Shared Lives
Shared Lives

The approval process

All of our carers go through a thorough application and assessment process. This process involves:

  • Making an initial enquiry via our enquiry form.
  • Someone from our Shared Lives team will contact you about your enquiry for an informal chat.
  • Submission of an application form.
  • Home visits by a member of the Shared Lives team.
  • An interview with an individual representative (a person with experience of using shared lives).
  • Attending a panel to talk about why you want to become a Shared Lives carer and answer some key questions in relation to becoming a Shared Lives carer.

Applications and assessment information are considered by a panel each month. The application process usually takes about three months. Please don’t let this put you off - our friendly team are here to support you every step of the way. There is more detailed information about each stage of the approval process below.

Application form

The first stage of applying involves you completing an application form that will request information including:

  • the reason why you want to become a Shared Lives carer;
  • personal information about you and your household;
  • your current or previous work experience;
  • two personal and professional references;
  • permissions from your mortgage provider or landlord;
  • a reference from your GP;
  • consent to carry out an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (a DBS check is where you will be asked to declare any criminal convictions or police cautions that you have). Having a criminal conviction will not necessarily bar you from becoming a Shared Lives carer, each case will be assessed individually.

Home visit

The next step in the approval process involves an assessment during several home visits to you and your family. It is essential that all members of your family living in your house agree and fully commits to the idea of being part of the Shared Lives Service. A part of the home visit process will include a consultation with your family members.

Carer profile

You will also be expected to compile a Carer Profile, which gives details of what you could offer someone who came to live with you. Your local Shared Lives team will assist you with this.

Once the assessments have been completed

You will be able to comment on the assessment before it is submitted to the Shared Lives Service approval panel. The panel makes the decision whether a person becomes an approved carer or not, the type of approval and how many people they are approved to support.

We will write to you to let you know whether you have been approved as a Shared Lives carer and the terms of the approval. If you are approved you will sign a contract to provide an arrangement with Lancashire County Council.

The whole process can vary in the length of time it takes but will be completed as quickly as possible. It can take a time to match the right person to the type of placement you can offer. This is known as the 'matching' process.

The matching process

To help you and the individual decide, there is an introductory period where the individual will visit you, initially with a short visit with a view to increasing to overnight or weekend stays. This can help you both decide. There is no fixed pattern for the introductory period and is very much dependent on all parties being happy with the arrangement. Whilst we cannot guarantee how long it will take, we will aim to make use of your home and support as soon as we can.

To make sure the service is right for the person we support we will:

  • Talk to the person and their family about what is important to them and what support they need.
  • Match the person carefully with the carer who could best meet their needs. Ideally, they will live in the same local area and share similar interests.
  • Arrange for the person to spend some time with the carer before they make their mind up.

A dedicated Shared Lives support team member will visit the person being looked after regularly.

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It could be the most rewarding thing you'll ever do.