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How Do You Get into Adult Social Care

Planning a career as a care worker means you will be working with individuals who present new challenges and a range of special care needs each day. This section explains how to get started in adult social care, the job roles available for social workers, and how to find openings in different types of care work.

Is Adult Social Care a Good Move for You?

As a rule, getting into adult social care means you are part of a team that is capable of transforming the lives of those less fortunate.

The people who use any of the health services need quality workers to provide them with safe and effective supervision.

Doing so can help them stay more independent, improve their general health and wellness, and give them a chance of living life to the fullest.

It’s worth noting that some significant differences exist between health care and social care. Even so, they both share a common thread of how quality care should be for the benefit of diverse communities.

Here’s the best part:

Adult social care is a sector experiencing a notable rise in job openings. What’s more, becoming a social worker offers you the chance of benefiting from long-term career opportunities.

Being passionate about helping others is the mark of a good social worker. Hence, having previous experience or formal qualifications is not a requirement to get started in adult social care.

Last time we checked, there were thousands of caring jobs available nationwide. Here are some common reasons why people choose to become adult social care workers:

  • It provides opportunities to make a difference to the lives of others.
  • In most cases, the flexible working hours will fit around other daily commitments that you may have.
  • Support workers have long-term employment prospects with good opportunities to diversify into different sectors of the healthcare industry (e.g. advanced training and ongoing career progression).

Note: The main section explains how to start looking for a new career, including information about the Kickstart Scheme in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Planning a Career in Social Care

You can explore further information about the different types of care work on the ‘Every Day is Different’ website (presented by DHSC).

It also describes the requirements for the different roles, with a search facility to apply for adult social care jobs near to where you live.

Note: The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has a job search facility to help you find a job in adult social care.

Job Roles in Adult Social Care

A simple definition of a care worker is someone who can give quality service in a variety of settings, which may include care homes, within the community, or at someone’s private home.

Care workers and support workers are entry-level care roles that support others with the aspects of living their day-to-day life.

Whatever interests you the most, and the people you prefer to work with, will usually determine the setting for where you will be working, such as:

  • At a residential care home.
  • Supporting people inside your own home (e.g. as a Shared Lives carer).
  • In someone else’s property.

Residential Care

Are you interested in helping to support people who live in nursing or care homes? If yes, residential care usually means you will work with people who have some kind of health condition (e.g. Alzheimer’s, Dementia).

The social and physical activities that adult social carers will be involved in usually includes helping others:

  • Attend appointments (including basic bookkeeping)
  • Eat and drink
  • Go shopping and manage their money
  • Undergo basic medical checks (e.g. taking their temperature, pulse, respiration, and body weight)
  • Wash and dress themselves

Even though skill levels, experience, and qualifications vary in the different roles, the important attributes that you should have, will include:

  • A good level of spoken and written English language (including numeracy and handwriting skills).
  • An ability to understand procedures and follow instructions.
  • Compassion, kindness, and patience (including good communication and listening skills).
  • Strong organisational and time management skills.

If the job you choose requires a social care qualification, it is most likely to be a Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care and GCSE A-C in English and Mathematics.

Part of starting a new job in adult social care will be the induction process and getting the Care Certificate. Basic training will also include learning about health and safety procedures, passing a medical first aid course, and how to move and handle a person.

Note: Another section explains more about mental health issues with advice about psychological and emotional wellbeing.

Shared Lives Schemes

If you become a Shared Lives carer, you will be opening up your home (and your family life) to someone who is in need of care and support. The invitation can be for:

  • A day
  • A short break
  • Long term (e.g. as part of your family)

The close connection you would be building, and the day-to-day activities that you would be offering someone, often include:

  • Assisting them with basic social activities (e.g. meeting friends, chatting online through social media).
  • Helping them acquire new skills and learning how to live as an independent person.
  • Supporting them with everyday tasks (e.g. getting out of bed, cooking meals).
  • Taking them on holiday, to parties, or other outdoor events with your other family members.

Personal Assistant: Care at Home

Needing care and support at home can happen to anybody. Often, it includes people who are suffering with some mental health conditions, learning disabilities, or sensory impairment.

Some individuals will choose to employ a personal assistant to help them live ‘independently’. It will be an entry-level care role capacity and usually involves:

  • Assisting with personal care.
  • Helping them to perform practical tasks around their home.
  • Supporting others with their social activities.

Benefits of a Job in Social Care

If you are looking to start work in social care you will find a lot of resources available to help you. Becoming an adult social care worker gives you the opportunity to:

  • Perform important and meaningful work.
  • Help the local community.
  • Learn new transferable skills.

Note: Another section lists 5 transferable skills that employers are looking for right now – even if you don’t have any previous work experience.

Adult Social Care Help Guides

Note: This short video presented by the DWP explains how working in adult social care makes a real and meaningful difference to people’s lives – every day.

Getting into Health and Social Care in United Kingdom