An innovative new service offering foster care style support for adults with a disability or mental health needs will be launched in Wolverhampton shortly.

Wolverhampton City Council has joined forces with PSS - Person Shaped Support - to develop the new service, called Shared Lives in Wolverhampton.

It will offer adults with disabilities or mental health needs the chance to live with a specially trained Shared Lives carer and their family on a short or long term basis. The service operates in a similar way to a foster care placement, but is specifically designed for adults.

Councillor Steve Evans, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said: "I'm delighted that we are teaming up with PSS to launch this innovative new service which I'm sure will have an incredible impact on the lives of some of our most vulnerable residents.

"Shared Lives in Wolverhampton is about offering people more choice about the support they receive, for instance offering an alternative to residential care and instead being part of a family.

"As well as giving individuals the power to decide where they would like to live, it also offers them significant cost savings, around £13,000 per year compared to residential care or supported living. At the same time, people in Wolverhampton will have the chance to embark on a new career as a Shared Lives carer."

The service, which already operates in a number of areas around the country including Staffordshire, launches in Wolverhampton later this year and will initially support people aged 18 to 64 who have a learning disability, physical or sensory impairment or mental health needs.

Pamela Oden, PSS Shared Lives Midlands Manager, said: "Shared Lives is truly unique because it allows individuals who may not be fully able to live on their own the chance to experience independence.

"These individuals can live in a safe environment with carers who are trained to deal with their individual needs. Because each carer family is different and each user of our services is too, we can ensure we plan for each individual - no one size fits all and no two families are the same.

"The service is fully focused around choice and independence. We encourage each individual to get involved in the decision of where they live and plan our matches carefully, so that both the carer and person using the service feel happy before the arrangement is made."

Service users, their families and carers can find out more about Shared Lives in Wolverhampton at one of two special information events which will be held at Action4Independence, Albert Road, Wolverhampton, on Monday 20 January, 2014. They take place from 10am to 12pm and again from 1pm to 3pm.

Councillor Evans added: "This new service really does have the potential to transform people's lives, so I'd encourage them to find out more at the event later this month."

For more information about the new service, or to reserve a place at the information event, please call Liz Phillips on 01902 550694 or e-mail Further details about Shared Lives also be found at Type=links;Linkid=3120;Title=Person Shaped Support;Target=_blank;.

  • released: Friday 10 January, 2014