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 adult, or young person, with someone who offers accommodation, care and support in their own home.

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

Support can be provided full time, short breaks, respite or day activities.

Become a Shared Lives carer

All kinds of people can be Shared Lives carers: couples or singles, with or without children, home owners or tenants. An approved carer can support up to three adults at a time.

Carers are paid, trained and supported by the Shared Lives providers.

To become an approved Shared Lives carer you will need to

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

Payment and tax

Shared Lives carers are not employed by the council, they are classed as self employed.

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

Shared Lives carers are under no obligation to agree to any care and support arrangement offered.

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

Because Shared Lives carers are self employed, they are responsible for making their own tax and national insurance payments. They are eligible for the Shared Lives tax break.

Gov.UK provides Guidance for HS236 Qualifying care relief: foster carers, adult placement carers, kinship carers and staying put carers (2015).


  • Learning disabilities
  • Mental health conditions
  • Personal care
  • Physical disabilities
  • Dementia
  • Sensory impairments
  • Caring for young people 16 -18yrs
  • Caring for adults under 65 yrs
  • Caring for adults over 65 yrs

Find out more

Call: 01273 295550

Become a Shared Lives scheme member

If you would like to use the Shared Lives scheme for support, you must contact your social worker, care manager or support officer.

If you do not have a social worker, care manager or support officer, contact Access Point, our contact centre for Adult Social Care. Someone will help you to complete an assessment.

If you are eligible for the scheme, we will match you to a carer. You will both have the chance to get to know each other at your own pace before making any commitment.

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 their 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 their 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 below for Elly and Roy's story.

Marian and Brian

Read about Brian’s experience of the scheme.

Service quality

Brighton & Hove Shared Lives are registered with the Care Quality Commission so the quality of the service is regularly monitored and is currently rated as 'good'.

Carers are fully supported and are also monitored during placements.

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

Further information

You can find out more about Shared Lives from Shared Lives Plus, the national organisation for Shared Lives.