Shared Lives Frequently Asked Questions

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Shared Lives Frequently Asked Questions FAQs

How do I become a Shared Lives Carer?

Firstly, contact our friendly Shared Lives Team, email and we will ring you back for a chat.

Secondly, we will send you an application form to complete.

How long will it take for me to become a Shared Lives Carer?

The approval process will take four to six months.

How much will I get paid?

You will be paid £450.00 per week, per person placed but it can reach up to £550.00 plus. This will depend on the level of care and support you offer.

How old do you have to be to become a Shared Lives Carer?

All carers must be aged 18 or over, own or rent their own property and have a spare room.

How long can I be a Shared Lives Carer for?

There is no limit to how long you can be a Shared Lives Carer. As long as the carer is able and keen to continue. We have some carers who have been with our service for over 25 years.

What if I don’t live in my own home?

All our carers need to have their own home, whether its owned, leased or rented. You will need to inform your mortgage lender or landlord that you are applying to be an approved Shared Lives Carer.

What about tax relief?

There is a very generous tax relief level set for all Shared Lives Carers.

This changed in the Spring budget. The government announced an increase in  the amount of income tax relief available to foster carers and shared lives carers. This means that carers will only begin to pay tax on their care income if they earn up to £18,140 per year plus £375-450 per person cared for per week for 2023-24.

All carers should register as self-employed with HMRC and complete an annual, short version tax return. We can help you to complete this. Very few carers pay any tax on their income.

Will my caring affect my benefits?

Your eligibility for some benefits may be affected, but we can be discuss this with you when you apply.

How do you match carers with people?

Your Shared Lives Coordinator will work with you to discuss your interests, skills and personal strengths. We will then assess you and match you with the right person.

You will be introduced to the person and their family over a coffee, usually at your home and then slowly build up to overnight stays.

How many people can I care for at any one time?

Usually, the maximum is one carer supporting two people, but it will depend on the size of your home.

Will I get the opportunity to meet the people I will care for

Yes, we can arrange this for you. Introductions can be at your home, the person’s home, in a café, or wherever you feel comfortable.

Who pays for the care?

Bolton Council pays for the care.

Are there support systems in place if I need them?

All Shared Lives Carers have a named, Coordinator. They will offer you regular visits and are always there for telephone support.

There is a Finance lead who manages carer payments and deals with any queries.

We can also refer to other support services including, Nursing, Occupational Therapists.

There is also 24 hour, seven days a week, on call support, which gives you access to a Coordinator at all times.

As part of the induction process we will ensure that you receive full training and give you opportunities to keep your training up-to-date.

What is involved in the induction process?

We will arrange to come and see you at your home. We can then give you more information and answer any questions you may have.

The team will check that your home and spare room meets out criteria. We will  take-up two personal references, a GP check, and a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check.

The approval process involves four to six three hours sessions. These can be within a group setting or on a one to one basis.

The coordinator’s will get to know you and your family and will assess if you are suitable as a Shared Lives Carer. They will then prepare a report which will be presented to an independent panel and they will decide.

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