Sharing a home - Shared Lives scheme

If residential care or other more formal care services aren't for you but managing life in your own home is causing you problems, you could possibly benefit from what we call 'Shared Lives'.

Shared Lives is available to people with all different kinds of needs, such as:

  • older people
  • people with learning or physical disabilities
  • people with mental health problems
  • people living with dementia, autism and Asperger’s
  • people who have a sensory impairment.

You would be sharing the home of a chosen carer, who could be a single person, a couple or a whole family. You could be part of a family, bring your own things and be supported in your hobbies, interests and activities.

When staying with your carers you can become part of the local community and can always be sure of having company and opportunities to make new friends, while keeping your independence.

Shared Lives is somewhere safe and supportive for you to stay at the times that suit you, whether it's for a few hours during the day or evening, overnight, for a weekend or even longer.

There are 3 main types of Shared Lives support:

  • Long term – where you would live with a chosen family on a permanent basis.
  • Short breaks – where you could visit a family for overnight stays, weekends or for a week or two, depending on what you wanted to do.
  • Day support – where you would have sessions of support (up to 5 hours) based at your chosen carer's home. This can be accessed any day of the week, at any time of the day.

We always make sure you're happy with your chosen family before you start, and we check regularly to make sure everything is alright.

Read our easy read Guide to Shared Lives (PDF, 676.3 KB).

How to begin your Shared Life

The service is available to people from the age of 16 who are eligible for a KCC service under The Care Act.

To access Shared Lives, speak to your case officer or social worker about your needs so that they can make a referral to us.

If you don’t have a Case Officer or Social Worker but think you may be eligible for Shared Lives, call adult social care on 03000 41 61 61 or complete an enquiry form.

Once we receive a referral, we will contact potential carers and arrange what we call a matching visit with your chosen carer. You will receive information about the carer to help with your decision. Although we will always try our hardest to find matches for people, sometimes this isn’t possible. However, we are more than happy to keep people on a waiting list to see if a potential carer becomes available, and we approve new carers all the time.

If you are the carer or parent of someone you think may benefit from Shared Lives and would like a break whilst knowing your loved one is safe and happy, you are entitled to an assessment under The Care Act. Call 03000 41 61 61 for an assessment.

How to become a Share Lives carer

If you are interested in becoming a Shared Lives carer, find out more and request an information pack by visiting our jobs site.

Care Quality Commission inspection

Shared Lives is regulated by the Care Quality Commission, who inspected Kent Shared Lives on 25 April 2017. The report was published on 2 August 2017.

Overall rating of the service: Good

Key question ratings:

Safe Good
Effective Good
Caring Good
Responsive Good
Well led Outstanding