Becoming a Shared Lives Carer is more than a job. Providing someone with the support they need, while embracing them into your family and home is incredibly rewarding. We are looking for friendly, caring, and compassionate people, who enjoy meeting and helping others and have a desire to provide support in an innovative way that truly reflects the needs of the individuals they are supporting. 

Previous experience in health and social care can be helpful but is not required. We welcome applications from people with a wide range of backgrounds. All you will need is some time in your week that you would like to share with someone who shares similar interests and hobbies. Speak to one of our team to learn more.

To become a Shared Lives carer you will need to have a Shared Lives carer assessment. Our assessment process is completed online. It takes just a few minutes to create an account and start adding your details. 

There is no formal interview, we arrange regular visits to you at your home or through video calls to complete the assessment process. These are nothing to worry about and you will be supported throughout.  

During the assessment we must carry out some checks such as references including employment, personal, and landlord/ mortgage provider, a health check, DBS, and a health and safety check of your property, these are to ensure the safety of the individual(s) being supported. There is also some mandatory online training to complete and again our team can support with this to ensure you are confident. 

Once all the relevant checks have been completed, we will progress your assessment to our panel of professionals who will discuss and hopefully approve your application. You are always invited to come along to the panel and those who have been through the process have said it was a really positive experience. It's a great way to meet some of our team and to ask any further questions. 

Once you are approved then we can begin matching! We will share a profile of you with those who are looking for support. You are fully involved in the matching process and will meet people looking for support and their families. From there the process is quite individual, as discussions and decisions are made together to meet the needs of the person looking for support as well as you as the carer. 

There is no fixed pattern for the introductory period, and it is very much dependent on all parties being happy with the arrangement, but we do give a rough guide of 6 to 8 weeks from point of initial meeting to making a final decision about a placement starting. Matching is based on you and the other person sharing similar interests and hobbies; learning from one another and enjoying the time you spend together.   

As a Shared Lives Carer you can provide support during the day (this can include evenings and weekends); for respite placements (overnight short term stays) and long term placements (the individual lives with you in your family home).  

The time you have available is determined by you, your lifestyle, and other commitments and this will be considered when matching. The level of support people require depends upon their strengths and abilities. All Shared Lives Carers are provided with detailed information outlining their role in ensuring they are aware of their responsibilities.

You will be paid an allowance to provide a family environment and to support the individual(s). The amount is determined by the level of support each person is assessed as requiring by Adult Social Care. Shared Lives carers providing respite or long-term support can receive an allowance from £356 to £730 per week.  The day support allowance is £10.90 to £11.90 per hour. 

We have very clear guidance on 'who should pay for what' to ensure carers are not left out of pocket whether you are required to travel with the person you support, or you are out doing activities or going out for meals etc. 

Once you have been approved for your role under the Shared Lives Scheme, we have a responsibility to make sure you meet the Care Quality Commission (CQC) standards for Shared Lives placements. Shared Lives Carers are professional paid carers, as such training is an important part of the role. Courses can be completed in the classroom environment or using the online learning portal, which allows you the flexibility to fit them in around your existing commitments. It is essential you have access to a computer. Completion of the following courses is a requirement of being a Shared Lives Carer: 

  • Care Certificate  
  • Customer Service  
  • Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards  
  • Diet and Nutrition  
  • Emergency Aid  
  • Infection Prevention and Control  
  • Information Security and Data Protection  
  • Introduction to Health and Safety  
  • Manual Handling Basic Awareness  
  • Medication  
  • Mental Capacity Act  
  • Principles of Care  
  • Safeguarding Adults 

You will be assigned a scheme worker; they are your point of contact and are able to offer information and support throughout your time as a Shared Lives Carer. They will arrange to come and visit you every three months to have a chat about how it's going and check that everything is ok. You will also be able to ring or email them if you ever need to. In addition to individual support, your scheme worker will facilitate regular carer group meetings, which allow for peer support, in a friendly warm environment where you can share information and best practice.  

We recommend becoming members of  Shared Lives Plus; a UK based charity which is the national membership body for Shared Lives carers and schemes. The membership provides support to members with everyday issues around legislation, national good practice, online resources, and Public Liability Insurance.