Shared Lives Frequently Asked Questions

Shared Lives Carers

How are Shared Lives Carers paid?

Shared Lives Carers are paid by Shropshire Council.

Can I be a Shared Lives Carer if I have a pet?

Yes! At Shared Lives we understand that pets are a part of our families and households. Following our Pet Policy and Matching Policy, we ensure people are matched with homes that suit them. We have many successful placements where the pets of carers have great relationships with the people being supported.  

What training do I get?

We have a comprehensive training programme that supports all carers to do their role to a high standard. This includes online training with the option of in-person training. Topics covered include, but are not limited to: First Aid, Safeguarding Adults, Mental Capacity Act and DoLs, Positive Behaviour Support. 

We also provide the option for more bespoke training to suit the needs of the person you are supporting including Autism and Women, Epilepsy Awareness etc.  

Will I need a DBS check to be a Shared Lives Carer?

It is a statutory requirement for all Shared Lives carers to have an enhanced DBS check, a household check is also completed to identify any risk factors. 

What is "PBS"?

PBS stands for “Positive Behaviour Support”, a Positive Behaviour Support approach (PBS) aims to understand the reasons behind an individual’s behaviours of concern and offer person-centred solutions to enable them to have a better quality of life.

Read more about PBS here.

What support do I get as a Shared Lives Carer?

Shared Lives Carers have an assigned Shared Lives Officer who will offer support with their roles as carers. They assist with arranging respite, have regular check ins and supervisions to ensure support placements are working for everyone involved and ensure compliance with policies and procedures. 

Shared Lives Carers can also have “Support Carers”. A Shared Lives support carer is someone on whom the main Shared Lives carer may rely on to help them meet the requirements of the Shared Lives arrangement agreement or the individuals support plan either by:  

  • providing additional support alongside the Shared Lives carer or  
  • substituting for the Shared Lives carer when they are not available, either through planned breaks or in an emergency such as illness or hospitalisation. 

A support carer would normally continue to provide care in the main Shared Lives carers home to cause minimum disruption to the person using Shared Lives, and so would normally be someone who the main Shared Lives carer knows well such as a family member or close friend. 

All carers have the opportunity to register with “Shared Lives Plus”, the national experts for Shared Lives in the UK, with over 35 years’ experience. Joining Shared Lives Plus is optional, but connects carers with an established network of experienced Shared Lives Carers and support with self-employed status.

Can I foster while being a Shared Lives Carer?

You can foster and provide Shared Lives support (maximum of 3 people supported within Shared Lives). A foster care agreement is in place to work in partnership with different agencies. 

I’m a foster carer, the person I am fostering is approaching 18, can I still provide support for them under Shared Lives?

You can continue to support a person from the age of 18 (if eligible for care and support). You would need to be approved as a Shared Lives carer. Please request Becoming an approved carer’ for more information. 

Do I need to be a member of shared lives plus/a member of a body/union?

Shared Lives Plus offer membership which we recommend; this includes carer support and legal protection. A Shared Lives carer must have public liability insurance. 

What type of support can I provide?

You can provide live-in support, respite (sometimes called short breaks) or hourly support (or a mixture of these), depending on the needs of the individual and circumstances during the matching process.  

How do I know the person is right for me/my household?

The matching process is really important to ensure the person requiring support and you, as the carer, consider all information and factors. You, and the person supported, will be able to ask questions, feedback, spend time with each other (prior to any arrangement being agreed). Please see ‘matching’ document for more information.   

Where do I have to live to receive/provide for Shared Lives?

You have to have a spare room and if you are renting, support from the landlord. 

Can I be employed/have a separate job to shared lives?

You can! Being a Shared Lives carer is a self-employed role and you are able to work in addition to this. 

What past experiences do you need to have to be a carer?

Experience of supporting people with care and support needs is desirable but not essential.  

What space (living space) do I need to be a Shared Lives Carer ?

A willingness to share your home with an individual is essential. Your home needs to be a safe and accommodating environment and this can be an apartment, house or bungalow with shared space. 

Can I support my family in Shared Lives?

This would be identified and agreed by the Local Authority. 

How does being self-employed work?

Shared lives carers are responsible for registering to be self-employed and being responsible for their income; Shared Lives carers are eligilble for tax relief. Guidance is provided by Shared Lives Plus.  

Is Shared Lives 24/7 support?

Shared Lives carers maintain 24-hour responsibility for the people they share their lives with, Shared Lives does not provide 24/7 care and support for individuals.

What’s my legal responsibility?

Agreements are agreed and signed by all relevant parties that details expectations and legal responsibilities. 

How do you make sure Shared Lives is safe?

Shared lives is regulated by CQC. Shared lives carers complete required training including safeguarding, the team provide support and monitoring visits, reviews, feedback and observations and many other resources to ensure person centered, safe support. 

What if I'm unhappy?

We want you to tell us so we can support you! Feedback is important to us, you have an assigned co-ordinator/Shared Lives Officer who you can talk with, we have a feedback policy and want you to feel able to be open and honest. 

People Being Supported By Shared Lives

What do I need to qualify for Shared Lives?

A social worker will confirm if you are eligible for Shared Lives; if you have care and support needs. A referral can then be made to Shared Lives and we can start sharing information.  

How do i know the person is right for me?

The matching process is really important to ensure you and the carer(s), consider all information. You, and the carer(s), will be able to ask questions, feedback, spend time with each other (prior to any arrangement being agreed). Please request ‘matching’ document for more information. 

Is Shared Lives a 24/7 support?

Shared Lives carers maintain 24-hour responsibility for the people they share their lives with, Shared Lives does not provide 24/7 care and support for individuals. 

How is Shared Lives funded/how do I pay for it?

With support from the Local Authority, they will tell you, and us, how the support will be paid. This can be by the Local Authority or by yourself (known as a self-funder). 

Can I have a PA/can I go to day opportunities?

Absolutely! These are all decisions to be considered when being supported within Shared Lives and your social worker can help with this. 

Can I work?

Working, volunteering or going to college are all encouraged if this is something you want to do! 

Do I have bills?

You will have a ‘contribution to care bill’ from the Local Authority and a bill for ‘board and lodgings’ to pay towards your Shared Lives home.  

Do I still get benefits?

It is very important that you, with support if needed, apply for benefits and you update the benefits team if there are any changes.  

What’s my legal responsibility?

Agreements are agreed and signed by all relevant parties that details expectations and legal responsibilities. 

What if I don’t have capacity?

That’s okay! You will still be involved and people who know you best will help with decision making. You can still be supported within Shared Lives. 

What if I'm unhappy?

We want you to tell us! It is important that we help and support you. You will have an assigned co-ordinator/Shared Lives Officer who you can talk too and we have a speaking up policy too. 

How will I be supported to maintain access to healthcare?

Accessing health care is super important. You will be supported to be registered at a local doctors, have an annual review and additional health support if you need it. 

Can I have a pet?

If you have a pet then this would be information shared with the carers at the matching stage. Some carers already have pets and some don’t, it would be important to share this information. 

Bethphage Shared Lives at the seaside
Shared Lives Bike Ride!
Shared Lives Horse riding
Disability support

I feel like I belong to something, a family situation, not worrying and feeling better in myself. 

Monique, Supported by Shared Lives

Latest Bethphage News

Bethphage Celebrates Shared Lives Week 2024

Bethphage Celebrates Shared Lives Week 2024

It’s Shared Lives Week and our Bethphage Shared Lives team have been enjoying week-long celebrations.

This week aims to highlight Shared Lives schemes across the country and celebrate the work of Shared Lives Carers.

Bethphage Celebrates 30th Birthday

Bethphage Celebrates 30th Birthday

As we mark 30 years of Bethphage, we were so pleased to bring our staff, people we support and Shared Lives carers together again for a big celebration!

Bethphage Announces Acquisition of Farm in Shropshire 

Bethphage Announces Acquisition of Farm in Shropshire 

We are delighted to announce the purchase of Lower Sutton Farm, situated in the beautiful Shropshire countryside, south of Bridgnorth.

We will be establishing a farm-based day opportunity for adults with learning disabilities and/or autism.

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