Information for carers about Shared Lives

What is Shared Lives?

Shared Lives uses a network of home-based carers who share their home and community life for a few hours a week, an overnight stay, or a longer term live-in arrangement, for adults who need support.

Do you think Shared Lives could support you? See our information for service users.

The scheme follows a careful matching process looking in a holistic way at our carer’s strengths, knowledge and personalities, matching these to the needs of the person who needs support. This ensures the person is comfortable and is given choice about who provides their support and that the carer feels able to fully support the person who will be staying with them in their home.

We can provide introductory visits for the service user to become familiar with the carer and their home before they commit to a visit or an overnight stay. This offers more choice and control over how the person plans their own support.

We are looking for more people who can provide Shared Lives support, within the carer's own home environment, focusing on promotion and maintenance of independence and wellbeing.

Who are the Shared Lives carers?

Our carers come from a wide range of backgrounds, but all are enthusiastic about welcoming someone into their home and family life. All have some caring experience, either as a professional care worker, or as a family carer. 

Anyone over the age of 18 can be a Shared Lives carer. A younger person living at home could be a carer with the agreement of their parents, or the homeowner. Some of our carers are retired, and find their house is too quiet after grown up children leave home. Others are parents with young children for whom Shared Lives means they can be at home with their children instead of going out to work.

Carers could be single, single parents, grandparents, working, unemployed and from all ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

What experience or qualifications do I need?

We are looking for people who have patience, empathy, a sense of humour and the ability to help individuals meet the challenges presented by everyday life. You will need to have either some formal or informal caring experience. We welcome applications from people who can meet the needs of our diverse communities and cultures.

In line with the Safeguarding Adults policy, all Shared Lives carers are required to undergo screening checks through the Disclosure and Barring Service and will include seeking references from relevant people that know you.

Benefits for carers

Payment and tax

Shared Lives carers receive a payment for providing support this depends on the support provided and the needs of the adult needing support. This payment also covers expenses incurred such as food, heating and lighting. Please contact us for more information.

The first £10,000 which a household earns through the Shared Lives scheme, plus £250 per week for each Shared Lives Placement is disregarded for tax purposes, even if the carer is also employed elsewhere and pays tax on that income Find out more on the HMRC website.

Shared Lives carers are self-employed and registered with HMRC.

Training and support

We provide a comprehensive training programme to ensure carers are equipped with the knowledge and skills required to provide support.

You will also be supported by the Shared Lives team, and will always be able to contact someone if you need any advice, or have any questions.


We will provide you with Public Liability Insurance.

Flexible working

You can choose the hours you work and the type of support you provide.

Make a complaint about a service

We have information online about the Cambridgeshire County Council complaints procedure.

Contact us

Phone: 01354 750084