Adult Social Care - Shared Lives

Becoming a Shared Lives carer

The Isle of Wight council are looking for Shared Lives carers to provide a wide range of care and support ranging from day opportunities, overnight stays, short-term or long-term placements. Whilst recruited and trained by the Isle of Wight Council a Shared Lives carer is a self-employed person who use their own home to offer accommodation and support.

Anyone over the age of 18 can become a Shared Lives carer. Shared Lives carers come from a variety of backgrounds, for example, with or without children at home, single people, single parents, grandparents, people who are working or unemployed and from all ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Shared Lives carers may have had some caring experience, either as a professional care worker or as a family carer, although no experience is necessary. 

Everyone applying to the scheme will be carefully assessed. This will include a full Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), home safety check and health checks.

To become a Shared Lives carer, we will support you through an assessment and approval process. You will be offered appropriate training and ongoing supervision and support.

Types of support

  • Day opportunities - is help and support provided for up to 6 hours per day in the family home or out and about. The hours and times will be negotiated at the time of arranging the placement and to suit the specific needs of the individual during the matching process below. These opportunities could be as varied as working on an allotment and cooking, walking in the countryside, developing life skills or accessing a voluntary work placement. 

  • Short-term support – provides the opportunity for you to offer short breaks from your own home. Regular or one off short breaks that are fun, skills enhancing and enjoyable for the individual and can offer a family carer a much needed respite break ranging from long weekends to one to two weeks. It depends on what you are able to offer.

  •  Long-term placements – you can offer the opportunity to share your life and your home on a long term basis, to maintain and/or promote someone’s independence and enable individual’s to contribute towards their local community.

Shared Lives - Transition

We work closely with the council’s Foster Care Team to plan a transition into our service for a young person approaching adulthood (from the age of 18) either by assessing and approving their current Foster Carer as Shared Lives Carers or by finding a new match with one of our other carers with experience in supporting young people into independence.

Types of carers

Carers can work flexibly around their own commitments, we need two specific types of Shared Lives carers, these are:

  • Main Shared Lives Carer, this is a carer that uses their own home as a resource to provide support. 

  • Support Shared Live Carer, this carer provides additional or respite cover for the main Shared Lives carer.

Every Shared Life carer brings their own unique skills and experience to this role but all of our carers share the commitment to help and support people to enable them to transform their lives for the better.

Benefits of becoming a Shared Lives carer

  • Shared Lives carers will receive a set amount for the care and support provided, depending on the care identified in the My Shared Lives Plan.

  • Shared Lives carers are given the opportunity of training and regular supervision and support.

  • Shared Lives carers providing long-term support will receive 28 days paid holiday per year to support them taking a break from their caring responsibilities.

  • There may be tax relief, known as qualifying care relief, but this will depend on your circumstances. This is in addition to your personal tax allowance.

Matching Process

We carefully match our Shared Lives carers and individuals in order to promote successful placements. Neither the carers nor the individual are put under any pressure to accept a placement and we work at the pace of the Shared Lives carer and the individual to ensure we have made an appropriate match.

Apply to become a Shared Lives carer

If you are interested in becoming a Shared Lives carer and would like further information, you can contact the Shared Lives team by:

Completing our online send a message to service form alternatively please use the contact details found in the contact tab above.

Once an initial discussion with the service has taken place, a member of the Shared Lives team will post an information pack to you providing you with information and advice about the Shared Lives scheme.

Process after applying

Following receipt of your information pack, if you are interested in applying to become a Shared Lives carer, you should contact the Shared Lives team and we will arrange to meet you at your home address to discuss your future as a Shared Lives carer. We will aim to complete our initial visit with you within 5 working days.

To see more information on the route into Shared Lives as a potential Shared Lives carer please view or download our Shared Lives leaflet (PDF, 2 pages, 492KB).

Shared Lives contact details:

To contact us please use the online send a message to service form alternatively please use the contact details found in the contact tab above.