Becoming a shared lives carer

What is shared lives?

Ealing shared lives (ESL) is an adult placement service, which recruits, assesses and trains carers to provide support and accommodation to adults with learning disability who live in Ealing, either on a long-term basis, becoming a part of the family, or for short breaks. Ealing Shared Lives is a Care Quality Commission (CQC) registered service. At our last inspection, we were rated overall “good”.

Who can be a shared lives carer?

Being a shared lives carer is a rewarding job and can be done by anyone who:

  • can communicate effectively
  • is flexible, committed and caring
  • has a spare bedroom, and
  • lives in Ealing

You do not need any specific qualifications to be a shared lives carer.

If you answered yes to the above, then the ESL team wants to hear you.

In return - we will provide on-going training and support. You will get paid for providing support.

How to become a shared lives carer

If you are interested in being a shared lives carer please contact the ESL team on 020 8825 5436 or email and we will send you an application form and extra information.

Once we have received your application the following process with start to assess your suitability to be a shared lives carer:

Initial visit

We will contact you to arrange an initial visit to meet with you at your home. We will explain the assessment process and answer any questions you may have about becoming a shared lives carer. For people intending to support adults overnight, we will need to look at the bedroom that you plan to use for a placement. This is to make sure it is suitable. The room must be:

  • a reasonable size, in a good, clean condition and decoration, with safe furniture and lighting
  • furnished with adequate storage (wardrobes/drawers)

Assessment process

A second visit will be arranged to start the assessment process. This includes talking through the aspects of your application, such as: your background, personality, lifestyle, health issues and local area. This is a detailed assessment which will include separate discussions with other members of your household. All applicants will need to be Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checked.

Panel decision

After all the information needed to complete the assessment has been gathered, the ESL team will complete an assessment report. This will be submitted to an approval panel with a recommendation. The panel is responsible for evaluating the assessments and approving the applications. You will be informed in writing of the panel’s decision.


If you are accepted as a shared lives carer you will need to attend a series of training sessions. These will cover areas and topics relevant to becoming a carer such as communication skills, health issues and learning disabilities.

Additional information


Ealing council pays carers for the service they provide. Payment is calculated with regard to the length of stay and support needs of the individual.

Payments are made directly to the carer. This is a gross payment, and taxes will be the responsibility of the carer to notify HM Inspector of Taxes each year, and make the relevant tax returns for the gross sums received.

Respite carers who provide care in their own homes are usually exempt from taxation on the payments they receive under the ‘Rent a Room’ scheme. The locally nominated tax officer in Ealing will advise carers about their individual position.


ESL carers are covered under the council’s public liability insurance. You do not need to take out your own public liability insurance. The ESL team can give you more details about this.


All information and records kept regarding your application to be a carer will be treated as confidential and is subject to the Data Protection Act 1984.