Image by Zach Lucero

FAQs

How much experience do I need to be a Shared Lives carer?

 

Previous experience is great, but it’s not essential. All you really need is to be a caring person with room to spare at home. We’ll support you through all the training you need to provide the best care for our customers. 

How do I become a Shared Lives carer?

 

It’s really easy, and it all starts with a conversation. If it sounds like something you’d like to try, use our call back service and we’ll give you a buzz when suits you best to get the conversation going. From there, you’ll go through an assessment process that we’ll walk you through, every step of the way.

 

What will the training be like?

 

You will complete Avalon's induction to give you a flavour of what we are all about, and to provide you with the skills you need to support Shared Lives customers. You will also be offered bespoke training courses to meet the individual needs of the people you care for. The most important thing to remember is that you’ll have access to the support of Avalon whenever you need us.

Do I receive a salary for my role as a Shared Lives carer?

 

Yes. Carers receive a weekly payment which is based on the needs of the person or people they support. Carers can typically expect to receive between £250 and £600 per week per person they support based on a permanent living arrangement. Alongside the weekly payment amount, carers also receive a weekly contribution directly from the people they support, which pays towards utility bills and food.

Do Shared Lives carers receive any other benefits?

 

You will enjoy self-employed status and are eligible for income tax incentives. As part of your association with The Avalon Group you are entitled to further benefits including award winning training, discounts at high street retailers, and a 24/7 employee helpline which provides impartial advice on any personal matters. We also offer a refer a friend scheme, so if you recommend someone you know to become a Shared Lives carer, you will receive a payment of £150.

What sort of needs will I support people with?

 

Shared Lives provides support to anyone over 16 with an assessed care need. This could mean people with a learning or physical disability, autism, dementia or a mental health need. As part of your assessment we will ask you about the kind of needs you feel comfortable supporting, and this will inform which customers you are matched with after you are apporved as a carer.

Can I support more than one person?

 

Yes! You can support up to three people at any one time. But remember, we carefully match all of our carers to our customers, so it’s important you’re the right fit together, too. 

What if I have children at home, can I still be a carer?

 

It's fine to have children at home and this does not affect your ability to become a Shared Lives carer. Your family life will be taken into account when you are matched to the people you support. Many of our carers have children at home, and this can lead to even more positive benefits for the people supported in your household.

Will I still be able to go out/take holidays?

 

Carers are supported and encouraged to maintain their personal life and take regular breaks. We encourage long-term carers to introduce a friend or family member to be approved as a support carer; a support carer can cover for you if
you have a holiday or simply want an evening out with your friends. We also have respite carers across your locality who can offer a place for the people you support so that you can take a break.

What if the person I support is unhappy with me, or vice versa?

 

You’re never obliged to keep supporting someone if either of you feel uncomfortable in any way. If a placement is not working out for either or both parties, we will ensure a safe new placement is found for the person you support, and a new placement is found to share their life with you. 

Will I be an employee of The Avalon Group?

 

No. As a Shared Lives carer you will be self-employed. However, as the provider responsible for Shared Lives in your area, we will support you to deliver your role with confidence. We will ensure your training is up-to-date, and will help you to complete necessary paperwork. 

What is Avalon's role?

 

Avalon is paid by local authorities to provide the Shared Lives service to local people. We recruit Shared Lives carers (maybe you!) and then train them, match them to a customer and support them to continue to provide outstanding care. It’s simple, really! We pay our carers the fee agreed by the local authority we’re working with (this amount varies depending on the needs of the people you support) and we support our carers and customers to make sure everyone is getting the help they need.

Find out more

Become a Shared Lives carer

Info about our charity