Types of learning disabilities Jobs in social care

Learning disability is a broad term and learning disability jobs can support any type of condition that impacts how a person interacts with the world. This could apply to pretty much anything – from communicating, being able to understand information, and being able to live independently.

There is also a vast range of levels of learning disability, and every person is individual and needs their own support plan. No one size fits all!

Some people with learning difficulties need outreach support to give them a hand from time to time. Other people need permanent help to maintain a good standard of living. Others require regular contact with their social care workers.

What Learning Disability Jobs Are There?

Examples of learning disability jobs in the disabilities sector include:

  • Help with employment – finding work, work experience placements, helping with applications and interviews.
  • Housing – completing forms, moving home, living independently and making provisions to help make their living circumstances suitable.
  • Personal support – some learning disabilities patients need day-to-day help with things like personal care, travel and socialising.
  • Respite and short breaks – for families living with learning disabilities, respite care provides them with a little help to be able to take a breather from all the work involved in caring properly for a child or family member with learning difficulties.
  • Residential care – you might work in a short-term or long-term facility, or support somebody in their home.
  • Leisure services – people with learning difficulties may need extra help with social activities. You might be organising friendly events, helping with transport and access to leisure centres and swimming pools, or supporting somebody in attending clubs, groups and educational settings.

What roles are involved in learning disabilities social care?

Again, this is a really mixed bag! With such a broad scope of conditions and levels of care requirements, the world of learning disabilities has a vast number of career options. 

For example, you could be a:

  • Care worker
  • Advocacy worker
  • Social worker
  • Occupational therapist
  • Personal assistant
  • Activities worker 

These roles are themselves very different; some involve regular, dedicated help looking after a small group of people. Some are about providing one-on-one care for a specific patient. Other learning disabilities roles work with lots of people, providing ongoing assistance and friendly activities.

What skills do I need to work in learning disability jobs?

Care workers work directly with individual people. In this sort of role, the skills you need are:


  • Being able to work on your own, and in a one-to-one setting.
  • Understanding the right procedures to use and what to do in an emergency.
  • The ability to listen, understand your patients’ needs and get to know them.
  • Having excellent communication skills.
  • Being kind, compassionate and caring.
  • The skills to juggle your tasks, manage your time and prioritise your workload.
  • Having the ability to keep records and fill in forms to make sure you can create good quality care plans.

Do I need experience to get a learning Disabilities Job?

To work with OUTT, yes! But only 6 months as the employers will need you to hit the ground running. If you have great spoken and written English, can manage basic maths and are a good employee, you’re on the right path too! 

Good employability means being reliable, always being on time, and maintaining excellent communication with your manager.

Having the right values and skills is more important than experience, and most employers will provide on the job training, sometimes alongside professional courses and accreditations to formalise your skills.

Most care settings also offer apprenticeships, which is a great way to learn through a work placement. If you decide to study for a qualification, you could look at working towards a certification such as a Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care. 

A lot of social care workers obtain these sorts of qualifications once they are in a role, so it is not a prerequisite to getting started!

What sort of work is involved in learning Disabilities?

The day to day role will depend on the care setting, type of patient and job description, but some examples of the work involved in learning difficulties social care are:

  • Booking appointments and taking your patient to them.
  • Help with eating and drinking.
  • Personal care such as washing and dressing.
  • Keeping track of your patient’s wellness – taking their temperature and making sure they have taken their medication.
  • Bringing people to activities and events. 

One of the bonuses of working with OUTT supporting learning disability services is that you can chose the jobs and shifts that work around your life. Plus you choose the shift location, so it can be nearer home.

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