What is the role of the Shared Lives carer?

The Shared Lives carer will support you with all the things you need support with, such as cooking, shopping, getting washed and dressed, going out, getting to appointments or taking medication.

Your Shared Lives carer will open up their home to you. They will have the same interests as you and will welcome you in to their social circle so that you can enjoy doing things together.

If you are going on a short break to a Shared Lives carer, they will support you to go out and about and enjoy the local attractions.

If you need kinship care, they will support you to live in your own home and will also open their house to you so that you might go there during the day, or stay overnight at times.

The Shared Lives carer will get to know your family too, if that is what you want.

How do we choose Shared Lives carers?

People who want to be a Shared Lives carer will complete an application form. They will undergo a thorough assessment by the Shared Lives service.

The assessment covers lots of things about what their skills are, how they like to live their life, the kind of things they enjoy. We need to make sure that they have good values and respect other people.

They have to provide good references. These will be work references and/or character references.

We need to have a letter from their GP saying that they are fit to undertake the responsibilities of a Shared Lives carer.

We make sure that the carer is a member of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme to check if they have criminal convictions.

If there are any criminal convictions we will do a risk assessment. Our panel will make a judgement about whether we should continue to assess them to be a carer or not.

We check with any other professional registers that the person may be on. For instance, if the person has worked as a nurse, we will check with the nursing register to make sure that it is okay to recruit them.

We do other checks, with mortgage lenders or housing providers to make sure that it is okay for someone else to live at that address.

We make sure that they have all the right insurance cover, such as public liability, buildings and contents as well as car insurance, to make sure that both you and the carer are covered.

Once we have done all of that, we do a report to our panel and let them see all the checks we have done.

We will make a recommendation to the panel. The panel make the final decision about whether the Shared Lives carer should be recruited.

Do Shared Lives carers get paid?

Yes. Shared Lives carers are paid to provide you with support and accommodation.

Payment is made to the Shared Lives service and they make arrangements to pay the Shared Lives carers.

The Shared Lives service can be paid for from the individual's budget, through social work, through a direct payment or from other money.

Tax Concession for Shared Lives Carers

The HMRC Tax Concession for Shared Lives Carers is given on the basis that the carer uses their own home in their work and includes the person they support in their family life.

It is a generous concession, similar to the agreement which exists for foster carers. People who provide care and support, but who do not use their own home or include someone in their family life are not entitled to the Shared Lives Tax concession.  Some Shared Lives schemes provide non-Shared Lives services (such as domiciliary care) as well as their regulated Shared Lives service. These other services may be very valuable and share some of the values of Shared Lives, but the people employed in them would not be eligible for the Shared Lives tax concession. Find out more here: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/helpsheets/hs236.pdf

How do I apply?

Please complete the application form and send this to us at the details listed under Contact us:

Application form for Shared Lives Carer updated may 2014

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The Shared Lives service has been able to provide a flexible and inclusive approach to my client who has been struggling in his current placement. The Shared Lives carer is accepting of my client and has approached him in a non-judgemental way without the client feeling under pressure. Both the carer and co-ordinator have been actively working with social work and the client in a creative and positive way to provide a service and build a relationship in challenging circumstances.