National charity, Camphill Village Trust, is leading the way in recruiting BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) carers to its innovative Shared Lives scheme on behalf of Dudley Council, which offers adults who need support, the chance to live with an ordinary family.
Having only been operational since September 2018, the scheme has drawn on the strengths of the diverse communities throughout the region and recruited nineteen new households already, including seven from the BAME population. There are also many other households registering genuine interest in wanting to become Shared Lives carers given its recent raise in profile across the UK by all local authorities.
Although figures for the local scheme are relatively small in comparison, their upward trajectory is a reflection of wider national statistics according to Skills for Care (2019), where the BAME population represents 21% of the adult social care workforce in England.
Shared Lives is a unique model of personalised support and accommodation, with a very strong track record of transforming lives, going back many years. Shared Lives is extremely flexible, and the person is carefully matched to live or stay on either a live-in, short-break or day support basis.
Married couple, Caroline and Gary Reid from Sandwell, who were approved as Shared Lives carers by the Camphill Village Trust scheme just over a year ago, have after several introductory visits now been matched with Meg, who has a learning disability and was previously living in residential care after her mother passed away some time ago. ‘The scheme was very clear from the start that we wouldn’t necessarily receive BAME referrals, which was never a concern anyway.’
The assessment process can take between three to six months before being approved by an independent panel. By being part of a registered scheme, Shared Lives carers are paid according to the level of support they provide, up to £570 per week, and because of their self-employed status, also qualify for tax relief.
Candy and Derrick Foster from Tipton and who were previously foster carers before recently moving over to be approved with Shared Lives added, ‘Shared Lives provides a great opportunity for individuals with the right values and commitment, to develop a social care career, in what is such a rewarding role. It really does challenge the assumptions of what people who require extra support can achieve whilst living within the comfort of an ordinary home, but with extra-ordinary carers.’
To find out more information about becoming a Shared Lives carer with the Camphill Village Trust scheme, please call on 01384 441505 or go to www.camphillvillagetrust.org.uk