Smiley Logo with Shared Lives Fife wording

Shared Lives Fife is part of Fife Council’s Social Work - Adult Services (Resources). The Service was set up in 1987 and is Fife-wide. It was originally known as the Community Living Service.

Shared Lives Fife provides family-based care in the homes of carers across Fife to adults with a learning disability, physical disability, mental health, or other sensory disabilities.

It aims to match carers who are willing to share their homes, lives, interests, experiences, and skills with adults who need support to live their lives to the fullest.

Shared Lives Fife provides:

  • Long-Term Support - which offers a place to live with a family for as long as this meets their needs and the carer is able to provide the support
  • Support for Short Breaks - (either regular or one-off breaks) to enable the main carer to have a break and give the person with support needs a new experience within a family setting
  • Day Support - opportunities where someone is supported to access their local community or work on their independent living skills

The Service currently has 57 carer households across Fife that provide support to 67 supported adults, providing 93 individual services: 40-day support services, 21 short break services, and 32 long-term placements.

The benefits of Shared Lives Fife:

  • It is delivered in the local community by the local community
  • Based on building relationships, even for as little as 4 hours per week, this can make a huge difference to someone’s life
  • It is very personalised and gives the individual more choice in their lives
  • It is a way of life, not a job
  • The Service ensures policies, procedures, and national standards are followed and is a registered Service with the Care Inspectorate

Becoming a Shared Lives Fife Carer

Choosing to become a Shared Lives Fife carer is a big decision, that affects you, your family, and your community. If you are interested in providing long-term support or short breaks, you would be expected to offer both accommodation and support to someone and share your home with them. If you are interested in providing day support this can be community-based (not using your own home) or home-based (support can take place in the community and/or within your home).

The support you provide may include:

  • Emotional support
  • Helping the person you are caring for manage their money
  • Helping the person to take their medication
  • Helping the person with cooking and cleaning
  • Encouraging the person to be independent

It can be a challenging job but it also brings many rewards. This could be for you if you are:

  • Patient
  • Committed
  • Respect people’s dignity, choice, independence
  • Willing to give someone the support and care they need
  • Willing to include that person in your everyday life
  • Over 18 years old and either, single, married, civil partners, or living together as a couple (there is no upper age limit)
  • Medically fit
  • Be willing to consider different ranges of support requirements

You must also:

  • Have a separate bedroom available
  • Have a telephone
  • Have your own transport or ready access to public transport
  • Not own dogs described in the Dangerous Dogs Act or other prohibited animals
  • Have some experience of supporting an adult with additional needs

As a Shared Lives Fife Carer, you will be:

  • Self-employed and will work from home (short breaks and long-term)
  • Community-based or home-based (day support)
  • Paid a fee for the support you provide
  • Not be taxed on most of your income (SLF Carers receive excellent tax breaks)
  • Get continuous support and guidance from an allocated Shared Lives Worker and have regular training, newsletters, and support meetings with other Shared Lives Fife

How to apply

If you are interested in becoming a Shared Lives Fife carer please complete the online form at the bottom of this page or give us a call on:

03451 555 555 Ext 460677

or email:

What happens next?

  • We will contact you to arrange an initial chat about the Service and discuss what you feel you can offer, and to ensure you meet our criteria
  • At this point you would be formally invited to complete an application form and the Carer Assessment Process would begin
  • We will gather assessment information and undertake GP/Personal and Work reference checks as well as a PVG check
  • Your completed assessment would then be presented at the next Shared Lives Fife Approval Panel for consideration

After you are approved:

  • You will be allocated a dedicated SLF Worker
  • You can become a member of the national network for Shared Lives which is called Shared Lives Plus (not compulsory)
  • You will be included in meetings with the supported person’s Social Worker, business meetings
  • Be supported to undertake core training courses
  • Financial support – SLF carers are not salaried as members of staff but provide a service for the local authority on a self-employed basis. Remuneration is in the form of a fee which reflects the high level of service you provide

What experience and qualifications do you need?

You must have experience of caring for adults. This could be through paid or voluntary work, or through caring for a relative. You may already be fostering a child with a disability. You do not need formal qualifications, but as part of the process of becoming a carer you will have to:

  • Go through training courses
  • Become a member of the PVG (Protection of Vulnerable Groups as run by Disclosure Scotland) Scheme
  • Have your home checked for Health and Safety (for all levels of support except community-based day support)