Shared Lives East Lothian

Have you got space in your life and your home to support an adult?

Most of us think that home, family and friends are the most important things in life and this is also the case for people with support needs. Our Shared Lives service provides this for people who may otherwise live much more isolated and lonely lives. Most people are familiar with the fostering model of care and support for children; Shared Lives is a similar service but it is for adults.

We are recruiting now so why not contact us on or 01620 827280 for a chat as soon as you can

What is Shared Lives?

  • A form of community/family based model of care that provides long term, short breaks and day support within Shared Lives Carer’s homes
  • Based on relationships, sharing family, social networks and community life
  • Delivers safe and highly personalised care and support

Who uses Shared Lives?

  • People who are over 16 and have a specific support need that may be because of a learning disability, physical disability, sensory impairment, autism and/or mental health
  • Older people and people with dementia

The matching process and choice is key. We carefully match people using the service to carers and both parties have a choice. This is fundamental to the success of the service.

Find out more about Shared Lives from carers and families

Types of support

You can choose to provide any of the following support:

  • Long-term live-in arrangements - where someone goes to live with a carer or a family and this becomes their family home. This can also be a stepping-stone to more independent living
  • Short breaks or temporary live-in arrangements - where you would share your home with someone for a few days or weeks. This can help to give the person’s main carer a break or it may be to provide a holiday to the person needing support
  • Day support - this is where someone goes to the Shared Lives Carer’s home to share interests and activities. This can include going out and participating in community activities.

You can provide support flexibly so it fits in with your life and availability.

Who are Shared Lives carers?

Shared Lives carers are self-employed, receive a fee from East Lothian Council and the caring arrangement is supervised by Shared Lives East Lothian. Carers are varying ages and have different life experiences and need to have good interpersonal skills, be flexible and willing to learn. They also need to have space in their home and the time to provide the support needed.

We accept applications from individuals as well as couples, families who have children at home and who have pets.

We are looking for people (families or individuals) who:

  • are from all walks of life and backgrounds, no qualifications are needed;
  • have personal qualities such as patience, flexibility and compassion;
  • are good communicators;
  • are willing to work on a self-employed basis;
  • want to support people to realise their potential;
  • have a spare room (for short breaks and long term support).

See what Shared Lives is like -

Find out more about being a Shared Lives Carers in East Lothian -


What kind of support is provided?

Shared Lives Carers open up their home and family life to include the adult with support needs.

Examples include:

  • helping the person with their every day care and health needs
  • supporting people who are not ready for independent living who benefit from having a secure family base and support around to help to deal with day to day life  
  • practical help – meals, managing money, reminders to maintain good personal hygiene, supporting a balance of work and social life and to safely manage social media and friendships
  • helping people to be part of the local community, taking part in local sports and volunteering, get around using public transport
  • helping provide a routine and a supportive family to help build confidence and support with decision making and relationship building
  • support to make choices and realise their potential

Support from Shared Lives East Lothian

The service is run by East Lothian Health & Social Care Partnership. Our key aims are to ensure that:

  • arrangements are well matched
  • the safety, dignity, independence and rights of individuals are promoted
  • supported people can enjoy being part of families, households and community life
  • Shared Lives Carers have the knowledge and skills to support an individual
  • we continually work to improve the service.

Our main areas of work are to:

  • recruit and assess potential carers
  • support on an ongoing basis to the carers
  • develop and review support profiles at least twice a year
  • visit to support and review placement’s every 6-8 weeks
  • formal review of Carers once a year
  • liaise with other services and care managers
  • provide ongoing training and development opportunities.

Application process

To apply you need to:

  • complete an application form
  • give the names of referees
  • undergo a PVG and criminal records check
  • meet regularly with one of the Shared Lives Co-ordinators to assess your suitability.

Carers receive ongoing training and support from our Shared Lives Coordinators who work within the National Care Standards and the Scottish Social Services Council Codes of Practice. The service is registered with and regulated by the Care Inspectorate.

The first step – get in touch

Due to the COVID 19 outbreak we are not holding events or undertaking visits at the moment. However we can send you an enquiry pack and are still very keen to speak with you and are able to answer questions by phone or email. Or if you are ready you can complete an online application form (link under development)

Contact details: or phone our Shared Lives Co-ordinator 01620 827280

Download an enquiry pack