FAQs for Family & Friends
Can Homeshare West be trusted?
Over the years many health & social care staff have referred Householders to the service, and continue to do so. Audrey Heard, the founder and Coordinator, has been working in the Voluntary sector for many years. She was a Trustee of Age Concern Bristol before joining West of England Care & Repair as a caseworker in 2004. Audrey was a State Registered Nurse, and has a Diploma in Counselling.
Many enquiries are the result of recommendations from people who know a Householder or Sharer who has a homesharing arrangement.
The prospect of a Sharer living with my parent worries me.
The Coordinator has considerable experience of vetting and matching Sharers to vulnerable people. When you telephone with your initial enquiry ask as many questions as you need to reassure yourself.
The Householder interview process is very thorough, taking as much time as necessary to understand requirements and get a sense of individual preferences. Ideally a family member or a good friend will be present when the Coordinator meets the Householder for the first time.
The Sharer interview process is just as thorough, and great care is taken with references. Referees know that the information they give is entirely confidential. Neither Householder nor Sharer has access to the references. The Sharer is required to supply an ‘Enhanced Disclosure’ from the Disclosure & Barring Service.
How long does it take to find a match?
The whole process can take anything from a few weeks to a few months. It’s better to take time to find the right Sharer than rush into an unsuitable arrangement.
Can we choose the Sharer?
The Coordinator will send you the profile of a potentially suitable Sharer, although you won’t be shown the references. If you want to meet, the Coordinator will bring the Sharer to meet you and the Householder. If you need a second meeting to be sure the Sharer is likely to be a good match, that can easily be arranged. In any case, an immediate decision isn’t expected. Both parties are advised to take a day or two to think things over before agreeing to share.
What if things don’t work out?
Sometimes it’s simply a matter of clarifying the Householder and Sharers’ expectations, to remove any misunderstandings. Sharers are well briefed on how best to settle into the Householder’s home with minimal disruption.
The Sharer is also advised not to give notice on their previous accommodation during the first month, in case they need to move back. However, they may have a friend they can stay with at short notice. This makes it even easier for the Householder to end the match during the trial period. After the trial period the Sharer should be given a month’s notice. If there is an allegation of gross misconduct naturally no notice is required.
If the Sharer wants to move out, the Coordinator will search for another Sharer.
Who do we contact if there is a problem?
The Homeshare West Coordinator is usually available at all times. But if you have to leave a message on the answer phone she will respond as quickly as possible. You can expect a competent and courteous out of hours service.