We thought we’d delve right into the topic and let you know just what it’s all about. That way, you’ll be able to judge for yourself whether this is the right job choice for you.
Hold Up – What is Social Care?
The definition of social care work can vary depending on the context – but, technically speaking, it covers the specialised and practical care given to children and adults who require extra support on a day-to-day basis.
This means that a social care worker can be supporting people of all ages and types of disabilities. To hear it straight from the horse’s mouth, here’s how the NHS defines social care:
“…it can be said that a social care need is one that is focused on providing assistance with activities of daily living, maintaining independence, social interaction, enabling the individual to play a fuller part in society, protecting them in vulnerable situations, helping them to manage complex relationships and (in some circumstances) accessing a care home or other supported accommodation.”
Who Actually Works in this Sector?
The simplest answer is: people like you. Most social care workers are drawn to such a career because they want to care for those who need support on a more personal level, rather than in a clinical setting like a hospital.
It’s incredibly common for individuals in this sector to report a very high level of personal achievement and self-satisfaction because of the work they do. People get the care they need, and workers end their shifts with a smile and the knowledge that they’re making a real, positive difference. It’s a win-win situation!
An effective social care worker will need to be a great listener as well as a fantastic communicator. They’ll also need a strong urge to help people; they say you should strive to make your passion into your career, and so a career in social care work is simply a no-brainer for many people.
There are almost 1.5 million people in the UK currently working in the social care sector. Though this may seem like a crazy amount of social care workers, the truth is the need for social care is only growing and many more of these jobs need to be filled in the next ten years.
What Can You do in Social Care?
You’ll be glad to hear that the structure of social care work is set up to help people develop their skills and move up into more senior roles if they so wish. Regardless, there’s a huge range of occupations which fall under the social care umbrella.
In general, social care workers can be found in private residential homes, in shared care homes, or in community centres. The most common duties for a social care worker will revolve around assisting a person’s day-to-day living through helping with meals, personal care, and social activities.
There are also shared lives carers, who will either take a vulnerable person into their homes or go and stay with them in theirs. This kind of arrangement can be worked out so the worker will be available on weekends, or just on days or evenings.
Depending on the environment in which you’re working, you can expect to be supporting people who have learning disabilities, physical problems, addiction issues, mental health issues, and more.
Wherever they’re found, it’s almost impossible to put into words the importance of our social care workers. So many people who require outside support rely on their social carers every day and often see a huge improvement to their lives as a result.
Okay, Sounds Good! So how do You get into this sector?
That’s the spirit! Although there are many degree-level qualifications available out there for those who’d like to hit the books before getting their hands dirty, the main things you’ll need are the right values which align with this kind of work.
Of course, it never hurts to go in with a bit of experience first, and so an apprenticeship may well be a good way to get your foot in the door. You can also pursue a work placement or volunteering scheme for a short while. Maybe you even have experience from your personal life which you can take with you into the field – it all counts!
To get the ball rolling, visit the SkillsForCare website and begin your journey as a social care worker today.
Registering with OUTT provides experienced social care candidates the opportunity to build an employer review base and take full control of where and when they work. It’s your life, live it! Register with us now!