An Introduction to the Shared Lives scheme
A Shared Lives scheme supports adults with learning disabilities, mental health problems or other needs that make it harder for them to live on their own. The schemes match someone who needs care with an approved carer.
In the UK, over 14,000 people enjoy visiting or living with a Shared Lives carer, matched together by regulated schemes, for compatible interests and personalities as well for the person’s support needs. They share the carer’s home, family and community life by moving in, or for short breaks or day support. Supportive shared living can help tackle loneliness, reduce isolation, bring people together and help them recover after hospital treatment or mental ill-health.
Shared Lives is a widely established adult social care service in the UK. Although a tiny, but steadily growing option, it is the Care Quality Commission’s highest rated form of care and support, with 98% of schemes rated as good or outstanding. Shared Lives delivers positive outcomes, whilst also being a highly personalised and cost-effective service for Local Authorities. It is estimated that one Local Authority in Scotland saved almost £4 million annually through the introduction of Shared Lives.
"Personally we are really excited about seeing this come to fruition in Shetland as I think it would provide the perfect transition for Dylan and us as a family to help us explore how Dylan can live independently, preparing both him and us for the day that he lives in his own home, and having the opportunity to make his mark in the world. As a peerie boy, we used the Hame fae Hame respite scheme that was set up in Shetland, where he went and lived with a family at weekends and shared their lives, met their friends and family, and was genuinely welcomed into their home, and very much made to feel part of it. I see the 'Shared Lives' programme doing just that for him, as an adult. He took part in their family events and he discovered a love of horses, which they introduced him to, among other 'ordinary' day to day activities, which don't always come easily to people with disabilities. - Parent"
"As a parent of a young adult with a diagnosis of autism with significant learning difficulties we would use shared lives as an option for respite once established in the Shetland community. I feel it would offer more choice for respite as statutory services that are currently unavailable to us because of Covid 19. Also, increasingly statutory services are stretched because of high demand and Shared Lives could support families along- side statutory services in the future therefore, sharing the load.
I think it would be a great asset to families and individuals who need support Shetland community. - Parent"