Shared Lives carers

Do you have a room to spare and some time to care?

Become a Shared Lives carer and change the life of a vulnerable adult.

Could you support and care for an older person in Reading in your own home?

We urgently need local carers for Reading’s ageing population.

What is the Shared Lives Scheme?

The Shared Lives scheme is part of a national scheme and is well established in Reading. It has a committed team of Shared Lives officers and carers who have been involved for several years.

The scheme supports vulnerable adults by placing them with an approved ‘Shared Lives carer’, who takes them into their home, supports them and shares their everyday life with them. The support is flexible and the person is encouraged to live as independently as possible.

We currently support adults with learning disabilities, older people, those with mental health needs and those with a physical disability.

How Shared Lives works

The Shared Lives scheme works in a similar way to fostering. People are referred to the Shared Lives team at Reading Borough Council by social workers, voluntary organisations, GPs or self-refer.

The Shared Lives team then proceed with a matching process, to match the user with a carer; this matching is by mutual agreement and both parties meet and choose one another, which helps to ensure the success of the scheme. The recruitment and matching of carers takes between three to five months; training is then completed by the carer.

The person then moves in to the carer’s home, either full-time, part-time or for respite care. Whilst there, they share the home, community and family life with the carer and are supported to engage in activities to complement their care.

Benefits of the Shared Lives scheme

  • Shared Lives consistently outperforms all other forms of regulated care in CQC inspections, at 96% good or excellent. The Reading Shared Lives service is currently rated ‘good’.
  • “Shared Lives enables people to live life to the full in their community, without having to live alone or in a care home”
  • “People sometimes use a shared lives scheme as a way of learning the skills they need to live independently and to help them put down roots in the area or community before moving into a place of their own”
  • Many participants of Shared Lives report of feeling settled, valued and like they belong for the first time in their lives. Many make more friends, get involved with activities and are able to go on holiday for the first time in their lives as a result of Shared Lives.
  • Carers have said that the scheme is a life-enriching experience for them and immensely rewarding through the ability to make a difference to people’s lives.

Types of care

Full-time carers

Our full-time carers welcome an adult who needs support into their home and families. They provide a stable home with the practical and emotional support the person needs to maximize their potential. This can include supporting them to develop independent living skills and take part in hobbies and social activities.

Ideally you will have some experience of caring for adults and must be willing to make a long-term commitment. You must have a spare room.

Respite carers

Respite carers offer short term placements in their own home so you will need a spare room. It could be an overnight stay or a weekend, to the occasional week to enable full-time carers to take a break from their caring role. Sometimes respite carers take the person needing support on a short holiday.

Day support

If you do not have the space to have someone stay with you, you could help and support someone with activities such as shopping, going to the cinema, attending football matches or getting involved with the local community. It could be that you help them learn how to cook or manage their laundry.

Your contract

Shared Lives carers are contracted on a self-employed basis. Full-time carers are paid a fixed amount for the care they provide. Respite and day support carers are paid based on sessions.

Could you be a Shared Lives carer?

Contact the Shared Lives team

Online expression of interest form

Telephone: 0118 937 3700


Download and print our Shared Lives Booklet.

Last updated on 10/06/2021