Shared Lives is a way to support adults, and young people over the age of 16, who are unable to live independently.

The scheme places the person with a Shared Lives carer. The carer offers accommodation, care and support in their home.

Shared Lives providers train, support and pay carers to provide support in this way.

Carers can give support full time or for short breaks, respite or day activities.

Become a Shared Lives carer

All kinds of people can be Shared Lives carers. You could be a couple or single, with or without children, a home owner or tenant. An approved carer can support up to 3 adults at a time.

The Shared Lives providers pay, train and support the carers.

To become an approved Shared Lives carer, you need to:

  • take part in a selection process
  • pass a Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check 
  • have reference checks
  • receive training
  • be willing to welcome someone with support needs into your home
  • have a spare room that meets required standards

How Shared Lives carers are paid

Carers are not paid by the hour and they do not work to a fixed schedule. They get paid in line with the expectations set out in a Shared Lives arrangement agreement.

Shared Lives carers don’t have to agree to any care and support arrangement offered.

Shared Lives carers do not employ staff to help them provide care.

Shared Lives carers are not employed by the council, they are self-employed. This means they have to pay their own tax and national insurance. They can get the Shared Lives tax break.

Find more information about taxes for carers from gov.uk.

Specialisms and services

Our carers have specialisms and services. This makes it easier to find the right carer for you. These include:

  • learning disabilities
  • mental health conditions
  • personal care
  • physical disabilities
  • dementia
  • sensory impairments
  • caring for young people aged 16 to 18
  • caring for adults under 65
  • caring for adults over 65

Find more information on what Shared Lives can offer. Phone 01273 295 550 or send an email to info.sharedlives@brighton-hove.gov.uk.

Become a member of the Shared Lives scheme

If you want support from a Shared Lives carer, contact your social worker, care manager or support officer.

If you do not have one, you can contact Access Point. This is our contact centre for Adult Social Care. Someone will help you complete an assessment. Phone 01273 295 555 or send an email to accesspoint@brighton-hove.gov.uk.

If you’re suitable for the scheme, we’ll match you to a carer. You’ll both have the chance to get to know each other at your own pace before making any commitments.

Service quality

Brighton & Hove Shared Lives is registered with the Care Quality Commission. This means the quality of the service is regularly monitored. It’s currently rated as 'good'.

Carers are supported and monitored during placements.

The registered manager of each Shared Lives provider handles the quality and safety of care and support in every Shared Lives arrangement.

Find out more about Shared Lives from Shared Lives Plus. This is the national organisation for Shared Lives.

Real life experiences

Lyn and Celia

Shared Lives carer Lyn has Celia living with her. Lyn said: “Being a Shared Lives carer is a great way of life."

Read more about Lyn and Celia's experience.

Dena, Linda, Tyler and Harley

Dena and Linda say taking part in the Shared Lives scheme is "the best decision they've ever made."

Read more about Dena, Linda, Tyler and Harvey's experience of the scheme.

Elly and Roy

Elly is a Shared Lives carer who supports Roy, who has a disability, to be as independent as possible.

Watch the video to learn more about Elly and Roy's story.

Marian and Brian

Marian said, “I think Shared Lives has been great for Brian as well. It’s given him the love, support and stability of a family that he might not otherwise have had.”

Read about Brian’s experience of the scheme.