Frequently Asked Questions – Family & Friends
Many enquiries are the result of recommendations from people who know a Householder or Sharer who has a Homesharing arrangement. Over the years referrals have also come from Health & Social Care workers who see how homesharing has made life better for their clients.
We are the longest running Homeshare service in the UK and value our reputation, built over the years of operating a sustainable business.
Homeshare West has been a member of Homeshare UK since that was formed. Homeshare UK, a division of Shared Lives Plus, works with the NHS, Local Authorities and Government to raise awareness of homesharing. They are supporting the development of more Homeshare organisations across the UK. Ramona is currently the Homeshare Representative on the Board of Trustees for Shared Lived Plus. We are also members of Homeshare International.
The Co-ordinators have considerable experience of vetting and matching Sharers to possibly 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 Co-ordinator 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. We speak to each referee for about 15 minutes, following up with a reference enquiry form. The Sharer is required to supply an ‘Adult Enhanced Disclosure’ from the Disclosure & Barring Service.
The whole process can take anything from a few weeks to a few months. It’s better to take the time to find the right Sharer than rush into an unsuitable arrangement.
The Co-ordinator will send you the profile of a potentially suitable Sharer, although you won’t be shown the references. If you want to meet, the Co-ordinator will bring the Sharer to meet you and the Householder. If you would like a second meeting to be sure the Sharer is likely to be a good match that can be arranged easily. 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. If the introduction doesn’t result in a match, we keep searching for the right person.
Sometimes to clear up any misunderstandings it’s simply a matter of clarifying the Householder and Sharers’ expectations. 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 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 decides to move out but the Householder wants to continue Homesharing, the Co-ordinator will search for another Sharer.
The Homeshare West Co-ordinator is usually available at all times. But if you have to leave a message on the answer phone they will respond as quickly as possible, usually the same day. You can expect a competent and courteous out of hours service.