Council’s Shared Lives Service highly praised
A Wakefield Council service which provides support to adults with additional needs has been praised for the 'outstanding' care it provides.
The Shared Lives scheme supports adults with learning disabilities, mental health problems or other health needs, who cannot live alone, by matching them with an approved carer in their community.
The carer shares their home and family life and helps the person needing support to develop skills and confidence to become more independent.
The service has recently been assessed by regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which rated the standard of care as 'outstanding' whilst other elements such as the responsiveness, effectiveness and leadership of the service were all rated as 'good'.
Cllr Faith Heptinstall, Cabinet Member for Adults and Health at Wakefield Council, said: "It is great that this service has been recognised for the excellent care and support it provides. Shared Lives is very important to the community and is quite rightly, highly valued."
The service provides essential support to those with additional needs who would like to live either permanently or on a respite basis in a family home.
People who use the service may have a physical, mental or learning disability, or needs which come with growing older.
The CQC said the service helps people to increase their independence, express their views and have new experiences. It found people were supported to achieve the goals important to them, including in some cases gaining skills they need to move into their own home. People were included in decision making, so they had choice and control over their lives.
The CQC report said carers providing respite placements received good support for long and short term placements which were described as a 'home from home'. A high standard of training and support was in place.
People using the service were referred to by carers as 'friends' and 'part of the family' and were included in family holidays, social activities and all aspects of daily life. Others were gaining confidence to socialise independently and build friendships, which had enhanced their lives.
The service is always keen to hear from those interested in becoming a Shared Lives Carer.
Cllr Heptinstall added: "We know from speaking to carers that this service can be very rewarding and it brings a lot of happiness to people's lives.
"If you have a genuine desire to help others and the time in your life, get in touch with us to find out more."
Shared Lives Carers need a spare room in their home and a willingness to support someone with a learning disability, physical disability, mental health needs or needs which come with growing older. No experience is needed as full training is given. Shared Lives Carers receive an allowance for the support they provide.
For more information call 01977 722 254 or visit www.wakefield.gov.uk/sharedlives to find out more about Shared Lives and to hear from other carers about their experiences.