My Options Shared Lives Carer
Can you make a positive difference to someone’s life? Do you have good communication and listening skills and feel passionate about supporting other people to live a more independent and fulfilling life? My Options - Activity Wellbeing and Care Services is part of Telford & Wrekin Council and provides a wide range of person-centred support to vulnerable people of all ages and abilities. We currently provide a wide range of services including; Community Activity and Wellbeing, services, Residential options, Community support for those people living in their own or shared accommodation. Our services also include a very successful Shared Lives Scheme and The Skills and Enterprise hub, where people can develop their skills and confidence as part of their stepping stone to work.Shared Lives carers open their home, family and community life to an adult (anyone over 16 years) who needs care or support to help them live well. Local schemes individually match trained and approved Shared Lives carers with people who need their support. This approach is now one of the fastest growing forms of social care in the UK. In Telford and Wrekin, Shared Lives carers allow adults with learning disabilities, mental health support needs and dementia related conditions to continue to live in the community. For many of these people this allows them to lead a more independent life. The Shared Lives scheme in Telford and Wrekin is run by the My Options team. Councillor Arnold England, cabinet member for Adult Social Care, said: “We’re really proud of the work that our Shared Lives carers do in Telford and Wrekin and we’re pleased that this is being recognised nationally for the success that it is. “Shared Lives offers people the chance to remain in the community and to enjoy family life.” The foundation of the success of Shared Lives is the “Match”. This process – unique to Shared Lives – involves meeting up, perhaps for a cup of tea or a meal and getting to know each other before agreeing to move in to Shared Lives. This way, people can discover if they share common interests or hobbies, meaning they have a basis for a successful partnership. John, one of the people who lives in a Shared Lives placement in Telford and Wrekin, loves animals. The first time he met Mitch, his Shared Lives carer, he had spotted a frog in a hole in the road and John asked Mitch if he could get it out. Without question, Mitch jumped into the hole and rescued the frog. John said: “I knew then that I would be happy to live with Mitch.” He now looks after the fish in the tank they have at the house, as well as a parrot and two chickens.Values and attitudes• Non judgemental• Enthusiasm and passion for what could be achieved for and with the service user• Open and honest• Values each individual and supports them in a person centred waySkills• Communication skills – able to talk openly and easily with a range of people including professionals.• Organised within the household• Able to weigh up risks and make considered decisions• Able to adapt to situations• Able to cope with unpredictability and be flexible• Able to keep accurate records e.g. finance, incidents, medication• Able to empower people to develop and achieve their potential• Ability to empathise• Ability to maintain professional boundaries• Able to use e-mail and the internet (this is our preferred communication method)• Specific caring skills e.g. sign language, management of a condition e.g. epilepsy, diabetes• IT literatePersonal characteristics• A positive approach• Patience• Willingness to go the extra mile for others• Integrity• Calmness when required• Enthusiasm and energy• Willingness to learn new things• Self awareness of strengths and weaknesses• Sense of responsibility for the wellbeing of others• ConfidenceKnowledge• Awareness of needs of service users even if no in depth knowledge of conditions• An understanding of the role of a Shared Lives carer• An understanding of how to maintain health and well being in self and others• Understand person centred approaches• Specific knowledge about certain disabilities or conditions and how they might effect an individual• Knowledge about welfare benefits• Understand and implement the principles of confidentiality• Know how to respond to the unexpected e.g. allegation of abuse, accident, unexplained absenceProperty• Sufficient bedrooms for number of people proposed with adequate space for furniture and personal possessions• Outdoor space• Ground floor/accessible accommodation• Sufficient bathroom facilities for all household members’ needs• Comfortable• Clean, safe and well maintained• Allows space and privacy for all household members• Permission from landlord or mortgage companyWhole family context• Willingness to include the service user in all aspects of family life• Whole household supportive of the proposal to become a Shared Lives carer• Family works as a team• Good support network• Experience of sharing your home with non-family membersPhysical health requirements• Generally in good health• Any pre existing mental or physical health issues are well controlled and the Shared Lives carer role would not exacerbate the condition or put the carer or service user at risk.• Active lifestyleQualifications• No specific qualifications required• Commitment to training and to undertake learning to meet the needs of the service users and the requirements of the role of Shared Lives carer• Any social or health care qualification• First aid training• Health and safety training• Recent Safeguarding training(but training offered to all carers)Other• Able to provide personal, work and medical referees• Satisfactory Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS - formerly CRB)Experience• Personal, voluntary or work based experience of caring for or supporting people in some capacity• Relevant life experience that the person can translate into the role of Shared Lives carer• Previous paid employment as a carer or running a care service• Previous role as a family carer for a vulnerable adultSorry but CVs will not be accepted.