Lancashire County Council’s Shared Lives Service has once again been recognised for making a difference to people’s lives.
Shared Lives matches adults with disabilities, mental health needs and older people, with carers and families who can provide support in their home.
Care Knowledge, an organisation that supports the professional development of social care staff, has recognised the quality of the county council’s service.
Shared Lives was featured in a report on services rated as ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission. It was used as an example of a care service that fits in with the principles of the 2014 Care Act.
This news comes as the number of people being supported by Shared Lives in Lancashire has now passed the 380 mark.
County Councillor Graham Gooch, cabinet member for adult services, said: “I’m pleased that our Shared Lives scheme has once again received national recognition.
“The idea is that people who need support live with Shared Lives Carers and their families.
“Placements vary in length from emergency support and short break respite care, to longer term living arrangements.
“Our Shared Lives Team matches people with carers who are best placed to support them with their individual needs.
“Lancashire’s Shared Lives Service is already the largest in the country. The fact 383 people now use the service is great news as research shows this is one of the best care options available.
“We are currently looking to recruit new carers to help us expand the service further this year.”
The county council aims to recruit carers to support a further 50 people in Shared Lives placements over the next three years.
Nicola Clear, head of the county council’s disability service, said: “Care Knowledge recognised our service because it fits in well with the 2014 Care Act and its focus on promoting wellbeing.
“It’s about putting the needs of each person first. We match people with approved carers based on their personality, their interests, likes and dislikes, and things they have in common.
“The carers help people to develop while enjoying being part of a family.
“With this support, people can develop independent living skills such as making their own meals, using appliances and shopping.
“Carers have also helped people to study on courses to develop literacy and numeracy skills so they can learn how to manage their finances and supported them to join gyms so they can become more active.
“Providing support like this is a great way to ensure people stay well and can live as independently as possible.”
You can find out more information about the Shared Lives service at www.lancashire.gov.uk/sharedlives
This webpage also includes information about new carer recruitment and real life case studies featuring Shared Lives carers and people they support.