Living in a shared lives family home

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Shared Lives offers adults with social care support needs the chance to receive the care and support they need in a family home, living with a Shared Lives Carer in the local community that has been recruited, trained and approved for this purpose.

Accessing the scheme means you can live with a carer short term, lasting anything from one night to several weeks, enabling both the person and their carers to have a break, or they can be more long term, providing the opportunity for you to live as part of the family. The service can also offer living arrangements in an emergency.

Who can use Shared Lives?

The service can be accessed by people over the age of 16 who live in Havering and need some extra support to live independently. This could be because you:

  • have a physical disability
  • have a sensory disability
  • have a learning disability
  • have mental health support needs
  • are finding it more difficult to manage as you get older
  • are leaving care / transitioning through care

In order to access this service, you will need to have been assessed by the local authority as eligible for social care services. Book a needs assessment from Havering Council here.

If you look after a family member or friend you may be eligible to use Shared Lives for short breaks, relieving some of the stress that can arise from supporting a loved one, enabling you to continue caring in the long term. During this time, you can maintain as much contact as you like with the person you care for and we can help you make plans for the future.

As carers get older they often find that the Shared Lives carer their loved one has been staying with for short breaks can offer longer term support. We offer reassurance that the person you look after is being supported by someone they know and feel safe with. By using Shared Lives for short breaks, we provide you with time and the opportunity to build up positive relationships with the Shared Lives carer looking after your loved one.

How are you matched with a carer?

If you’re interested in using the Shared Lives Scheme we’ll make sure we match you with a carer that has similar interests and lifestyles to you. Before moving in, you’ll have the chance to go and visit the carer several times before deciding whether you want to live with them.

Why choose Shared Lives?

Shared Lives Carers are enthusiastic and committed, and speak passionately about the opportunity to support someone as part of the family, sharing skills and restoring confidence. Shared Lives is an ideal choice for people who prefer to live in a family setting.

A young man who has lived with his Shared Lives Carer for three years says:

“I have not regretted a second. She is the most fantastic, the most extraordinary and most amazing carer I have ever known.”

Become a Shared Lives Carer

Anyone who has a spare room and wants to share their lives with someone over the age of 16 who needs some extra support can apply to become a Shared Lives carer. Our Shared Lives Scheme will fully support you through the application process and can offer you on-going training and support to make sure the experience is a positive one.

Every family is different. We recruit all types of people to become Shared Lives carers and our matching process ensures that you live with someone who has a similar outlook on life to you.

As a Shared Lives carer, you’ll be paid for the support you provide to individuals. Shared Lives carers can earn up to £350 per week for long-term placements and up to £116 per night for short-term stays. We can also offer you flexible working hours and eligibility for some tax breaks.

You don’t need to have lots of experience or qualifications to become a Shared Lives carer; it is more important that you respect and value people as individuals and are willing to learn and attend training as necessary. Anyone over the age of 18 can apply by contacting us using the details below.

Make a referral

Think you or someone you know might be suited to receive a Shared Lives service? You can refer someone to this service.

Make a professional referral

If you’re a professional, you can complete the service referral form and send this to

Make a referral for yourself or someone you know

If you or someone you know would like to find out more about accessing the service, you can get in touch by contacting Shared Lives on the details below.

How to get in touch

Organisation: Shared Lives
Phone: 0208 519 9536

Get in touch with us on: 01708 776770 (Select Option 2) or via online forms