For many young people in care who have physical and/or learning disabilities, the move from children to adult services can be difficult. Shared Lives, which offers accommodation and family based accommodation to adults with additional needs, aims to offer young people leaving care with a stable, supportive home.
In Shared Lives care leavers, 16 and 17 year olds leaving care with additional support needs are matched for compatibility with an approved Shared Lives carer in whose home they live for as long as the arrangement is mutually beneficial. Together, they share family and community life.
Care leavers in Shared Lives make friends and get involved in clubs, activities and volunteering. They 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 helps young people to move successfully into independent living where appropriate.
With funding from the Innovation Programme, Shared Lives Plus has supported eight pilot sites to extend the Shared Lives offer to care leavers. As of February 2020, 62 care leavers had been placed in Shared Lives arrangements.
DfE funded independent evaluation will be published in 2020.