Choosing to open your home to someone outside your existing network and invite them to live alongside you is, for many, a completely new experience. Understandably questions may arise around what steps are taken to ensure the protection and safety of householders, and safeguarding is one of the key points that householders and their families want to find out more about.
Apprehension around homesharing is generally part of a cultural and generational unfamiliarity with the concept of homesharing. Most older people in the UK haven’t had to share their homes in the past, whereas in mainland Europe and the USA for instance homesharing is more common and therefore any concerns are far less prominent.
Safeguarding is a major priority at Share and Care Homeshare and forms a crucial part of our work. We have therefore established robust processes to provide peace of mind to our clients.
If you’re considering the merits of a homeshare arrangement for you or for a loved one, we would like to share an insight into the measures that we’ve put in place to ensure the safety and protection of our householders.
How safe is homeshare?
Share and Care Homeshare undertake rigorous safeguarding procedures. In fact, it could be argued that homesharing is safer than other forms of care, such as a live out domiciliary carer, because sharers live in the home full-time and it becomes their home too. The sharers also get to know the team behind Share and Care Homeshare very well, and quickly become an important part of the householder’s family too.
Importantly, our sharers are vetted to the same level as carers, or perhaps even to a higher level as we do not just accept references confirming dates of employment like care providers do; we insist on thorough references from a variety of sources.
Do sharers have to meet CQC requirements?
People who provide any level of personal or nursing care are required to meet CQC (Care Quality Commission) requirements. However, sharers DO NOT provide any personal or nursing care and are therefore not required to meet CQC standards.
However, reputable organisations such as Share and Care Homeshare ensure that homesharers are checked to the same level as CQC regulated carers.
What safeguarding procedures are followed?
Our safeguarding procedures are extensive – each and every one of our sharers undergoes rigorous vetting which includes:
Homesharers must provide at least three character and/or professional references, who we personally contact direct.
An enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check is carried out on sharers, which is renewed every three years. This checks whether there is a criminal record and whether they are suitable for a homesharing arrangement.
In addition, we also complete an ID check and a credit check.
Our team takes the time to interview each sharer to find out more about their personal lives and background. This is a very in-depth interview to assess their suitability and compatibility with the householder.
- Matching process
Our matching process is unbeatable! We are careful to match householders and sharers with common ground. For instance, we think about culture, language, personal preference, diets, interests, and more – all of which ensure success, and are the building blocks for a happy, fulfilling homeshare experience.
- Homeshare agreement
Sharers are required to sign and agree to our ‘Homeshare Licence Agreement,’ which is a contract to share the home under licence, not as a tenant.
- Homeshare policies and procedures
All sharers receive a copy of Share and Care Homeshare’s ‘Safeguarding Policy and Procedures’ document which they commit to follow.
- Ongoing support
Regular, ongoing contact and support ensures that we are fully up-to-date with how the arrangement is running and provides an opportunity to discuss any issues or concerns should they arise.
We frequently talk and listen to our sharers, householders, and their families to offer and provide support if needed.
- Clear complaints procedure
Should a concern surface, we have a clear, easy-to-follow complaints procedure.
Are there any other safeguarding steps?
We have on ongoing commitment to ensure best practice, and we therefore monitor any developments around safeguarding to ensure that our policies and reporting procedures are up-to-date and relevant.
We have also invested in technology and training to ensure that we have the knowledge and experience to offer the very best safeguarding to our clients. For instance, one of our directors, Amanda, is our safeguarding lead and has completed the SCIE (Social Care Institute for Excellence) Safeguarding for Adults course.
How would a safeguarding issue be managed?
Through following the safeguarding steps that are in place, the likelihood of any issues is minimal. However, if a situation was to occur, we would handle any situation with the utmost care and sensitivity for everyone involved. We would work swiftly and diplomatically to resolve any issues with the householder, family, and sharer, and if needed, we would also work with other agencies or social care professionals.
Peace of mind
Homesharing is a wonderful, safe, and life changing experience, and we are very transparent in everything we do. If you have any questions around safeguarding that we haven’t answered above, or if you would like us to talk you through the process, please do get in touch.