Interested in being a Shared Lives carer?
We are so pleased that you are interested in becoming a Shared Lives carer. We are looking for ordinary members of the public just like you who can share their home, family and community life with a person needing support to help them live independently.
Here’s a little more on what being a Shared Lives carer is all about and what you can expect to happen. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch with our Shared Lives support team who will be more than happy to help.
What do Shared Lives carers do?
Being a Shared Lives carer is a rewarding and flexible career. You could be sharing your home and life with an Individual who may have learning or physical disabilities, may be an older person leaving hospital or living with dementia, be someone with mental health problems or a care leaver.
You will be there to support them to maximise their independent living skills, everyday care and health needs as well as build their self-confidence so that they can realise their ambitions and potential.
As a Shared Lives carer, you will share your home with an adult who has been matched with you. Depending on your circumstances and how much time you can commit, this could be a long term living arrangement, a short term break, occasional respite care or perhaps even just one or two days a week helping someone during the day (rather than them living with you).
Whatever your circumstances, all of these options help us deliver our Telford Shared Lives scheme to support a variety of different individuals.
Do I need any special skills?
Shared Lives carers are often people who have had a caring role of some sort, although not necessarily paid caring experience. We provide you with all the training and support you need.
We are interested in applicants from all backgrounds as long as you are enthusiastic about making a difference to someone’s life. As well as being someone who wants to make a difference, the qualities we are looking for include:
- patience and understanding
- good sense of humour
- willingness to complete mandatory training and attend carers meetings
- an ability to maintain confidentiality and committed to equal opportunities
- a positive attitude and initiative
- good record keeping and willing to work as part of the Shared Lives team
You will be paid for the care and support you provide. Pay will vary depending on the level of care and support provided.
As a Shared Lives carer, you will be classed as self-employed and not as a Council employee. Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) treats income from Shared Lives in a similar way to that of foster carers and has agreed beneficial tax arrangements. View more details and HMRC guidance on the GOV.UK website.
Please get in touch with us for more information on the pay rates offered.
Assessment and approval process
All of our Shared Lives carers are supported through an approval process which takes around three months to complete and includes an application form, home visits and an interview with our independent assessment panel. Don’t be put off by any of this, as our friendly team of support staff will be on hand throughout the process to help guide you through each step.
Will I get training and support?
Free training and ongoing support, which we put great emphasis on, are provided to our Shared Lives carers. As well as the on going support we offer, there is a strong peer support network amongst our Shared Lives carers who get together informally, offer a buddy system and are always willing to help each other.
Each Shared Lives carer is supported by a dedicated Shared Lives worker who is on hand to offer friendly support and information when needed and help to ensure that all welfare benefit entitlements have been claimed for. Respite help, a 24/7 on call service and regular catch-ups and social events are also available.
How will I be matched to someone needing support?
The people we support each have completely different needs, which is why we carefully match those who need support with those who are offering care. During the assessment process, we get to know you and to understand your circumstances. It is important that you, and the people we support, feel comfortable with the match.
Although there is no set pattern for the introduction process, often the first step is to introduce you both in a neutral place. If this goes well, another meeting will be arranged in your home so that the customer can meet the rest of the family and see the accommodation that may become their home. This may then be followed by an overnight or weekend stay.
We do all we can to make sure we match the right person with you, but at any stage the customer and Shared Lives carer always have the right to say no to a placement.
Shared Lives Plus
We are a member of Shared Lives Plus which is a UK network for Shared Lives carers. View more information on the Shared Lives Plus website.
What do I do next?
Once you have registered your interest in becoming a Shared Lives carer, we will be in touch to go through everything in more detail.
Ask about becoming a Shared Lives carer today - telephone 01952 381317.