Head of Service for Shared Lives, Dean Barnshaw, added, ‘In a little over 12 months we have now recruited twelve households from across Dudley Borough and the wider Black Country region, which is truly remarkable. Some of the Carers have already been approved and gone through the whole assessment process which takes about 6 months and others are just starting out on their journey with us. The Induction covers such topics as roles and responsibilities, safeguarding, communication and equality & diversity amongst other things, with further courses on first-aid, food hygiene and an awareness of various disabilities.
When recruiting Shared Lives Carers we have to ensure that they have the right character and values to welcome someone into their home and support the individual to be part of the local community, so it’s essential we develop a trusting relationship from the very start. Shared Lives Carers are paid well for the support that they provide and rightly so, as there is an expectation that professional standards are maintained, whilst still finding a balance with the informality of family life and everything that goes on around it. We are always looking to recruit more Carers, so I would urge the citizens of Dudley to find out more about the Shared Lives model and how it can massively improve the well-being of people who would otherwise be living in long-term hospitals or residential care.
Jayne Doran from Hasbury in Halesowen, who was part of the second cohort of Carers to complete the Induction Programme, stated ‘The whole experience of training to become a Shared Lives Carer has been most interesting and the level of professionalism has really impressed me, as I come from a medical research background. There is a real sense that the charity as a whole is very supportive of their staff and carers, and there is a passion to make the whole Shared Lives scheme successful. If anyone has a desire to help the vulnerable members in our society, I would definitely recommend thinking about this scheme. The training has been comprehensive and the staff supporting you are friendly and informed, with an attitude of nothing being too much trouble.’