Shared Lives is a way to support adults, and young people over the age of 16, who are unable to live independently.
The scheme places the adult, or young person, with someone who offers accommodation, care and support in their own home.
Shared Lives providers train, support and pay carers to provide support in this way.
Support can be provided full time, short breaks, respite or day activities.
Become a Shared Lives carer
All kinds of people can be Shared Lives carers: couples or singles, with or without children, home owners or tenants. An approved carer can support up to three adults at a time.
Carers are paid, trained and supported by the Shared Lives providers.
To become an approved Shared Lives carer you will need to
- take part in a selection process
- pass a Disclosure Barring Service check (formerly known as a CRB check)
- have reference checks
- receive training
- be willing to welcome someone with support needs into your own home
- have a spare room that meets required standards
Payment and tax
Shared Lives carers are not employed by the council, they are classed as self-employed.
Carers are not paid by the hour and they do not work to a fixed schedule but are paid in line with the expectations set out in a Shared Lives arrangement agreement.
Shared Lives carers are under no obligation to agree to any care and support arrangement offered.
Shared Lives carers do not employ staff to help them provide care.
Because Shared Lives carers are self-employed, they are responsible for making their own tax and national insurance payments. They are eligible for the Shared Lives tax break.
Specialisms and services
- learning disabilities
- mental health conditions
- personal care
- physical disabilities
- sensory impairments
- caring for young people from 16 to 18
- caring for adults under 65
- caring for adults over 65
Find out more
Call 01273 295 550
Become a Shared Lives scheme member
If you would like to use the Shared Lives scheme for support, you must contact your social worker, care manager or support officer.
If you do not have a social worker, care manager or support officer, contact Access Point, our contact centre for Adult Social Care. Someone will help you to complete an assessment.
If you are eligible for the scheme, we'll match you to a carer. You'll both have the chance to get to know each other at your own pace before making any commitment.
Real life experiences
Lyn and Celia
Shared Lives carer Lyn has Celia living with her. Lyn said: “Being a Shared Lives carer is a great way of life."
Dena, Linda, Tyler and Harley
Dena and Linda say taking part in the Shared Lives scheme is "the best decision they've ever made."
Elly and Roy
Elly is a Shared Lives carer who supports Roy, who has a disability, to be as independent as possible.
Watch the video below for Elly and Roy's story.
Marian and Brian
Brighton & Hove Shared Lives are registered with the Care Quality Commission so the quality of the service is regularly monitored and is currently rated as good.
Carers are fully supported and are also monitored during placements.
The registered manager of each Shared Lives provider is responsible for the quality and safety of care and support in every Shared Lives arrangement.
You can find out more about Shared Lives from Shared Lives Plus, the national organisation for Shared Lives.