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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.

You’ll need to be over 18 years old and have some experience in a caring role, which can be formal or informal and will be assessed when you apply. As a Shared Lives Provider, you will be expected to provide services from within your own family home, this is not a PA role.

You’ll need experience in one or more of the following, supporting adults with:

  • learning disabilities
  • mental health conditions
  • physical or sensory disabilities
  • dementia
  • drug and alcohol dependency
  • age-related disabilities

You can be:

  • single or living with a partner, including same sex relationships
  • a home owner or a tenant

Personal qualities of a Shared Lives carer

You’ll need to have:

  • flexibility
  • a good sense of humour
  • patience
  • good understanding and listening skills
  • excellent communication and record keeping skills and able to work as part of the Shared Lives service and with other professionals
  • initiative
  • a positive attitude and an ability to maintain confidentiality
  • a commitment to equal opportunities - regardless of disability, race, culture or beliefs.

What the work involves

  • Providing meaningful activities - either at home or in the community
  • Helping someone to develop their independent living skills, such as cooking, budgeting, using public transport, developing road safety skills.
  • Helping with personal care tasks

You could offer care support during the daytime, evenings and at weekends.

Some Shared Lives carers offer long-term accommodation and support to people, while other carers offer overnight short breaks for days or weeks at a time. Some of our carers also offer daytime support on a one-to-one basis or in groups of up to 3 people.

Assessment and approval process

You’ll need to provide references from:

  • A current or previous employer
  • Two personal referees who have known you for at least 2 years
  • Your GP – to ensure your health is suitable for this work
  • Your mortgage lender or landlord – to ensure that they are happy for you to do this kind of work in your home

We will also conduct a DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) check on you and any other applicants.
Local Authority checks will also be carried out on you and members of your household.

A detailed assessment will be carried out to make sure you have the appropriate skills, values and attitudes to become an approved Shared Lives carer. The assessment process can take several months and approval is made by the Shared Lives Panel.

Getting paid

You’ll be paid for the care and support you provide for people. You may be able to support up to 3 people at any one time, depending on your space and your skills. Payments will vary according to the level of care and support people need. Please contact us for more information on current payment rates.

As a Shared Lives carer you’ll be classed as self-employed.

We are unable to guarantee you regular work.

The amount of work is likely to be depend on your own flexibility, location, skills, experience and the type of services you’re approved to provide.

Support for Shared Lives carers

You’ll have the support of a named Shared Lives Worker, who’ll also monitor the services you provide. This support will be given through visits, telephone calls and email.

You’ll also have access to training and information events to further develop your skills and knowledge.

Your Shared Lives worker can also put you in touch with other Shared Lives carers for:

  • mutual support
  • feedback of any concerns
  • suggestions to improve the service including training requests

Shared Lives Plus

Shared Lives Plus is a UK network for Shared Lives carers. You can learn more about them and become a member by visiting


We will always try and carefully match the right person with you, but you always have the right to say no and we’ll respect your decision.

Reminder: To apply you will need to be 18 years of age or older and have at least one year's experience in a caring role (in a formal or informal role). You will need to be willing to work from and share your home. As a Shared Lives Provider, you will be expected to provide services from within your own family home, this is not a PA role.

Enquire about becoming a Shared Lives carer

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