Who can use the shared lives scheme?
Anyone over the age of eighteen who has been assessed as needing social care support can be referred to us. We arrange placements for people with a wide range of support needs, including people with learning disabilities, sensory loss, physical disabilities, mental health needs and older people.
The service we offer is very flexible and can suit people with different levels of care and support needs, including:
- People who are quite independent and need a small amount of targeted support in specific areas of their lives
- People who have a higher level of care and support needs, and who need regular support in many aspects of their lives
- People who are looking for an alternative to residential care
- People who need some support and guidance to expand their social networks, develop and maintain their skills, and have new experiences
- Young people approaching 18 who have been living with foster carers, who wish to remain with the same carers after their 18th birthday. The scheme can take the foster carers through the Shared Lives assessment process.
Initially we need to receive a referral from a Care Manager from Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Newport, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouthshire and Torfaen councils. If you or someone you know would be interested in finding out more about using our scheme you can discuss this with your Care Manager.
Once we have received a referral a member of our team will contact you to discuss your requirements and provide information about potential placement opportunities.
Paying for care
If you live in a long-term placement you will be asked to pay a rent and serrvice charge to your carer. This covers the cost of living in the home.
If you access shared lives you will need to have a financial assessment to work out what, if anything, you can afford to pay towards the cost of services you receive. We will carry out this assessment.
Finding the right carer for me
When we receive your referral, a Scheme Worker will contact you and arrange to meet you. When you meet they will find out what you want to gain from a placement, and they will begin to get to know you.
Once your Worker has met you and found out about what you want from the placement they will start to identify a suitable carer.
The matching process is the most important part of setting up a successful shared lives arrangement . Your Scheme Worker will look for a carer who is likely to have similar interests and the necessary skills to support you. When we have identified a suitable carer, we will arrange for you to meet, and if you get on well your Scheme Worker will then arrange a longer introductory visit. During this visit, you will have the time to get to know more about each other. Sometimes people have several introductory visits before a placement is set up.
For long-term and respite placements your worker will also arrange for you to have a trial overnight stay with the carer, so that you can both “try out” the placement. Your worker will be in regular contact throughout the process to answer any questions and get feedback about how the introductions are going.
How will the scheme benefit me?
Carers will share aspects of their home, family and community life with you. The scheme supports carers and people who use the service to develop strong relationships, so that the support you receive feels natural and a part of ordinary everyday life.
Carers can support people to maintain and develop their skills and have new experiences. The support could help you to:
- Develop and maintain your skills preparing food, shopping and budgeting
- Develop and maintain your skills for household tasks
- Expand your social circle and community links
- Gain confidence and increase your independence
- Access work or education
- Attend medical appointments
- Have a holiday
Placements are offered in the small scale setting of a friendly family home by fully trained and experienced carers, with the reassurance that the support you receive is sensitively monitored and supported by the scheme.