The Shared Lives Scheme specialises in providing care, support and accommodation to people with a learning disability, autistic spectrum conditions and dementia. The service is different from a care home as the person usually lives in the Shared Lives Carer's home. 

The Richmond Shared Lives Scheme has been rated as good by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). 

See our summary ratings poster

Shared Lives Scheme

Shared Lives homes can only have a maximum of three clients living there at any one time. Shared Lives Carers come from a wide range of backgrounds and all have different family circumstances. We recruit, assess and support providers who offer accommodation or care and support in their family home to people who are unable to live independently.

What is available?

The Shared Lives Scheme is a registered service which offers people the chance to receive care and support that they need within the Shared Lives Carer’s own home:

  • Placements are arranged in the homes of Shared Lives carers who have been assessed, trained and approved for this purpose.
  • Placements can be short term, lasting anything from one night to several weeks, enabling the person with and their carers to have a break.
  • Or they can be more long term, providing the opportunity for the person receiving support to live as part of the family.

Who is the scheme for?

People who are over the age of 16 who live in Richmond and have:

  • a learning disability
  • an Autistic spectrum condition
  • a diagnosis of dementia.

Are the Shared Lives Carers trained?

All Shared Lives Carers go through an assessment which includes training and background checks including an enhanced disclosure and barring check. Shared Lives Carers are only approved once the Shared Lives Panel has been satisfied they have the skills to support a vulnerable person.

All Shared Lives Carers receive supervision and their work is monitored and they participate in training to develop their skills, and the scheme ensures that people get the support they require.

How are people matched with Shared Lives Carers?

A matching process takes place during which every effort is made to ensure that the individual and the Shared Lives Carer are compatible. Meetings are then held to ensure all essential information is shared between the person, their family and the Shared Lives Carer. Topics discussed include:

  • The support individuals needs
  • Information on the person’s interests, hobbies and past experience
  • Information about what the person likes to do
  • Facts about the person’s health

The Shared Lives team work closely with the individual's existing carer to ensure they’re involved in the way the service is planned and delivered, from start to finish.

How to apply

In order to work out what your needs are and whether Shared Lives is the best way to meet them, you’ll need to have an assessment. After the assessment, the Council will identify and agree your needs with you, and discuss the help and support available to meet them.

How much does it cost?

There will be some costs involved, but the actual amount you pay will depend on which services you receive. To see if you qualify for any financial help, The Council will carry out a financial assessment. 


Further information:

You can contact the Shared Lives Team for more information:

Shared Lives Scheme
Phone: 020 8487 5399

The Adult Access Team is the first point of contact for all referrals and general enquiries. They’ll discuss your situation over the phone to find out more about the kind of help and support you need. They may follow this up with a visit to your home to discuss what help is available.  

Richmond Council Adult Access Team
Address: Adult Social Services, Civic Centre, 44 York Street, Twickenham, TW1 3BZ
Phone: 020 8891 7971
Minicom: 18001 020 8891 7971