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Hertfordshire County Council

Become a Shared Lives carer

What it takes to be a Shared Lives carer

Shared Lives carers are united by their compassionate natures and a strong desire to make life better for someone in their local community.

Carers often have an interest in, or have worked in, the care sector, particularly with those affected by disabilities, but all training can be provided. There are no formal qualifications or training required to become a carer.

To be a Shared Lives carer you’ll need:

  • A patient and understanding nature
  • The ability to meet care needs
  • A spare bedroom

You don’t need to own your own home or be able to drive.

There are opportunities for short term (respite) carers, as well as long-term placement opportunities with agreed respite breaks. Some of our existing Shared Lives carers hold down a part time job and fit this in around caring for someone at their home, so contact our team to discuss your own situation.

What you'll get

All Shared Lives carers receive:

  • an income and tax free allowance to help you fulfil this valuable role
  • regular support over the phone and through routine visits from Shared Lives workers
  • support in accessing other services
  • opportunities to network with other carers
  • participation in regular reviews
  • planned respite

Training can be offered to help you become a Shared Lives carer – get in touch for more details.

As a Shared Lives carer you would be considered self-employed and have a contract with Hertfordshire County Council. You will be responsible for paying your own tax and National Insurance contributions, but will receive tax allowances. The amount you are paid depends on the level of support you provide.

Getting selected to be a Shared Lives carer

Our team will take you through the process. The steps involved in your application include:

  • applying for references and a DBS check
  • a health and safety review of your home
  • a carers assessment of skills and experience.

New carers will then be presented to a panel to determine whether they can become carers. Panels typically take place every 2-3 months and feedback is available irrespective of the outcome.

Getting matched with a service user

We place a huge importance on creating partnerships that work for everyone.

After identifying a potential service user for you to care for, we'll set up a meeting at a neutral venue, such as a coffee shop. If both parties feel entirely comfortable, this would progress to a day time visit to meet the rest of the family at your home, and then potentially an overnight stay.

The partnership is constantly reviewed and monitored to ensure the best possible chance of success for everyone and a personal plan is created that’s tailored for both parties.

Shared Lives Hemel-39
"During the matching process, they find somebody who fits in with your family and lifestyle, it's an equal relationship"
Tony, Shared Lives Carer