Camphill Village Trust’s Shared Lives scheme based in Stourbridge covering Dudley Borough and the surrounding Black Country has recently been recognised in a national document for its successful recruitment of BAME carers.
The Shared Lives scheme provides a service that enables adults with additional needs to stay with families on either a long-term or short-break basis, much like foster care. The Shared Lives carers are approved through an assessment process and, once carefully matched with an individual, paid for the support they provide.
The scheme has been operational across the region since September 2018, has proactively been recruiting potential carers from a wide range of communities, experiences, and backgrounds. The document ‘Personalisation in Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority Communities’ published by the national organisation, Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) highlighted the scheme as one of fourteen exemplar services across England, that are ‘culturally competent’ and have a ‘can do’ approach when it comes to equality, diversity, and inclusion.
Caroline and Gary Reid, Shared Lives carers from Sandwell, said ‘The scheme informed us that they couldn’t promise to match us with someone culturally or based on ethnicity, but it wasn’t about that for us, it was more about sharing our family life and giving back to the community. The lady who now lives with us is very much part of our everyday routine, and we love every minute of the role.’
Clenton Farquharson MBE, Chair of TLAP, added, “This scheme is a shining example of what good, personalised care and support looks like for people from Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic communities. When developing the service, management were very conscious from the outset to ensure that the newly recruited carers reflected the ethnically diverse demographic of the Black Country. The scheme has grown considerably and in doing so we hope they become a community change agent across the region; acting as a bridge for local decision-makers from within the adult social care sector, by highlighting the wealth of expert support that is available to people from different backgrounds.”
To find out more about becoming a Shared Lives carer, call 01384 441505 or visit Shared Lives.