The State of Shared Lives in England
There are an estimated 11880 people supported in Shared Lives in England and around 13,450 across the UK. They are primarily adults with learning disabilities, mental ill health, autism and dementia, but also come from every type of adult social care client group.
In Shared Lives, a Shared Lives carer shares their home and family life with an adult who needs care or support to help them live well. Local Shared Lives schemes, which are regulated by the Care Quality Commission, individually match trained and approved Shared Lives carers with people who need their support. In Shared Lives, the goal is an ordinary family life, where everyone gets to contribute, have meaningful relationships and are able to be active, valued citizens.
People using Shared Lives are supported by their Shared Lives carer to develop or maintain independent living skills, friendships and live as part of their local community; giving them a sense of wellbeing in a safe and supportive environment. They also enjoy other activities and support during the day to help them live their own independent and fulfilling life. Many people moving into Shared Lives arrangements from more institutional services are able to do things for the first time in their lives – to learn to cook, volunteer, work, make new friends and go on their first holiday.