South East Wales Shared Lives Scheme
The South East Wales Shared Lives scheme offers people the opportunity to be supported in carer’s homes and local communities. In Shared Lives an adult who has care or support needs is matched with a compatible carer. Carers share their home, family, and community life with the person, helping to develop and maintain independent living skills, friendships and connections in their local area.
The scheme offers Shared Lives arrangements in the six local authority areas of Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouthshire, Newport and Torfaen.
Types of adult placement
The Shared Lives scheme offers accommodation and/or support to people in the carer's home and local community. Carers are encouraged to share their family life, home life and social activities with people who need support. People accessing adult placements are carefully matched with skilled carers, enabling them to gain independence and learn new skills, to make choices and to participate in new experiences.
Shared Lives arrangements are tailored to the needs and requirements of the person. It is flexible and person centred, enabling a wide range of people who need support to live more independent lives.
The types of arrangements offered are:
- Long term - Accommodation and support in the carer's home on a long term basis, with the opportunity to be involved in family life, social and household activities.
- Respite - Respite with an adult placement family in an ordinary home setting. People often return to the same family for regular respite, allowing individuals the opportunity to build and maintain relationships, learn new skills, and have new experiences.
- Emergency - Accommodation and support provided at short notice, possibly because of a family crisis or illness.
- Sessional support - Support from Shared Lives carer during the day, evenings or weekends. The support may be offered in the carer's home or in the local community. Support is person centred to the needs of the individual and can include a wide range of activities, encouraging individuals to learn new skills, build their confidence and gain greater independence.
- Support to prevent hospital admission.
- Short term support following hospital discharge.
Who can access the scheme?
The South East Wales Shared Lives Scheme offers arrangements for people over the age of 18 with a wide range of support needs, including people with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, mental health needs and older people.
People who use the scheme may need support with specific aspects of their lives, or they may need support all of the time.
Shared Lives offers a real alternative to other types of support and accommodation. If you would like more information about Shared Lives you can discuss this with your social worker.
How to become a carer
People from all walks of life can apply: single people, couples and families, from a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures become Shared Lives carers. You don't need to have formal qualifications because the scheme will provide you with the training that you need.
We are looking for people with: sensitivity and warmth, commitment, a sense of humour, an interest in helping other people, a stable home environment, and time to offer to someone who needs support in aspects of their life. If you have these qualities and a suitable home to share with another person please contact us.
Once you have been through our assessment process you can decide on the type of Shared Lives arrangement you would like to offer; your adult placement worker will support you with this. Your Shared Lives worker will also make sure that you are carefully matched with people you are likely to get on with.
Carers are paid a fee for all Shared Lives arrangements they provide. The fee level varies depending on the type of arrangement that you offer.
If you are interested in knowing more about becoming a carer call 01443 864586 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Training and support
All carers offering arrangements for the scheme have been carefully selected, and have been through a thorough assessment process.
Prospective carers are offered training during the assessment process, and are offered regular ongoing training once they have been approved. The scheme is committed to maintaining and developing carers' knowledge and skills and this is viewed as an ongoing process.
The training courses offered are all relevant to the role of providing care and support to adults with care and support needs. Carers are also offered specialist training which is relevant to the specific needs of the person that they are supporting.
Each Shared Lives carer is linked with a Shared Lives worker. The Shared Lives workers visit carers at home to monitor and support the arrangements, to discuss how arrangements are going, and to offer guidance.
There are currently more than 200 households providing Shared Lives for the South East Wales Scheme. The scheme staff team includes twelve Shared Lives workers, three Shared Lives coordinators, three managers, and a dedicated team of administrative staff.
Regular carers meetings are held in different locations across South East Wales. These meetings give carers an opportunity to meet each other, and to discuss Shared Lives as part of a group. Staff from the Shared Lives scheme attend and facilitate the meetings.
Last Modified: 28/06/2021
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