Become a carer

To join our team of carers you don't need any qualifications or previous experience, you just need to be willing to share your home and make a real difference to someone's life. Our dedicated team will provide you with full training and support.

To be a Shared Lives carer you will need to offer:

  • a safe, supported and welcoming home
  • stability
  • motivation and commitment
  • encouragement and opportunity
  • a spare bedroom (for overnight stays - not necessary for Shared Days)

As a carer you may be asked to help with:

  • health service appointments
  • transportation
  • leisure activities
  • holidays
  • financial management
  • medication
Carers joining hands in a circle

Application and approval

All of our carers go through the same application process which usually takes around 8 visits so that we get the best match for carer and service user.

Here are the steps to application:

  • Enquiry form
  • Application form
  • Call from Shared Lives Team
  • Initial home visit
  • A number of home visits and meetings with a Shared Lives Social Worker
  • Carer profile
  • Induction course (one day)
  • Preparation course (one day)
  • Matching process (carer and service user)
Shared Lives carer at the beach

Support and training

During your time as a Shared Lives carer you will be assigned a member of the team from Kirklees Council who will offer help and guidance every step of the way. You will be required to attend a series of training courses to give you the knowledge and confidence to help you on your journey. Initially, you will need to complete a short course which will include:

  • Raising awareness
  • Addressing the practical nature of caring for someone with additional needs
  • Creating a personalised plan taking into account existing experiences and time commitments
  • Use of case studies
  • Care certificate training
Scrabble game spelling out support and assistance


The fees paid depend on what sort of service you offer, how many people you support and what sort of support needs each person has.

2023/24 Standard payment scale in line with the uplift for council fees
Service Weekly / Daily or per hour payment
Long term level 1 £336.33
Long term level 2 (standard) £405.91
Long term level 3 £475.50
Long term level 4 £699.80
Minimum Rent - via Universal Credit * £67.20
Minimum food and utilities paid through Universal Credit * £22.10 or £21.10
Short break payment £86.98
Day support (per hour) £10.42
Emergency rate (up to 24 hours) £92.78
Emergency rate (per week) £649.46
Introductory session (matching) £16.53

*Applicable to long term arrangements only - Paid by the service user.

HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) treats the income from Shared Lives in a similar way to foster carers and have agreed a beneficial tax arrangement. You can download the HMRC tax guidance here: HMRC tax guidance for Shared Lives carers referred to as 'Adult Placement' .

All Shared Lives carers are self-employed, as you will work from home and work around the time that suits you and the person you support. This means that you aren't employed by your local Shared Lives service who matches you to the person that needs support, or by the person who you care for.