The scheme involves a Shared Lives carer sharing their home and family life with an adult in need of care or support
Shared Lives is an innovative form of social care based around sharing home and family life. 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, regulated Shared Lives schemes 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.
Shared Lives Plus is the national membership body for Shared Lives carers and schemes offering support to members to ensure the quality of service, with everyday issues around guidance, good practice, and regulation and with tools, resources and hands on support to diversify the service they provide.
With the Accelerating Ideas Programme, Shared Lives Plus supports the Development of new Shared Lives schemes and the expansion of existing schemes to work with older people and those with dementia.
A compelling financial savings case was developed by Social Finance in 2013 through an independent and detailed comparison of the full care packages in three local authorities.
The Accelerating Ideas programme will fund equivalent evidence for Shared Lives’ work with older people or people living with dementia. This will produce a direct comparison of outcomes, direct, and indirect costs of Shared Lives set against traditional forms of short breaks / respite care in each of the four nations of the UK.
In addition, evidence commissioned by Shared Lives Plus includes:
Shared Lives Plus are currently working on an ambitious programme in England to double the Shared Lives sector. We also intend to double the numbers of people who use Shared Lives in the other nations by 2020. Shared Lives will achieve this with the help of Accelerating Ideas funding to add capacity to those nations alongside funding applications that have already been submitted to the Welsh and Scottish Governments.
Scaling the Shared Lives model for older people will involve building demand, by raising awareness of Shared Lives across the UK at all levels, from communities to government. It will also require building supply, and partnerships with local authorities, charities and social enterprises will continue to be key.
Local authorities currently provide around 70 per cent of schemes, with roughly 30 per cent being provided by external, independent organisations. It is anticipated that this ratio will shift, with a decreasing proportion of schemes being provided by local authorities as budgets diminish, even though local authorities will remain the main commissioners of the service, and schemes will continue to be funded predominantly from a social care budget.