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Foster care scheme for adults to be expanded

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An innovative scheme that supports adults with additional needs to live in the community is set to be expanded.

Dudley Council has for many years provided a Shared Lives scheme, which offers the opportunity for adults with learning disabilities to live in the community, which is similar to foster care.

Shared Lives provides a cost-effective alternative to other models of long-term care such as hospital or residential settings and Picture of Councillor Nicolas Barlow with staff from CVT Shared Livesrecent evidence suggests that people living within a Shared Lives arrangement lead longer, healthier and happier lives.

With these benefits in mind and the changing and growing needs of local residents, the council is expanding the service to support adults with other care needs including those with early on-set dementia, young people in transition from children’s to adult services and people with mental ill health.

To support it in its drive to expand the service, the council has appointed CVT Shared Lives, part of the national charity Camphill Village Trust, an experienced and recognised provider of services to people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health challenges.

Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for adult social care, said:

Over the years our Shared Lives carers have done a marvellous job helping many of our residents with learning disabilities to live ordinary lives as part of a family environment with some even gaining the confidence and skills they need to live independently. And for us this is what it’s all about.
This is why we’re so excited to be working with CVT Shared Lives. They offer the opportunity to grow the service in Dudley so we can not only continue to support the people we do, but also offer Shared Lives to other people who would benefit significantly from person centred model of care.”

CVT Shared Lives is based in Stourbridge and is now contracted to deliver a scheme for the next 3-5 years across all of Dudley Borough.

All Shared Lives Carers are provided with comprehensive training and are paid according to the level of care and support they provide, as well as receiving rent, household contribution and qualifying tax relief.  They can also receive up to four weeks respite per year from their role, which provides a great opportunity to work from home and fits around family life.

Huw John, CEO for Camphill Village Trust, said:

We are delighted to be working in partnership with Dudley Council and the launch of our CVT Shared Lives Scheme signifies an important investment for our charity in the region. Combined with our existing resources in Stourbridge, we will be able to provide more opportunities for people to be supported in the local community whilst enabling the quality life they deserve.
There are already 25 Shared Lives households across Dudley borough, providing either long-term care or respite care and over the last 18 months we’ve already recruited an additional 11 new households. Both the council and CVT Shared Lives are ambitious in our plans for future growth and development, so are constantly looking to recruit new carers throughout Dudley and the surrounding areas.”

If anyone is interested in becoming a Shared Lives Carer with CVT Shared Lives can just go to www.cvt.org.uk/sharedlives or call them on 01384 597264.

Picture caption

From left to right:Karen Morgan, registered manager at CVT Shared Lives, Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for adult social care, Dean Barnshaw, head of service at CVT Shared Lives and Sue Caddick, area coordinator at CVT Shared Lives.

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