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Make Care Matter /  Working in care

 

What is social care?

 Adult social care is an invaluable sector, made up of various different areas and professions. It responds to a wide range of needs - from a young adult with a learning disability who needs assistance with daily tasks to an elderly person with dementia who needs emotional support as well as personal care. It helps people to live as independently as possible, protects people from harm in vulnerable situations and offers essential support in times of need. Individuals need the maximum degree of choice on how their care is delivered, they need to be able to choose how they live their life. It is about working with people in communities to ensure that they become more resilient and self-sustaining.

No adult has the same needs when it comes to care, so this means various services and provisions work together to ensure individuals receive the level of care they need to meet their personal circumstances. There are a variety of different care settings out there, Take a look at the breakdown below to see examples of social care settings:

A residential care home is a setting where vulnerable adults reside full-time and receive ongoing support and care. There are various types of residential care homes available which cater for different individual needs, these include:

  • elderly care
  • dementia homes
  • end of life care
  • nursing homes

An assisted living setting caters for those who are becoming less able to do everything for themselves in their own homes, so move into assisted accommodation where they receive additional support according to their personal needs. These settings offer individual home environments for residents, giving it a community feel. They can come in various forms including blocks of flats, bungalow estates and retirement villages.

This aspect of care involves working across the community in people’s homes. It could be for short periods of time, supporting people who have undergone periods of illness or had an accident, or for long periods of time, supporting people who require ongoing care and support but prefer to remain in their homes rather than moving to a residential care setting.

These types of settings offer part-time care facilities to adults. They are often designed for adults with learning disabilities to offer them additional support and respite to their families and full-time carers. Service users can sometimes spend the night at these settings but not on a full-time basis.

What is it like to work in care?

As well as a variety of different service areas adult social care also has a number of career opportunities and pathways. Each role involves specific skills and knowledge but all have one vital factor in common; you get to make a difference every day. These positions do not always require previous experience or qualifications. Relevant training and support will often be provided by your employer to support your development and start your career journey in care. Take a look at some of the careers available below:

An elderly man dances with his care worker

Care and support worker

As a care and support worker, no two days are the same. Your role will be to deliver care and support plans whilst continuing to encourage people to remain independent and in control of their own wellbeing. Working as part of a team, you will work under clear instructions and guidance from senior colleagues. The positive impact you can make to the lives of others is invaluable. It will make a difference to your day because you’re making a difference to theirs.
Reablement worker stands in front of a river.

Rehabilitation / Reablement worker

Rehabilitation plays a major part in reshaping the future of care and support - helping people to live longer, healthier and more independent lives. It differs from the traditional residential care associated with care work. Supporting people to do things for themselves again, by maintaining and improving independence enabling more fulfilled lives in their own homes. This is an extremely rewarding role where you can realise the impact of the great work you do on a daily basis.

What qualities do you need to work in social care?

Working in care can be an extremely rewarding career, offering endless job satisfaction and allowing you to really make a difference. Working in care is far more than just a job. It is interaction, communication and relationship building. The enjoyment of activities, sharing of stories and memories, all whilst learning about the varied lives of the people you support. The positive impact you can make to the lives of others is invaluable. You don’t need previous experience or qualifications to work in care, relevant training and support can be provided by your employer.

To work in care the most important qualities an employer will be looking for include:

Commitment. Working in any role within the care sector requires a high level of commitment to those you are caring for. You will be committed to ensuring they receive the best care and support possible and that you are doing everything you can to support them in living a fulfilled and dignified life. 

Ability to relate to others. Working with others is a huge part of working in care, be it with service users or colleagues. It is therefore crucial that you can relate to those you are working with. This includes understanding the circumstances of those you are caring for and utilising this understanding to provide tailored care to suit their personal situations. It also involves being able to relate to colleagues, being appreciative of their opinions, suggestions and working closely with them to provide quality care and support. 
Resilience. Working in care does not come without its challenges and can really test your ability to persevere at times. Maintaining resilience throughout is crucial and allows you to overcome any barriers and focus on the endless rewards that a career in care can bring.
Empathy. This is perhaps the most important value to hold when working in care. Skills, knowledge and experience offer a great deal but are outweighed by the ability to truly empathise with an individual and their circumstance. Being empathetic in your work and demonstrating an ability to practice emotional care as well as supporting with physical tasks is what makes a great carer.

Holding these core values is really the only requirement to work in care and means that people from all walks of life and backgrounds can access a career in the care sector.

Can I work in adult social care?

We truly believe that if you have the right core values and attitude, a career in care is for you. We have supported various different people to find their ideal career in care by helping them understand what will be involved in the different roles and whether or not it would suit their interests. 

 

Men care

Working in care can be challenging, but it’s a career that offers job satisfaction; excellent work life balance and continued training and development as well as the chance to make a difference. Whatever your gender - Working in care is a fantastic career option!
A young woman stands holding her books for studying.

Students care

Taking on a role in care can be a great way to earn some additional money alongside your studies. It's also a good way to get some experience if you are looking to move onto roles such as Nursing, Social Work, Occupational Therapy and Medicine.
Family hug together and smile to the camera.

Parents care

Working in care allows for great flexibility around your family life. There are full-time, part-time and relief work options available giving you a work pattern to fit around your personal commitments.
A group of young friends sit in a field with a dog.

Young people care

The care sector offers a great career path for someone just starting out in their career. There are so many options available for additional training, including apprenticeships, which can soon help you progress.

We are always happy to help people understand what working in care entails and help people come to a decision if it is the right career path for them; you can contact us to arrange a conversation with one of our Make Care Matter team. Alternatively, you can see the wide variety of jobs (with full, part-time and relief hours) we currently have available by clicking the button below:

You may also want to take a look at the Skills for Care 'could you care' quiz. You can take this quiz by clicking the button below!