Shared Lives Celebrate First Independent Panel

Shared Lives Celebrate First Independent Panel

Shared Lives based in Stourbridge, held their first independent Panel last week to approve three new sets of carers to their ever-growingShared Lives scheme across Dudley.

Registered Manager, Kate Morgan, explained that the Panel is made up of local social care professionals and laypeople with a real interest in Shared Lives. Basically, The Panel assesses the suitability of families or households wishing to become Shared Lives Carers and ensure that they have the necessary skills and commitment to welcome someone into their own home and support them to be part of the local community.

The Scheme worker writes a comprehensive report on the prospective carer(s), which includes observations on training, a record of the carer’s work history, life story, relationships, value base and motivations for wanting to become a Shared Lives Carer. Once completed, the report, is presented to the Independent Panel members who then interview the carers before they are approved as paid carers. The whole process takes between 3 – 6 months, but it’s a hugely rewarding role and it provides positive outcomes for all those involved. Our first Panel is a huge milestone for our scheme and we are very grateful to all those involved.

Panel member, Paul Astley, from the Queens Cross Network in Dudley, added, “Being part of the Panel is very enlightening and given me opportunity to play an active part in helping shape a visionary community service that provides a real alternative to people, who would otherwise be referred to hospital, nursing or residential care.”

Recently approved Shared Lives carer, Imran Mahmood, noted,“Myself and my wife Sehrish, found the whole assessment process most enjoyable. Yes, it was thorough, but necessary, as the scheme has to ensure that they carefully match the right person to come and stay with our family. I would recommend Shared Lives to anyone who is enthusiastic about providing support to the most vulnerable people in our communities. As a family, we just can’t wait to welcome the first person into our home.”

Finally, Kate added, our next Independent Panel will sit inMarch 2018, where we intend to present up to six new sets of carers. BBC West Midlands Today have recently been in contact and wish to do a new feature sometime in the New Year, so that will really raise the profile of Shared Lives.

Before that though, we would like to add to our Panel members, especially someone who has experience of using services within the borough, as they will bring real insight and expertise when assessing the suitability of our Shared Lives carers. If anyone is interested, then they should please call us on 01384 597264, so we can discuss the role further.