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Social care

If you’re looking for a career for life which makes a positive difference, then a job in social services is for you. There are opportunities to progress, have an important role in supporting others and get a sense of personal achievement from knowing you are helping other people.

You could be thinking about what you want to do when you leave school or college, considering changing your career or returning to work. There’s a great demand for social care workers and its’ a career for people who like people.

What kind of work is it?

Much of a social care workers day is usually spent working with people in the community, a care home, the person’s own home, a day centre, hospital or other setting.  

What skills do you need?

There are particular skills that are important for a job in social services, these include:

  • effective communications
  • supporting health and safety
  • developing your own knowledge and practice
  • supporting and safeguarding vulnerable people.
  • you can start to get these skills through voluntary work or while you are working in social services and if you are doing a qualification

Social care is a challenging and rewarding career. Social care workers provide support and help to people who need it, helping them to live full and valued lives in the community. Social care workers can work with a variety of people from all different backgrounds and of all abilities. 

Social care involves working with lots of different people who use social services:

  • older people
  • carers of people who use services
  • children or adults with physical and/or learning disabilities
  • people with mental health problems
  • people with addiction issues
  • people with HIV/AIDS or long-term illness.
  • you can begin your career in social care without any formal qualifications, but you must be willing to gain them while you work
  • Social care workers help people who use services with personal care, including assistance with washing and dressing, provision of meals and administration of medication

Why choose social care?

With a huge demand for workers, plenty of opportunities for progression and a job in which 96% of workers said they feel their work makes a difference, adult social care has lots to offer. It’s a very rewarding career and you can make a real difference to someone’s life. There are also lots of opportunities to progress and work with different people. 

Starting your career

It doesn't matter about your background or how old you are, if you want to help people there's a social care job for you. 

You don’t necessarily need any qualifications or previous work experience to get a job in social care. What’s really important is your values and attitude towards working with people who need care and support. 

In social care you'll be helping people to live more independently and have a better quality of life so it's really important you have the right values. 

Here are some of the values and behaviours you might need to work in social care. 

  • Treat people with dignity and respect
  • Good at working with others
  • Committed to quality care and improving lives
  • Willing to learn and develop at work

Here are examples of how these values might look in your everyday work:

  • You spend time listening to people to get to know them and their needs
  • You respect people's right to make their own choices and decisions
  • You're committed to working as part of a team
  • You give people your full attention and help people when they need it most