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Shared Lives West Midlands

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About the Shared Lives scheme 

The Shared Lives Scheme is a type of community support where an adult who requires support or a place to stay moves in with or frequently visits the home of an approved Shared Lives carer. Shared Lives is sometimes described as being similar to ‘foster care for adults with additional or complex needs’, but it is so much more than that. Around 8,500 people are being supported through the Shared Lives Scheme around England.

The Person being supported is carefully matched to their Shared Lives Carer, who they will stay with. The carer provides tailored support to develop the Person’s practical, emotional and social skills.

When someone comes to stay with you we call this an ‘Arrangement’. You can have a maximum of three people living/staying with you at any one time, as long as you have the bedrooms and living space, but more importantly, the time to commit to the role. Shared Lives Carers are passionate and dedicated about their work and this is why the model is such a powerful and effective form of care, creating a real sense of belonging for all this involved.

The three types of Shared Lives arrangements:

  • Live-In. This provides an opportunity for a Person to live long-term within a homely/family setting and develop their own links and connections to the local neighbourhoods and communities, as opposed to the restricted opportunities when living in residential/hospital accommodation.
  • Short-Breaks. Also known as ‘Respite’. The person will come to stay from one night up to a few weeks at a time giving family members a break from their caring role.
  • Day Support. This type of support may be provided by Shared Lives Carers who already offer Live-In or Short Breaks Arrangements. Typically, a Person may be looking to be discharged back into the community after a long stay in hospital/residential care.

West Midlands Shared Lives 

After taking part in a research study to explore how the Shared Lives model, could complement our existing resources, Camphill Village Trust established the Shared Lives West Midlands Scheme in March 2017.

The Stourbridge Community was chosen both for its urban location in supporting the recruitment of new Carers. Also, the new Scheme is able to connect to already established networks, access wider resources and take part in community social events.

Building connections

In September 2018, we began our contract to deliver a Shared Lives service in partnership with Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council.

In Summer 2022, the scheme developed across the region after they were successfully awarded the contract to work across the City of Wolverhampton. Kate Morgan is the Registered Manager of Camphill Village Trust Shared Lives.

“Having worked within Shared Lives since 2007, I have seen the sector grow and develop, and have a huge passion for this unique model of care that offers real person centred care and support. Everyone has the right to enjoy Shared Lives, the difference that kindness, stable relationships and ordinary home life make is amazing. By joining a Shared Lives Scheme, caring people can build a paid career from their own home, doing a role they love.”

Throughout England there are about 8,500 people being supported through the Shared Lives Scheme. We support carers right across the Black Country, currently supervising almost 70 households who provide arrangements to people with a variety of additional and complex needs.

Working in partnership with Dudley and Wolverhampton Council, we are committed to expanding the service significantly across the region and providing supportive arrangements to people who previously would have otherwise been referred to a long-term hospital or residential care establishments. The scheme has a long track record going back many years, as it enables individuals to remain in the community, where people are known to lead longer, healthier and happier futures.

Moreover, we are now proud to announce we are working alongside Walsall Council, to further develop their Shared Lives Scheme and offer more choice to the residents of the Borough.

Who do Shared Lives support?

The person requiring support is often referred to the Shared Lives Scheme by the local council or NHS and is eligible for social care provision. The person may have a learning or physical disability, mental ill health, autism, dementia, sensory impairment or an acquired brain injury. There is also an increasing demand to place people with more complex needs and behaviours but this requires experience and specialised training to support such an arrangement.

In fact, we could provide a Shared Lives Arrangement to anyone over the age of 16 years’ old who needs support and chooses to live back in their own community or neighbourhood.

Each person is an individual in their own right and will bring their own strengths and abilities to the arrangement, so it’s really important not to make assumptions about people based on their disability.

Each person is carefully matched with the skillset and experience of the Shared Lives Carer and a number of introductory visits take place before we agree to an Arrangement. Camphill Village Trust’s philosophy recognises the uniqueness of the individual and we seek to respect, value and enhance the strengths and potential of the person we support in each Arrangement.

Personalisation in Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority Communities

Camphill Village Trust Shared Lives Scheme has been recognised as one of 14 exemplar services across England, in the Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) national publication ‘Personalisation in Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority Communities’, for our successful and focused recruitment of carers from all backgrounds during the three years we have been operational.

Become a self-employed Shared Lives Carer

Camphill Village Trust are recruiting Carers right across the Black Country. If you live in Dudley, Wolverhampton, Walsall or Sandwell, and room in your heart and home, then this could be the role for you. It doesn’t matter about your age, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, marital status, religious beliefs, living alone or as a family what matters are your personal qualities, passion and values.

Contact us now if you’re interested!

Become a shared lives carer Contact us

Get support from Shared Lives

If you think someone would benefit from a Shared Lives Arrangement, get in touch and speak to a member of our team about how we may support you.

Contact Us

Want to know more?

Meet the team Read our stories

Phone: 01384 441505

Email: sharedlives@cvt.org.uk

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Key Contact Information

Phone: 01384 441505

Email: sharedlives@cvt.org.uk

Address: Eagle House, St John’s Road, Stourbridge, West Midlands, DY8 1HE

Shared Lives Carer

Do you have what it takes to become a Shared Lives carer?

Shared Lives Carers are ordinary people from all different walks of life but they have one thing in common – they open up their homes to help others.

Become a Shared Lives carer

Get support from Shared Lives

Contact us now to make a referral and find out how Shared Lives may support you.

Shared Lives is for everyone wanting to feel a sense of belonging, be valued, and be active in the local neighbourhood and wider community.

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