Becoming a Shared Lives carer

What is Ealing 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 additional needs 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 or experience to be a Shared Lives carer. These are desirable.

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

In return,  we will provide ongoing training and support and 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 via email: and and we will send you further information.

After reading the information and you want to continue, the following process to assess your suitability to be a Shared Lives carer is as follows:

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. We will also 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)

Once we are satisfied that your accommodation meets the required standards, you will be given an application form to fill in.

Assessment process

After your application form is received, 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. We also ask questions about how you would support someone with additional needs to be part of your home/family life and promoted to partake in community activities. Other areas discussed are safeguarding and supporting someone with their finances and their health. 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 and other references will be obtained such as GP and employer.

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.