Would you like to work from home? Are you looking for a career change?
We are recruiting! This year, Worcestershire County Council’s Shared Lives service is expanding, meaning more individuals will be able to consider a Shared Lives placement as an alternative to other forms of support.
What is Shared Lives?
Shared Lives offers people the opportunity to stay in a family home, with trained Shared Lives Providers, who have been carefully matched to ensure that people have the best opportunities possible.
It’s all about the household sharing lives, interests and experiences.
Often described as being “a bit like foster care for adults”, Shared Lives supports people to develop new skills, enjoy living in a local community, and maintain their independence and sense of identity.
People may live in Shared Lives as a long-term arrangement, or just for a few days to give a family carer a break.
It offers a great alternative to residential care, and may also be a stepping stone to more independent living.
Shared Lives is for adults who have additional support needs, this may because they have a learning disability, a long-term health condition, or may be a young person aiming to build on life skills for more independent living.
“I love being in a caring family. I love living in Shared Lives with Karen and BJ and I want to stay here for ever.”
Published: 15 March 2022
SHARED Lives is for adults who have additional support needs - this may because they have a learning disability, a long-term health condition, or be a young person aiming to build on life skills for more independent living.
Shared Lives supports people to develop new skills, enjoy living in a local community, and maintain their independence and sense of identity. Providers are based throughout Worcestershire and provide care and support from their own homes.
We sat down with Donna Owens, who has been a Shared Lives provider for four years, to find out what life on the scheme is really like.
She said: "I was first introduced to Shared Lives in 2008 when my Mum became a long-term provider.
"Having worked in Health and Social Care for 14 years within a large staff team supporting individuals, some living in their own homes and others in a residential setting; I immediately noticed a huge difference in the setting I worked in compared to the Shared Lives Scheme.
"One to one consistent support and care from my Mum had a massively positive impact on the individual, who thrived and went from having very limited life skills, to a confident person who reached their full potential in the space of a couple of years.
"Seeing this amazing change was why I decided to approach Shared Lives to become a provider myself. Elizabeth moved in with me and my family in 2018.
"I support and care for her in all aspects of her daily life, helping her to maintain her life skills and to achieve new goals and future aspirations, supporting her to make safe and healthy decisions and to attend any medical appointments.
"I also support Elizabeth to have regular contact with her friendship groups and maintain her relationships with her family and peers. Elizabeth is a very sociable person and has become a big part of our family. My daughter and son have a good relationship with her and often help set up her jigsaw and colouring activities (usually with lots of joking and banter!)
"Over the past three years there have been times I have been faced with challenges from Elizabeth where I have needed a second opinion and advice. During these times I knew I could call upon Shared Lives and speak to my Shared Lives worker who has always listened and offered help and solutions, this has been a lifeline for myself and highly appreciated.
"Being a Shared Lives provider has had a very positive impact on my life. It's a pleasure to watch someone achieve and thrive and feel comfortable enough to truly be themselves in our home. Having always had a strong maternal instinct I feel complete continuing to care for someone now that my children are reaching adulthood and becoming independent, I suppose I feel useful again!"
Gill Hailstone, Elizabeth's sister-in-law, added: "Donna and the family are very special people. We feel we are very fortunate that Liz has been placed with such a close and capable family. We are truly thankful to Shared Lives for the ideal placement for Liz. Donna has patience and a true understanding of Liz and her needs. We couldn't be more pleased with her professionalism and dedication."
Want to find out more information?
Shared Lives is inspected and regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC)