What is Shared Lives?

Tower Hamlets Shared Lives (THSL) is an alternative to traditional types of care and support available to adults with a learning disability.

In Shared Lives,  a person lives, or stays with a Shared Lives carer within the local community. The Shared Lives carer provides the care and support in their own family home and as part of their own family and community network.

People being supported in Shared Lives can move in with, spend a few nights or spend the day with, the Shared Lives carer in the carer’s family home. The person would become part of the carer’s extended family and be supported by the Shared Lives carer to live the life they choose.

Tower Hamlets Shared Lives supports people who rely on the help and support of others to maximize their potential and maintain their sense of independence.

Download a copy of the easy read Shared Lives booklet.

Who can use the service?

In Tower Hamlets, the Shared Lives scheme is available to adults with a learning disability. To receive a Shared Lives service, you need to be assessed as eligible by Community Learning Disability Services (CLDS).

Types of support

We offer support according to individual needs. It is delivered in three ways:

  • Day support
    Shared Lives user can spend a day with one of our families.

  • Respite
    This can vary from one night to several nights.

  • Long term placement
    Shared Lives user lives on a long term basis with a Shared Lives carer and their family. 

Who are Shared Lives carers?

Shared Lives carers are ordinary people from the local community. Shared Lives carers are self-employed and are paid for the support they provide. They all go through an approval process to ensure they are suitable for the role. This includes a thorough assessment of their care skills, home visits to ensure they can offer a safe and appropriate environment for caring, and criminal record checks.

Why choose Tower Hamlets Shared Lives?

  • People’s health improves because they are supported by the same person/people and changes in health are noticed and acted upon more quickly.
  • Families get to know the Shared Lives family over a period of time and everyone is happy before a long-term arrangement starts.
  • People are matched with families who have similar interest and backgrounds.
  • There is ongoing support to people living in Shared Lives homes.
  • Shared Lives carers receive ongoing monitoring, training and support.