West Sussex County Council Logo and link to the website
Accessibility StatementMy Account
Home - Connect to Support

Shared Lives

Four images in a collage: the shared lives heart logo, three persons on a bed, one person at a Pride festival waving a flag, one person with a tree painting.

Our Shared Lives Scheme is registered with the Care Quality Commission, with an overall rating of 'Good' and an 'outstanding' rating for 'caring'. The scheme consists of over 100 households where approved, trained and highly skilled Shared Lives carers open up their own family homes to provide long or short-term care and support. The Shared Lives Scheme can be offered to any adult in West Sussex with assessed care and support needs and, in some cases, to young people from the age of 16. The scheme is available to people with a range of different needs, including people with learning or physical disabilities, mental-health needs or dementia, and vulnerable older people.

Shared Lives can provide:

  • longer-term accommodation and support;
  • short breaks (for example, to give the main carers a break, to support people as they move towards adulthood, and in emergency situations); and
  • day-time support involving sharing the home, family and community life of the Shared Lives carer.

The scheme works to:

  • support people to be actively involved in their local community;
  • enable people to live the life they choose;
  • listen to people and treat them with respect, kindness and dignity;
  • support people to live in a place they can call home;
  • make sure people have a say in every aspect of their care and support;
  • support people to maintain friendships and relationships, as well as to make new ones; and
  • support people to maintain their health and wellbeing.

What people say about the Shared Lives Scheme

People supported by Shared Lives

“My carers always listen and always act on what’s agreed.”

“Gained paid employment, I sell my artwork.”

“I enjoy having my own front door key.”

“I’m very happy with the support and my life.”

"We have a good laugh, I like going out to restaurants, takeaways. My bedroom is being decorated and it looks really nice."

Families and professionals

“Services are fantastic at developing ways in which the people who are using them have a voice. There is a lot of good co-production within the services.”

“Shared lives carer is amazing, [the] service they provide is brilliant.”

“Definitely outstanding, even more than that.”

“No issues at all, always get an answer to any queries or concerns.”

"I am very pleased with the Shared Lives Carers they couldn't be more helpful with me and my son. His communication and confidence is better, his living skills are much improved."

"Shared Lives has enriched our lives and also the lives of our families and those around us."

Shared Lives carers

“I would rate the support I have received in recent years, and continue to receive, as exemplary. Great reciprocal communication and highly professional attitude with a friendly, concerned, and supportive approach.”

“I immensely enjoy my role and feel extremely well supported.”

"I am now in my first six months of this role and must say that it is the most rewarding and personally fulfilling role I have held within the care sector."

"Training allows us to update and review our knowledge around current policies and procedures and any changes are usually promptly shared by the manager usually via email.”

"The Shared Lives Worker is very skilled, knowledgeable and professional. The relationship between us is built on mutual respect."


“I feel as though my opinions and observations are listened to and acknowledged. The communication between the Shared Lives Workers and Carers, and the Individuals, is adapted and delivered according to the needs and preferences of those involved.”

“If I had a friend or relative with a learning disability, I would wholeheartedly recommend our service.”

“I have never worked for such a friendly and open service, I feel nurtured and supported by a friendly and open team that is led by a dynamic and driven yet approachable senior leadership team.”

“We work as a team, listen to one another and take on feedback, constructive and otherwise. We apply new learning and new ideas.”

"I am feeling the most valued as an employee of WSCC since being with the Scheme, positive feedback through Team meeting, compliments, direct feedback and positive affirmation in supervision."

Find out more

If you'd like to find out more about the Shared Lives Scheme, please see our Shared Lives Leaflet.

If you're interested in using the Shared Lives Scheme or becoming a Shared Lives Carer, please contact us for an informal discussion.

Shared Lives Duty Team

Off Victoria Road
Burgess Hill
RH15 9LH

Email: sharedlives.dutyworker@westsussex.gov.uk
Phone: 033022 25700
Calls using Relay UK: 18001 033022 25700
(for deaf callers from a textphone or the NGT Lite app downloaded onto a computer, tablet or smartphone)

Last updated: 06 November 2023