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Shared Lives Care Leavers

Project start date: June 2018

We (Shared Lives Plus) were awarded up to £365k to extend the national Shared Lives model, providing an alternative to foster care for young people with additional needs. Piloting six to eight schemes, young disabled people with on-going social care needs can move to a Shared Lives home from the age of 16.

Project Summary


For many young people in care who have physical and/or learning disabilities, the move from children to adult services can be difficult. Care leavers have often led very difficult lives including mental and physical abuse and a lack of stable relationships. When they move to adult services, culture, language and funding all change which can be confusing. Choices are limited and consequently there is an increase in young people leaving care at 16 who do not access education, employment or training.

Through Shared Lives, young people will have a stable, supportive home. In Shared Lives, an adult, including a 16/17-year-old, who needs support and/or accommodation moves in with an approved Shared Lives carer after they have been matched for compatibility. Together, they share family and community life. They make friends and get involved in clubs, activities and volunteering. They would receive support in developing life skills as well as help to manage risk and make informed choices about their future direction, including education and career pathways. This support will then help them move successfully into independent living where appropriate.

Project contact details

Sue Eley

Development Manager

Project evaluators

Manchester Metropolitan University

Project partners

Project partners are Shared Lives schemes covering the following areas: Durham: Kirklees; Liverpool; Derby; West Midlands (Birmingham, Staffordshire and Wolverhampton); Northampton; Brighton and Hove; West Sussex.

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