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Becoming a Shared Lives carer



Could you, or someone you know, give a home or offer short breaks with full-time support to an adult who needs extra help with their life? Birmingham Shared Lives are looking for full-time carers who could welcome adults with disabilities, and vulnerable and older adults into their home, and have the patience and enthusiasm to give them the care they need in their own community. To find out more please email sharedlives@birmingham.gov.uk or call 0121 464 3164.

Could I be a Shared Lives carer?

If you are you interested in working at home to help people to have more independence, choice and control over their lives, we want to hear from you. Becoming a Shared Lives carer could be for you if you are:

  • patient
  • committed
  • willing to give someone the support and care they need and
  • willing to include that person in your everyday life.


How many people can I support?

You can support up to three people at any one time, but you cannot employ any staff.


What support would I be expected to provide?

As a Shared Lives carer you would be expected to offer both accommodation and support to someone and share your home with them. The support you provide may include:

  • personal care, like washing and dressing
  • emotional support
  • helping the person you are caring for manage their money
  • helping them take their medication
  • helping them with cooking and cleaning and
  • encouraging them to be independent.


How will I know we are right for each other?

Matching you to the right person or people is the key to a successful shared lives relationship. Everyone is different, so we will talk to you to find out the things that are important to you and the people living in your home. We will try and find people to suit you and your lifestyle.

We will arrange for you to spend some time together with the person before they move into your home.


What experience and qualifications do I need?

You must have experience of caring for adults. This could be through paid or voluntary work, or through caring for a relative. You may already be fostering a child with a disability. You do not need formal qualifications, but as part of the process to become a carer you will have to:

  • go through training courses
  • have a CRB check (a check by the Criminal Records Bureau) and
  • have your home checked for health and safety.

To be a Shared Lives carer you also need to be approved by any registered Shared Lives service in England.


What are the rewards?

As a Shared Lives carer you will:

  • be self-employed and will work from home
  • have a regular income while someone is staying with you
  • not be taxed for most of your income
  • have three weeks’ paid holiday a year
  • get continuous support and guidance from us and
  • have regular training, newsletters and support meetings with other Shared Lives carers.


How is the service regulated?

We are regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and meet the regulations in the Health and Social Care Act 2008.


How do I apply?

If you would like to become a Shared Lives carer, please fill in the application form at the end of this page (under the heading Leaflets and forms).

You can type into the form and email it to us at sharedlives@birmingham.gov.uk. Or you can print a copy and write your answers in pen, and post it to us at the address on the back page of the form.

If you would like to talk to us before filling in the form, please contact us by email or phone at the address below.


What happens next?

When you contact us, we will answer any questions you have and give you any information you need.


More information and contact details

If you would like more information about becoming a Shared Lives carer, please contact us.

Email: sharedlives@birmingham.gov.uk

Write to:
Registered Manager
Birmingham Shared Lives Service
Room 23
Southside Business Centre
249 Ladypool Road
Birmingham
B12 8LF

Phone: 0121 464 3164


Other pages

Birmingham Shared Lives Service

Learning disability services


Other websites

Shared Lives Plus
A national charity that represents people who provide small, individual, community-based services such as Shared Lives.


Leaflets and forms

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