We can help you make the most of being a carer with Shared Lives South West

How will I be supported as a Shared Lives carer

Training and support

Our carers are professional people, who happen to work from home. We believe it’s vital to develop and maintain their knowledge and skills .

We expect carers to complete mandatory training and we will also provide specialised training, if required, depending on the needs of the person you are supporting.

Much of our training is free to attend.

All carers have access to our handbook, policies and  carer agreement.

Paid Breaks and Respite

It is important that our carers take breaks. We will support you by giving you access to a respite fund to enable you to take a paid break each year by using our short break service or other alternatives.

Shared Lives Coordinator

Our carers are supported by a Shared Lives Coordinator, who is responsible for the social care element of the placement and are in constant contact with social care teams in the area. All of our carers are assigned a coordinator.  They are there to support, listen, match, resolve complex issues, monitor wellbeing, signposting and  mediation.

They carry out a variety of tasks including:

  • Working with the carer and the person they are supporting to write a person centred plan.
  • Our coordinators are there to monitor, support, give advice and offer guidance to carers.
  • Help with training, social events and carer meetings.
  • Keeping in touch with social care teams to let them know how the placements are going.

Funding and Benefits

Our Funding and Benefits Team. which is based in the Devon office is responsible for  funding arrangements, appointeeship and benefits, contributions and personal allowances, respite, short-breaks

They can support you by:

    • Making sure the people who use our services have claimed all the welfare benefits they are entitled to.
    • Calculating what fees are due for the service.
    • Making sure carers get paid the correct amount.
    • Helping people who use our services to manage their benefit income through our money management support service.
    • Assisting with queries about mileage payments, holiday costs and arranging respite breaks

Leadership team

Are responsible for planning, governance, continuity, compliance, contract management, recruitment. They support the staff team in all areas and ensure we continue to provide high quality, person centred care.


We hold regular informal meetings for our carers which include an organisational update, discussion about topical issues and occasionally a specialist speaker.

We organise social events each year including discos and summer picnics. Our carers are encouraged to meet regularly for ‘peer support’, some participate in a carer consultation group and offer a ‘buddying’ system for new carers.

Carer Engagement Group

We have a Carer Engagement Group where carers can voice their concerns and their views will be voiced via the group. The CEG has a role in shaping the organisation going forward.

Carer Buddy

To help support carers in their role we offer them a buddy. The buddy is a SLSW Carer who is already in post and can offer support, advice and a listening ear.

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“It’s good to be able to get on with things ourselves, but it’s also good to know there’s someone there to talk to for backup, advice and support, when we need it.”

A Shared Lives South West carer