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Shared Lives care scheme

Shared Lives is an innovative scheme, run by Dudley Council which offers adults with care or support needs (such as a learning disability), the opportunity to live as part of a family unit.

Shared Lives is an alternative to home care or care homes for adults in need of support. The scheme provides personalised, quality care or support from carers who share their lives and homes with the people they support.

The scheme enables people to live life to the full in their community, without struggling to live alone, or in a care home. Shared Lives carers and their families are carefully matched with potential placements, who they will then support and include the person in their family and community life.

Often the person moves into the Shared Lives carer's home to become a long term member of their supportive household. Shared Lives also however offers day support and respite short term support.

Shared Lives can make a huge difference to vulnerable people's lives and provides carers with a unique, rewarding career choice. Shared Lives carers help people develop independent living skills, friendships and roots in their community, as well as the reassurance that comes from living as part of a family unit.

How does Shared Lives work?

Shared Lives is run by the council and is regulated by the Care Quality Commission, to offer support and personal care to adults with a range of care or support needs. Paid Shared Lives carers use their own homes to offer a full time long term live in arrangement, short breaks or day care. Shared Lives carers and the people they are matched with are closely matched to ensure compatibility and that everyone is happy with the arrangement.

How much does it cost?

Shared Lives is funded by the council's adult social care. There is a schedule of payment rates for Shared Lives carers who are paid by the council. Costs vary according to the care provided, which is unique to each person. Shared Lives placements also pay their carer a board and lodgings allowance.

Transition from fostering

When they reach the age of 18 foster children move from children's to adult services. To help ease the transition for children with a learning disability into adult care, it's better for them to remain with their foster carers, living as an adult in the household. They can then continue to receive the care and support they need in a familiar environment. Here their foster carers can change to become a Shared Lives carer and they are then seamlessly cared for under the Shared Lives scheme.

Shared Lives carers

Shared Lives carers can offer as little as a few hours care a week, to the occasional overnight stay, short breaks, or long term placements. Long term Shared Lives carers offer their home to an individual to live with them on a long term basis and share their family life with them. Shared Lives carers receive a tax free wage and it really is an alternative career option for the right people. Training and ongoing support is provided by the council which are always available for help and advice. Shared Lives is a fantastic opportunity to make a real difference to people's lives and to work from home, fitting in with your own family and circumstances.

More information

For more information about the Shared Lives scheme, or for an informal chat about how it works contact 01384 813252 or email

See the attached booklet which explains how the Shared Lives scheme works.