared Lives
“We are excited about developing and expanding East Lothian Shared Lives service (currently known as the Adult Placement Service). We are signing up to the Shared Lives Plus Charters as we want to move forward demonstrating our firm belief in the guiding principles laid out in the Charter. We are committed to taking the Charter’s principles into account in all of the work that we do. As we grow and develop we are wanting to keep our focus on improving the experience of people who are part of Shared Lives arrangements and keeping them at the centre of all that we do. Signing up to the Charter represents our commitment to move forward in a positive way.”
Gillian Neil, East Lothian Shared Lives scheme manager
Dear Shared Lives and HomeShare members,
Welcome to the latest bi-weekly members newsletter, your source of information about the latest developments in the world of Shared Lives and Homeshare. Read on to learn about:
GDPR – don’t be locked out!
We recently sent out information about a new law – GDPR – which means you need to actively opt-in to be able to continue receiving data from us. We haven’t had many people reply to us yet – please do so and give your consent to contact you by Friday 25 May - or we will no longer be able to contact you!
Shared Lives week resources
The date is set for Shared Lives week – Friday 15 - Sunday 24 June, and so is the theme: ‘Valuing Shared Lives carers’ Schemes and carers all around the country will be taking part in the Great Shared Lives Picnic and other events to celebrate the amazing role that carers play and demonstrate that they deserve a fair deal. We are re-designing older information leaflets and creating new resources to make up a pack of materials for you to use. Please request the materials you need from us – schemes that don’t request a pack won’t get one!
Fairness for Shared Lives carers
Fair pay campaign
Fairness for Shared Lives carers also means being paid fairly – so we are campaigning for Shared Lives carers pay to be considered as part of wider social care pay reviews. In order to do this we will be lobbying ministers, MPs and Local government commissioners, explaining the amazing work you do and showing that you deserve it! We all need to work together to do this – carers, schemes and Shared Lives Plus. We need your input:
Scheme members – do you have examples of times you have successfully campaigned for carers’ pay increase?
Carer members – can you tell us a time (big or small) when you showed that Shared Lives above and beyond a typical 9 – 5 job?
Carers teleconference reminder
The next teleconference is Wednesday 16 May. The teleconferences are a great way of discussing issues and ideas in more depth, with fellow Shared Lives carers and our carer support team. If you’ve not joined before – it can seem complicated, but our carer support can show you how simple it is!
Mental Health Awareness Week – film launch
Mental Health Awareness Week is from the Monday 14 Sunday 20 May. The week is about acknowledging and checking our stress – and how we cope with it. At Shared Lives Plus we have made a film about the positive effects Shared Lives can have on mental health for people being supported. Of course. Sharing your life can improve the wellbeing of Shared Lives carers too! We will be launching a brilliant short film, featuring some inspiring people sharing their lives on, the Monday to support Mental Health Awareness Week. Watch this space!
Shared Lives on Swansea Radio
Our new development officer in Wales, Kathryn Morgan, was recently interviewed by the editor of the Wave radio station in Swansea. This was part of a wider, and award-winning, campaign called ‘Don’t Dance Alone.’ This campaign is designed to highlight the endemic loneliness in Wales amongst older people – and to promote ways of tackling it. Kathryn explained how Shared Lives and Homeshare are perfectly positioned to do this. To listen scroll down to the clip titled ‘Swansea Sound Headlines Apr 17 2018 13:00 (BST)’ and skip to 2:23. #DontDanceAlone
We are still keen to get photos of your shared lives – selfies and group shots of you out and about, having fun or just your ordinary routine at home. Now that the sun has finally made a few appearances, we’d love to get photos with a spring theme! Send us your snaps, and we’ll feature them in our newsletters, website and other materials.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this latest roundup of the latest developments in Shared Lives. As always we’d encourage you to get in touch and share your views with us – they are crucial to us as your membership organisation.
Until next time,
Phoebe Rowell and Michael Kazich, Shared Lives Plus communications team