Shared lives

What is Shared Lives?

Shared Lives is all about people sharing their lives with vulnerable adults with a disability, who want to take a break, and need some help and support to live their lives to the full.

Sometimes compared to ‘fostering for adults’, it is a unique form of social care, provided by Shared Lives carers in local homes and communities.

Who is eligible to be offered a Shared Lives service?

In Islington, the Shared Lives scheme is currently available to adults (18+) with Learning disabilities.  To receive a Shared Lives service, you need to be assessed as eligible for a respite service by Learning Disability Services. You can read the FAQs for more information or speak to your allocated social worker.

Who are Shared Lives carers?

Shared Lives carers are ordinary people who come from all walks of life: families, individuals, couples. Any person over the age of 18 who is willing to share their own home and community with people with learning disabilities can become a Shared Lives carer. 

A Shared Lives carer shares their home with an adult who has been matched with them. Depending on your circumstances and how much time you can commit, this could be a long term living arrangement, a short term break, occasional respite care or even just one or two days a week helping someone during the day (rather than them living with you).

How do I become a Shared Lives carer?

All of our Shared Lives carers are supported through an approval process which includes an application form, home visits and an interview with our independent assessment panel. Shared Lives carers need to be fully assessed and police checked before being approved.

Don’t be put off by any of this, as our friendly Shared Lives team will be on hand throughout the process to help guide you through each step.

Shared Lives carers receive training and are paid for the care and support they provide. Pay will vary depending on the level of care and support provided.

Read the FAQs to find out more about what being a Shared Lives carer is all about.

For more information

To find out more about Shared Lives, or for an informal discussion about becoming a Shared Lives carer, please call 020 7527 7661 or email

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