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Shared Lives

What is Shared Lives?

Shared Lives is for someone who needs support and wants to live in a family home environment, it’s a bit like foster care - but for adults.  Ategi will carefully match you with one of our Shared Lives carers, who share their home and family, supporting you to develop your skills, work towards your goals and to be more independent.   You could spend the day, stay for a short break, or move in - it’s completely flexible to your needs. 

Grazelda, Shared Lives carer, drinking a cup of tea and smiling.
Grazelda, one of our Shared Lives carers having a cup of tea.
Kyeron holding his carved totem pole.
Kyeron holding his carved totem pole. Kyeron is supported through Shared Lives.

Who is Shared Lives for?

If you’re over 18 and want to live in a family home, but need some help to live independently, then Shared Lives could be for you. You need to have a reason for needing support – but these reasons can be very varied.  

Shared Lives is a fantastic alternative to other forms of care, like residential care homes or supported living - particularly for people who don’t want to live alone. For people who want support during the day, it’s more flexible than a day-centre: you can use the carer’s home as a base but also go out doing the things you want to do. It helps people to live as part of an ordinary family, part of the community, and to build up strong, more natural relationships.   

Who can Ategi support?

We provide person-centred support to people who need support to live their best life. The people we support are unique, but common reasons people need support are due to:

  • A physical disability
  • Learning disability
  • Autism
  • Mental ill health
  • Addictions
  • Needing support after leaving hospital
  • Or moving on from children's services

Our support is tailored to each person we support, supporting them to develop their confidence, skills and increase their independence.

Speak to our team to find out if we can support you.

Alana on a hike for her Duke of Edinburgh award.

Whatever your needs are, we make sure your care is tailored to you, so we can support you to live the way you want to.

We offer different types of services in different areas.

Wendy cooking with her Shared Lives carer, Grazelda. Both women are smiling at the camera.
Wendy cooking with her Shared Lives carer, Grazelda.

How would I spend my time?

If you're somone that prefers smaller groups to socialise, or even would benefit from one-to-one interaction, then Shared Lives is an ideal choice. 

How you spend your time with your Shared Lives carer is as unique as you are.

You could:

  • Try new activities both at home and out and about
  • Learn new skills and help you gain confidence
  • Improve your skills around the house
  • Attending health appointments, college, clubs or activities
  • Support you volunteering or working
  • Help you move into your home
  • Support you through experiencing other changes such as leaving college or coming out of hospital

Are you a social worker who would like more information on Shared Lives?

Access some useful training videos below.

How does it work?

Every arrangement between a carer and person using Shared Lives is as unique as they are. The beauty of Shared Lives is it’s all about you.

Shared Days

Shared Days is for people who want to spend their days with a Shared Lives carer, at their home, or out in the community. Your home will be somewhere else - perhaps you live with your own family, in your own home or with a different Shared Lives carer. You will spend agreed time with your Shared Lives carer, doing things you have planned. 

Short breaks

This is for people who want to have short-breaks away from their normal home.  You can stay in the carers’ home and they will give you all the help you need.   

Short breaks can be overnight, or can be for just a few days or a week, or even longer depending on the circumstances and what you need.  It might be just once, or you may go for regular short-breaks. 

Living in Shared Lives

You can also move in with your Shared Lives carers. You will have your own room, and a plan on how they will support you. How long you stay could vary - it could be a few months or anything up to many decades.    You might spend your days doing other things in the community or with a different shared lives carer.  You may go and stay with another Shared Lives carer for a short break a few times a year.  

What are the benefits of Shared Lives?

It's unique to you

Each person is carefully matched with a Shared Lives carer - and each arrangement is unique and catered to your strengths, preferences, goals and lifestyle to provide the support you need. 

Cost effective

It's relatively cost effective compared to other types of care.

It's very safe

All of our carers and specially trained and assessed, and each arrangement is carefully monitored by social care professionals.  

Stable environment

Stability is really important for good mental health and we've found that often arrangements can last for up to 20 years! Equally, Shared Lives can be a great place to build the confidence and skills over a shorter time, to enable you to move back to or into your own home. 

Building relationships

Whether your're sharing your days, staying for a short break or moving in with your Shared Lives carer, you'll be spending time with your carer, their family and in the local community helping you to build relationships with the family and people in the area.

Increases independence

At the heart of all our services is Ategi's commitment to supporting people to live happy, independent lives.  Identifying your strengths and goals and helping you achieve these.  Living your life, your way. 

How you can benefit from Shared Lives?

Hear about some of the ways Shared Lives has helped the people we support

How do I pay for Shared Lives?

Usually, the Local Authority will assess your support needs and arrange the payments for your support.   

If you receive a direct payment, or pay for your own care, you can still be supported in Shared Lives. Please contact us to find out more.  

If you move in to a Shared Lives home, you will also pay: 

Cost of the home

A contribution towards the cost of the home (usually this is paid for by housing benefit).

Food & bills

A contribution towards weekly costs such as food and bills.

What you want to do

You will pay for activities you want to do, or things you want to buy - we can provide more information about this.

Ategi can support you to make all these arrangements.

Where is Shared Lives available?

There are Shared Lives schemes all over the country but below are the areas that Ategi run Shared Lives schemes.

Wales: Cardiff

England: Buckinghamshire, Southwark, Slough, Central Bedfordshire & South Gloucestershire

Our latest inspection (CQC/CIW) reports

Do you want to find out more about our services?

Frequently asked questions

Do you have some questions about Shared Lives? Take a look through our FAQs.

Yes, a Shared Lives carer can help you find new activities with the help of their Shared Lives Coordinator. Shared Lives Coordinators are highly experienced in liaising with activity groups in the community, therefore they can find activities for people with varying interests. 

Yes, a Shared Lives carer can help you secure employment or find a voluntary role. Shared Lives carers can do this by utilising the continuous support given their Shared Lives Coordinator. Many of the people we support find employment part-time and full-time employment.