Shared Lives helps adults who need support to share in family and community life. This can be for a range of different care needs. For example, someone with a learning disability, an older person, and someone with a physical or sensory disability. 

Support ranges from personal care to practical support and helps to promote the strengths and abilities of individuals. 

In every Shared Lives home you’re helped and supported by a carer who will share their home with you and include you as part of their family.

Shared Lives carers are located throughout Waltham Forest and all are family homes that offer long or short stays, and can also include respite.

You’ll have your own bedroom and the use of other rooms such as the bathroom, living room and kitchen.

Shared lives User Guide (PDF)

Paying for the service

There is a charge for this service. We’ll tell you how much it’s likely to be during your needs assessment.

Who provides this service

Families in Waltham Forest and Redbridge, who have been assessed, approved and contracted by the Shared Lives service.

These families are supported and supervised by the Shared Lives scheme, which is regulated and inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The last CQC inspection gave the Waltham Forest service a good rating.

How to get this service

In the first instance, contact your social worker or the Community Learning Disabilities Team.

Community Learning Disabilities Team


30 Coleridge Road

Walthamstow E17 6QU

Who are Shared Lives carers?

Shared Lives carers can be individuals or families who are able to provide care and accommodation in their own homes for service users.

Carers undergo a vigorous application process to assess their suitability for this role and go through a pre-approval assessment and training process. An independent panel then assesses their application to determine whether or not approval as a Shared Lives carer will be granted.

All Shared Lives carers are self-employed and must meet with an agreed standard of care set down by the Shared Lives scheme. They are provided with training and support through the Shared Lives scheme to ensure they're able to meet the care and support needs of the people living with them.

Shared Lives schemes are inspected and regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Applying to become a Shared Lives carer

Contact the Shared Lives team at the detail below for an informal chat, they’ll ask you a few questions and take some basic details from you.

The team will then send you information about the scheme and an application form you’ll need to complete.

The team is happy to give you any support you need and will keep you informed of the progress of your application.

Shared Lives Carers Leaflet (PDF)

Shared Lives team


30 Coleridge Road

Walthamstow E17 6QU