Signposting - Moving to adult life - Shared Lives – Support and/or Accommodation for Young People with SEND aged 16+


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Section: Signposting

Subsection: Signposting - Moving to adult life

Shared Lives – Support and/or Accommodation for Young People with SEND aged 16+

Shared Lives is where an adult or young person (16+) who needs support and/or accommodation moves in with or regularly visits an approved and carefully matched Shared Lives Carer. Together, they share home, family and community life. Shared Lives carers are approved following rigorous recruitment and training by one of the UK’s 153 local schemes, regulated by the government’s care inspectors.

Shared Lives is different to other forms of care and support as it focusses on normal everyday living, so young people get to learn new skills like cooking or money management within a home environment, in the way most of us do. This opportunity to learn and develop means that Shared Lives can work as a secure stepping stone to independence, with people moving on to get their own place. It also gives young people the flexibility to pursue their own interests and hobbies as well as forming lasting bonds and relationships with the Shared Lives carers and their networks.

14,000 people use Shared Lives including people with learning disabilities, physical impairments or mental ill health, young parents with learning disabilities and their children, people coming home from hospital and those with long-term health conditions. Many young people move in to Shared Lives having been in fostering.

Shared Lives is an ideal model for young people because it is truly person centred. The outcomes can be startling, with people reporting feeling settled, valued and like they belong. Young people make friends, get involved in clubs, activities and volunteering. They have excellent role models, learn life skills and above all become part of a family and part of their community.

120 young people aged 16 and 17 are currently supported through Shared Lives. Not every scheme is able to provide matches for people of this age – yet. But the number is growing as the outcomes continue to inspire people to make Shared Lives possible for young people.

You can find out more about Shared Lives through their website: [Shared Lives] or get in touch with Ali Hall, Development Officer for young people in transition at: or on 07387 418741.