Become a Shared Lives Carer

Leicestershire Shared Lives service views carers as the core of our service and put emphasis on supporting them from the point at which they decide to become a carer.

Leicestershire Shared Lives Service

Leicestershire Shared Lives Service is different to anything else offered in the Adult Social Care sector. Our carers provide person-centred services, tailored around the needs of their clients. Services are also provided in the carer's home or in the community, therefore delivering a more natural and real-life experience.

We are looking for carers who want to help our clients to live life to the full. Carers must live in Leicestershire (not Leicester City), you could be tenants or homeowners, part of a family, single or living with pets – whatever your situation, we would like to hear from you!

As a Shared Lives Carer, you will be self-employed. We will send you referrals of clients which you can choose to accept or decline as you wish.

From the moment you decide to become a Leicestershire Shared Lives Carer, we will offer:

  • induction and training to become a Shared Lives Carer
  • a dedicated support worker to guide you through the process, as well as ongoing support
  • careful matching of clients with you (and your family)
  • access to training and learning materials to enable you to develop as a carer
  • advice and support 24/7 from the Shared Lives team and our out-of-hours service

Our roles

Shared Lives Leicestershire have a number of positions available:

  • Day Service Carers - provide activities for 3 or 6 hours at a time
  • Short Break Carers - provide overnight accommodation to give full-time carers a break
  • Longer Term Carers - provide a home for adults with care and support needs


Shared Lives Service offers carers:

  • excellent pay (dependant on number of clients and services offered)
  • generous tax breaks (£18,140 tax-free allowance for 2023/24)
  • flexible working options
  • access to the Blue Light discount scheme
  • training (online and in person)
  • 24-hour support from professionals, Shared Lives Plus and Shared Lives Carers in Leicestershire.

Please contact us for more information or to apply for one of our positions through the forms provided.

Find more information about Shared Lives in other areas around the UK

Frequently asked questions

What is a Shared Lives Carer?

Shared Lives Carers in Leicestershire are residents over 18 years old who provide longer term placements, day services, or overnight accommodation in their own homes. Clients are referred from Leicestershire Adult Social Care for many reasons including:

  • respite services to give their families or carers a rest
  • assistance in increasing their independence skills
  • help with accessing the local community

Shared Lives Carers work independently to meet their clients care and support needs, creating fun activities and providing a safe environment in which they can feel at home.

How much does a Shared Lives Carer earn?

Shared Lives Carers may look after a maximum of three individuals at any one time. Current fees (gross) per individual are:

Longer Term Carers (2024/2025 weekly rate)

  • Long Term Band 1: £468
  • Long Term Band 2: £524
  • Long Term Band 3: £592

Short Breaks Carers (2024/25 weekly rate)

  • Short Breaks Band 1: £507
  • Short Breaks Band 2: £558
  • Short Breaks Band 3: £676

Day Service Carers (2024/25, 6-hour session rate)

  • Day Service Band 1: £69
  • Day Service Band 2: £77
  • Day Service Band 3: £84
What skills or training do I need to apply?

Ideally, some previous experience of caring whether it’s formal or informal, paid, or voluntary would be beneficial, however, we are practically looking for people with the following qualities:

  • patience
  • good sense of humour
  • good listening skills
  • initiative
  • ability to maintain confidentiality
  • commitment to equal opportunities

Shared Lives Carers are expected to participate in pre-assessment and ongoing training, as well as other activities relevant to the role of a Shared Lives Carer.

What does the recruitment process involve and how long will it take?

The recruitment process usually takes between 2 to 3 months to complete, dependant on the pace of the applicant. It involves collating references, a DBS check, home visits from your Shared Lives Officer, and training courses online and in person.

Will I be guaranteed work?

As a self-employed carer, you have the flexibility to accept, decline and tailor work around your lifestyle. Leicestershire County Council Social Care commission Shared Lives Leicestershire to provide services to their clients, so when we receive a referral, we will pass it on to all available carers for consideration. If you have the skills, time, and resources to meet the needs of the client, we will liaise with Adult Social Care on your behalf.

What does being self-employed mean?
  • You are in control of your own work-related activities, hours, and conditions.
  • It is your responsibility to be registered as a self-employed worker with HMRC.
  • You can work as a Shared Lives Carer and have other forms of employment.
  • You will work independently and use your skills and experience to maximise the individual’s independent living skills and increase their networks of support.
  • Your income is not salaried, as you only get paid when you work.
How much tax will I pay?

As a Shared Lives Carer, you are entitled to a generous tax break of £10,000 on top of your personal tax allowance, and then an extra £250 a week tax-free for every additional person you support (you can support up to three people at one time).

Does being a Longer Term Shared Lives Carer mean I have to work 24 hours a day?

Longer Term Carers welcome our clients into their family life. They live together, share celebrations and holidays together, and enjoy each other’s company.

Just like other members of your family, our clients will have other activities they like to do in their lives, such as day services, volunteer work and visits to their own families.

It is possible to have additional work while looking after a longer term placement, either as a Day Service Carer or other employment. You will also be eligible for between four and six weeks paid respite breaks (dependant on the needs of the client).

Can I only work during office hours or school term time?

Yes, Day Service Carers provide activities for 3 or 6 hours at one time. You can negotiate with your client what days and time suit you best.

Can carers have pets?

Yes, the unique selling point about Shared Lives is that we provide our services in a more natural environment. We make sure that our clients are not at risk of harm from the animals they may come in contact with, but understand the value that pets can bring to the lives of our clients.

I am a full-time parent. Will I be able to be a carer and look after my children?

Being a parent is not necessarily a barrier to being a Shared Lives Carer. Evidence suggests that it is actually beneficial for our clients and children to meet each other, however, during the assessment process, we would like you to consider whether you can balance the responsibility of both jobs and have a backup plan in place if there was an emergency situation.

Can I become a Shared Lives Carer as a second job?

Yes, of course! Many of our carers have other paid employment. Some carers work full time during the week and provide Day Services or Short Breaks at weekends.

Do I have to provide Shared Lives services in my own home?

Yes, all carers provide care from their own home environment, whether they provide Day Services, Short Breaks, Longer Term placements or a mixture of all. However, it is very common that carers take their clients out and about in Leicestershire to enjoy the countryside or access local amenities.

Apply to become a Shared Lives Carer

If you think you have what it takes to change a life and are looking for a flexible, challenging and hugely rewarding role, we’d love to hear from you.

This online application form asks you about your education, qualifications and employment experience - please have this information ready before you begin.

Apply to become a Shared Lives Carer

Enquire about Shared Lives

If you still want further information or to discuss before you apply, please call us or submit the enquiry form below:

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1. By phone

Call us on 0116 305 8133

Lines are open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm

2. Using our secure Shared Lives enquiry form

Please give us the details below and we'll be in touch.