Care Work

Care workers can provide support to adults of all ages in a care home or in the community. Care workers who work in the community are sometimes called domiciliary carers, which often involves travelling to different people’s houses.
The people you support could include adults with learning disabilities, physical impairments, dementia and mental health problems and disorders. You support people to:

  • remain independent in their own homes
  • live in residential or nursing care homes
  • be part of their community.

Work can include personal care (washing, bathing and dressing), mobility, assisting with domestic jobs in the home and mealtimes, getting people involved in social and physical activities, helping people access services in their community or liaising with a care home resident’s family.  
A care worker needs to be able to listen, empathise and communicate well. They also need common sense, resilience, patience and flexibility. There are some specific skills needed to work in this role. These include:

  • the ability to work on your own initiative and prioritise your workload
  • the ability to understand and follow policies and procedures
  • being able to write a clear care plan

Support workers provide additional help, such as advice about housing or learning life skills like cooking or budgeting.
Work can include personal care, assisting with domestic jobs in the home, getting people involved in activities, helping people access services in their community or liaising with a care home resident’s family.

 

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Click here to apply for Apprenticeships

Starting out in your first job?

  • Care / Support Worker 

Supporting people with personal care (e.g. washing and dressing) and helping them to stay independent in their own homes (e.g. helping with domestic chores). Good support will include asking the person how they want to be supported and offering as much choice and independence as the person can manage.  This could be in various workplace settings in the community. More about this job.

  • Personal Assistant 

Working directly with individuals to support them in every aspect of their daily living and enabling them to live as independently as possible. More about this job.

  • Reablement / Rehabilitation Worker 

Working directly with individuals to support them in every aspect of their daily living and enabling them to live as independently as possible, often following illness. More about this job.

  • Healthcare Assistant 

Working in hospital or community settings, such as GP surgeries, under the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional. More about this job.

  • Ancillary Roles 

Jobs not specific to care but vital to the running and success of a health and social care organisation. E.g. Domestic/cleaning, catering/chef, driver, maintenance, gardener, handy person. More about these jobs.

Each job gives you the opportunity to train within the workplace. Your employer will identify what training you need and offer support. Qualifications include Awards, Certificates or Diplomas in Health and Social Care, Support Services or Clinical Skills – usually at level 2 or 3.

Your employer will normally access training through local colleges and private training organisations.  Some larger employers deliver their own training and qualifications.

 

Click here to explore Careers in Care  Think-Care-Careers

If you are over 16 years of age, you may be able to apply for an apprenticeship:  Click here to explore Apprenticeships:

Moving on in your career

  • Senior Care and Support Worker 

The same job as a care worker but with additional duties (e.g. frontline staff supervision, monitoring of care workers and care assistants) or with additional responsibilities for a particular area of the work (e.g. infection prevention lead or end of life lead within the service). More about this job.

  • Team Leader / Frontline Manager 

Responsible for the day-to-day provision of social care services. This means supporting staff and ensuring the standard of care delivered is always high. More about this job.

  • Assistant Practitioner 

Supporting role alongside qualified healthcare professionals. More about this job.

  • Healthcare Assistant 

Supporting role in hospitals or community settings, such as GP surgeries, under the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional. More about this job.

Each job gives you the opportunity to train within the workplace. Your employer will identify what training you need and offer support. Qualifications include Awards, Certificates or Diplomas in Health and Social Care or Clinical Skills – usually at Level 3 or 4.

Your employer will normally access training through local colleges and private training organisations, some larger employers deliver their own training and qualifications.

 

Click here to explore Careers in Care  Think-Care-Careers

If you are over 16 years of age, you may be able to apply for an apprenticeship.  Click here to apply for Apprenticeships

Becoming a manager

  • Assistant Practitioner (also known as Associate Practitioner) 

Although not a registered practitioner, the job has a level of skill in a particular area of clinical practice gained through experience and training. More about this job.

  • Occupational Therapy Assistant 

Helping occupational therapy clients by providing rehabilitative services, under the direction of occupational therapists, to people with mental, physical, emotional, or developmental impairments. More about this job.

  • Mental Health Support Worker 

Supporting people with long-term mental health problems, helping them to adapt to ordinary life within the community by developing coping skills rather than being institutionalised in a hospital or hostel.

  • Manager and Team Leader 

Responsible for the day-to-day provision of social care services. This means supporting staff and ensuring the standard of care delivered is always high. Most services in health and social care will have a management role.

Qualifications expected for some of these jobs include a Level 4 Diploma in Adult Care or a Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management of Care Services. Both are practice-based qualifications for specific job roles assessed in the workplace. Other roles listed require specialist training and qualifications, your employer will identify what training you need and offer support as appropriate.

Your employer will normally access training through local colleges and private training organisations. Some larger employers deliver their own training and qualifications.

Senior Management

  • Manager in health and social care settings, such as care homes (residential and nursing) 

Responsible for running a service, or services, and supervising senior staff. Includes making decisions about the direction and quality of a service to improve people’s lives. We are providing a free training course to help employers develop their future Registered Managers: find out more about this opportunity register in our employers hub.

  • Senior Practitioner and Assistant Practitioner, within the NHS - also known as Associate Practitioner 

Although not a registered practitioner, the job has a level of skill in a particular area of clinical practice gained through experience and training. More about this job.

  • Public Health Practitioner 

A job in many places and in many areas of public health. For example, supporting healthy lifestyle programmes, helping individuals and groups to stop smoking and take more exercise. More about this job.

There are many other jobs available at this level. For more jobs, visit Skills for Care and Health Careers.

There are also different qualifications available at this level. They include:

  • Level 5 Diploma in Leadership in Health and Social Care and Children and Young People’s Service. More information.
  • Level 5 Foundation Degree in Health and Social Care Studies or Healthcare Practice. The modules you study depends on your job role. Some are assessed in the workplace. More information.
  • Qualified or registered professionals are specialists in a particular area Such roles include  Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist, Social Worker, Nurse (pediatric/ mental health / adult), Operating Department practitioners, Adult Mental Health Practitioner, Psychologist, and Midwife.. More about these jobs.

Each job requires a qualification, which is determined by the regulatory body that sets the standards for each profession. They include:

  • Level 5 diploma in Leadership and Management in Care Services
  • BA (Hons) Health and Social Care or other specialist degree programmes, e.g. Nursing Degrees, BSc Occupational Therapy, BSc (Hons) Midwifery, BA (Hons) Social Work, and BSc Psychology.

UCAS holds details of all degree programmes and the university offering the course has details of entry requirements.

For all degrees you can apply for a student loan.