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All About Adult Placement Services

By: Lucy Debenham BA (hons) - Updated: 17 Nov 2012 | comments*Discuss
Placement Services Adult Mental Health

Adult placement services are also known under the relatively new term of Shared Lives Schemes. Local authorities through the UK provide shared lives adult placement services for vulnerable adults, or people with physical and/or learning disabilities, mental health needs and elderly people that require extra support.

Although these people retain independence in many areas of their lives, they may require assistance in others. It is believed that everybody should be able to live fulfilled lives as far as possible, even if this means providing some people with extra assistance and guidance. This is where adult placement services can help people that might otherwise find it extremely difficult or impossible to carry out necessary day-to-day tasks that enable them to enjoy a good quality of life.

How Adult Placement Services Work

There are various circumstances in which people can benefit from adult placement services. These schemes offer long term, short term or day support, depending on the person’s needs. In some cases, adult placement may be over a short term to provide their carers with some respite from caring. In other cases, the personal requiring an adult placement may be coming out of long-term hospital care and need help with everyday tasks.

Long term adult placements involve the person living in their carer’s home. The carer is specially trained and is able to provide their residents with a safe, friendly environment as well as all the support and encouragement they need in order to live as actively and independently as possible. In these instances the adult has their own bedroom and lives as if in the family home.

This arrangement also works on a short-term and day care basis, often with the adult staying over for a few nights. During day care the resident can be engaged in activities and socialising, helped with access to community services and encouraged to learn or improve upon life skills. There may be two or three people per carer staying in one residence. This ensures that the carer is able to make provisions for each individual under their care.

Getting The Right Care

Social services will assess adults that they feel will benefit from adult placement, and all adult placements are normally organised via the Adult Placement Officer. Charges for this type of care can depend on income. Social services encourage advocacy and try to make the best possible matches between carers and their residents to ensure that all the individual’s needs are met.

Once a placement has been arranged, the resident will be regularly contacted by the Adult Placement Officer to address any difficulties that may arise, and to make sure that all they are receiving the best possible care.

Joining The Scheme As A Carer

Becoming a carer on adult placement schemes requires a huge amount of commitment and enthusiasm. Although there are no formal qualifications required to become an adult placement scheme carer, training will be provided.

It is required that the Criminal Records Bureau screens all potential carers that wish to offer their services and home for the Adult Placement Scheme. This helps to ensure that all adult placements are made in safe, secure homes. Adult Placement Panels will screen and assess each potential carer throughout the applicant process, making sure that they meet rigorous standards before being approved.

Once an application has been approved, and training provided, a carer is matched up with potential residents, and given the chance to meet them several times before the placement commences.

Working as a carer on adult placement schemes is a challenging, but ultimately highly rewarding job. To find out more you should contact your local authority, as application processes and criteria may vary from locality to locality.

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