The Shared Lives Scheme has been set up to provide equal opportunities for care leavers who have profound disabilities to stay with their current foster carers under a shared lives scheme rather than having to be moved to another agency and potential carer. We believe all care leavers have the right to choose to stay with their foster carers post 18 years. However, for young adults with disabilities and personal care needs this could not be undertaken by the usual staying put arrangements and therefore we have set up the staying put scheme via Sunbeam Care that is owned by the same Directors as Sunbeam Fostering Agency.
The scheme is only made available to young people turning 18 years old who are:
• Already in our Sunbeam Fostering Agency care
• Have established relationships with their foster carers and community
• It is deemed in the best interest for the individual to remain with the carer by all professionals.
• The wishes and feelings of the individual support this.
A shared lives placement is stipulated as part of the individual’s pathway plan and provides continuous care into adult life, with the same carer/s and the same social work team from the agency, that know the carer/s and young adult well.
We will therefore not, recruit any individuals to become shared lives carers and this will only be a natural progression if it is agreed with the young person’s pathway plan. Our objective here is to provide continuous care for the young person transitioning into adulthood.
The approval terms at panel will be for this adult only and no other adult placement will be made within the same household. As the shared lives carer/s will have dual registration of fostering their fostering approval terms will be reviewed to assess the suitability of continuing with fostering as well as being a shared lives carer.
As the individual is already an established person within the carers home a formal matching process will not take place however an adult care plan will be undertaken before they have turned eighteen. This is to ensure the changing needs of the individual becoming an adult are fully assessed, actioned and reviewed.
Objective to provide safe adults to the support circle/network
Our Shared Lives Scheme will be registered with CQC for the regulated activity of personal care as defined in the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulation 2010 and Care Quality Commission (Registration) Regulation 2009.
Shared Lives Carers will go through a Shared Lives Assessment and undertake safeguarding checks such as Enhanced DBS, Local Authority checks and if applicable employment. References from the Local Authority Social Worker, the Supervising Social Worker and birth parent/s to the individual or a personal reference will be sought. If the household are couple carers, they will both be approved as Shared Lives Carers and there is no option for one carer to opt out of this role. As directed by CQC adult members of the household will not be DBS checked but we will expect any known information to come via the shared lives carer enhance DBS as this is a home-based occupation. The assessment will be presented to panel who will review the assessment and identify any areas of guidance, strengths or development required. The assessment will then be signed off by the Chair and the Registered Manager.
Our vision for our shared lives homes, is that they are deemed as capable environments for the individual to thrive and enjoy their experiences there. Shared Lives Carers are to ensure that they include the individual in their lives and that they are an active family member, who is enabled to contribute to the running of the home and the overall enjoyment of the household.
Support carers will undergo an enhanced DBS check, employment reference and a personal reference check. Where an enhance DBS check is not available or there is a delay in processing a check a DBS risk assessment and safety plan will be completed. The type of support and the quality of support will be discussed within supervision to monitor whether this support is meeting the individual’s needs.
The support carers nominated by the shared lives carer will also be subject to a Support Carers Shared Lives Assessment. This will be reviewed and signed off by the Registered Manager. Any support that has not been established through the shared lives carers personal support network will be commissioned via a Registered CQC Domiciliary Service. The support will be monitored and reviewed as part of supervision and included in the Shared Lives Carers Annual Review. No adult will be given permission to care for the individual unless the support carers procedures have been followed. All adults will be privy to the service user risk assessment that will be updated and reviewed at least every 6 months and will be aware about their responsibilities in keeping the individual safe.
The staff members supervising and supporting the shared lives placement will also be subject to an enhance DBS check (yearly as part of the update service), Local Authority check for where they reside, past employers checks, registered with Social Work England and a medical regarding being fit to work in social care. Where possible the social worker will remain the same allocated social worker and continue their role within Sunbeam Care. There will always be adequate numbers of social workers to shared lives placements. Social workers will be supervised at least bi-monthly and be subject to an annual appraisal. Staff training will be updated and kept in line with best practice.
Objective to provide safe accommodation and care.
The social worker will provide the shared lives carer supervision bi-monthly and will be supervised by their manager. Supervision will be face to face unless there are health restrictions (risk of infection) and then it will be held virtually. The social worker will be permitted ample of time to hold a thorough and detailed supervision and will also meet with the individual during supervision to ascertain their views of the service and support being provided. Supervision recordings will be uploaded and shared with the Shared Lives Carer. Supervision will cover all aspects of the individual care such as:
• Administering personal care
• Safeguarding, care (person centred) and the welfare of the individual
• Access to community resources
• Independence and decision making/informed choices
• Evidencing positive outcomes
• Support and guidance for the shared lives carer
• Training and development for the shared lives carer