It is envisaged that the new Shared Lives scheme will take over the current service as of April 1st and work with the existing staff team and carers, who have already been supporting vulnerable people through Live-In, Short-Breaks and Day Support Arrangements for many years across the Borough. Shared Lives is sometimes described as a bit like foster care for adults, but it is so much more than that, as the individual person is encouraged to make choices and take greater control of their life, so as to maximise independence.
Huw John, CEO of Camphill Village Trust, was understandably delighted, “This is a big step forward for us and shows further evidence of the organisation’s progressive approach in responding to a changing adult social care sector. It’s well deserved after all the hard work our staff team have put into developing a quality service from scratch in such a short space of time. I’m really excited about the future of our Shared Lives service, and the potential to build positive connections between our present CVT communities and with the wider community in which they are situated”.
Kate Morgan, the Registered Manager, said, “This is a really exciting challenge for CVT and we appreciate being given the opportunity to work with Dudley Council and deliver a truly dynamic service. After speaking with Commissioners, we know they have very ambitious expansion plans for the new scheme and with our previous experience, we are confident that we can offer innovative approaches to people where Shared Lives may not have been an option for community living before.
We recognise there will be a lot of work to do in the coming months during the handover, so it is vitally important that we listen to all stakeholders involved and enable them to have a say regarding our development. This we hope will create a ‘real buy in’, where everyone can take ownership for the new scheme going forward.”
Over the past 12 months, the CVT Shared Lives staff have worked extremely hard in raising the profile of the new scheme across Dudley, developing networks with fellow Third Sector organisations, recruiting and training 6 new households, as well as putting together an Independent Panel of local social care professionals and lay people, who approve the status of all Shared Lives carers. By winning the contract, CVT Shared Lives have now been provided with a platform to quickly establish themselves as a recognised scheme within the Black Country and West Midlands region, rather than grow organically around their existing Stourbridge community as originally planned.
Dean Barnshaw, the Head of Service for CVT Shared Lives, added, “Winning the Tender is testament to the total commitment and belief everyone has demonstrated in ‘making this service happen’. The local commissioners have shown real vision in pulling this contract together, which is how adult social care will look and feel in the future. Wherever we have been in Dudley, our intentions have been positively received and we already feel part of the fabric that knits the local communities together. We are extremely proud to be given this opportunity and we very much look forward to working in partnership with everyone across the Borough.”