Halton Shared Lives Service provides care for people who need support due to age, illness or disability. The Service provides day care and short breaks to enable people to live an ordinary life in the community.
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What do Shared Lives Carers do?
Shared Lives Carers use their own home as a base. The person being cared for shares in the family life of the Carer, including their wider network of family and friends in the community. Carers provide company and meaningful activities in a comfortable and safe environment. The aim is to promote independence and choice and to improve the health and well-being of the person being cared for. Carers can support up to three people at any one time.
Who can apply?
Applications are welcome from all sections of the community. Previous experience or qualifications are not essential as full training will be given.
What about payment?
Carers are self-employed and are paid according to hours worked and the number of people being cared for. Generous tax allowances mean that Carers don’t pay income tax on their earnings.
When will I be expected to work?
Carers can choose what days they want to work. A standard day covers six hours from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Short breaks can be from one night up to two weeks.
What support will I get?
Carers are allocated an Shared Lives Worker who arranges regular support visits. Service meetings are held every six weeks. These provide ongoing training and an opportunity to meet and exchange information with colleagues.
How do I apply to become an Shared Lives Carer?
If you are interested and would like to apply, an Shared Lives Worker will make a pre-application visit to your home. This is an opportunity to learn more about the service and answer any questions you may have. If you are still interested after this first visit, you will be asked to fill in an application form. This form asks for information about you, other people living in your home, the type of care and support you would like to provide, your employment history and qualifications and experience.
As part of your application, we will need your permission to contact your current or last employer for a reference. You will also be asked to supply the name of someone who will provide a personal reference for you.
Will checks be carried out?
There are a number of checks that need to be carried out as part of the assessment process, including a Criminal Records Bureau check because if you are successful in your application, you will be working with vulnerable people. The Shared Lives Worker will tell you more about the checks required.
What is covered in the assessment process?
The assessment process is comprehensive and will explore why you want to become an Shared Lives Carer, in addition to your experience, skills and knowledge. This takes place over a period of time, usually between 3-6 months and is achieved by a number of visits to your home.
To help with the assessment process you will be asked to complete a ‘Network Map’ exploring your social and community contacts and ‘A Day in the Life’ sheet to provide an accurate picture of your day to day family life.
During this time you will be asked to think about health and safety issues in your home. This is to ensure that your home provides a safe environment for service users.
You will also be visited in your home by the Manager of the Shared Lives Service. The aim of this visit is to provide a second opinion of your suitability to become an Shared Lives Carer.
What happens at the end of the process?
At the end of the assessment process, the Shared Lives Worker and Manager will write their reports about your application. These will be shared with you and you will be asked to sign them before they are presented to the Shared Lives Approval Panel for their decision.
The Approval Panel is independent of the Shared Lives Service and the Assessment process. The panel will include local people who have experience or knowledge of Shared Lives and people who use or have used social care services.
You will be informed of the Panel’s decision and if you are approved you will be provided with a certificate and a copy of the Carer Handbook. You are then ready to accept your first placement.
What if I am not approved?
If the panel does not approve your application and you do not agree with their decision, you have the right to appeal. However, we would like to stress that this is very rare as we would highlight any issues we feel may hinder your application early in the assessment process before we present it to panel.
For further information, contact Shared Lives – 0151 511 6677 (Monday- Friday 8am – 6pm)