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Care Assistant or Support Worker
Most starting positions in the care sector will be as a Care Assistant or Support Worker. 90% of the positions we recruit are for these roles.
As a Care Assistant or Support Worker you may support vulnerable adults with the following:
- Personal care – Assisting with day to day living such as getting out of bed, getting washed, going to the toilet, shaving and getting dressed
- Meal preparation – Preparing food for an individual or supporting them to prepare their own food
- Daily activities – Going out in the community to go shopping, attend appointments, and engagement activities such as day centres and exercise classes
- Companionship – supporting the individual by being an active listener and helping with their emotional needs, being understanding and respectful of their feelings, supporting them to achieve their goals
Many care assistant jobs involve supporting older people, those with dementia, physical disabilities, and end of life care. Many support worker jobs involve supporting people with learning disabilities, mental health and sensory impairment.
If you start your career as a Care Assistant or Support Worker, you will have the opportunity to develop your knowledge through care related qualifications. You can then progress into other positions shown in the flow below.
Engagement Lead or Activities Coordinator
A very important position in adult social care is an engagement lead or activities coordinator. This position can be found primarily in residential settings such as care homes and nursing homes.
As an Engagement Lead you may support vulnerable adults with the following:
- Preparing and delivering activities – Prepare events aimed at improving physical, cognitive and emotional engagement. This could include: music therapy; physical exercise; arts and crafts; talent shows; board game days; days out; and intergenerational engagement (local school pupils completing projects with residents)
- Reviewing – Updating engagement plans and care plans for individuals to see how they have progressed. This is also a chance to get new ideas from residents about what activities they would like to attend in the future
- One-to-One Support – Some people may not want to be involved in group activities and require one to one time doing activities or just having a chat
It is not just care homes and nursing homes that have engagement leads, there are other similar roles in the community, taking people out to events and activities, as well as opportunities in supported living settings to organise events and activities on site and off site.
Sometimes engagement and activities assistant vacancies are available too, supporting to primarily deliver pre-planned activities, particularly if there is a particularly large care home or nursing home.
To ensure that as we are providing the highest quality of care, there is always a need for good trainers to develop staff teams. Some care companies have internal trainers, who will deliver entry level training such as the Care Certificate and Level 1 in Health and Social Care, as well as subject specific training e.g. dementia training or epilepsy training.
To become a trainer, you will obtain certain qualifications such as:
- Award in Education and Training
- Train the Trainer
- Training Management
As a trainer or training manager within an organisation, it is your responsibility to ensure that all staff have the necessary training to do their job roles well.
Once you are in the care sector, you will have the opportunity to develop your knowledge and skills, by completing a range of relevant qualifications to progress and be promoted.
One of the great benefits of working in the care sector is that there is always going to be new opportunities. With a growing population, and more people living longer with more complex needs, there are a range of social care services that need experienced individuals to lead them.
Some of the leadership positions include:
- Team Leader
- Deputy Manager
- Registered Manager
- Business Development Manager
Your employer will be able to support you to gain relevant qualification if this is something that interests you.
Care homes and Nursing homes have kitchen staff to prepare meals for the residents that live there. There are opportunities to be a Kitchen Assistant, Chef and Head Chef, and also opportunities to complete an apprenticeship.
Working in a kitchen in a care home may involve:
- Menu planning – Ensuring all dietary requirements are covered for all residents and that their choices are catered for. In some cases, this may include increasing or lowering calories and catering to other health needs. There may also be dietary requirements related to
- Food preparation – Preparing ingredients for meals and snacks for residents
- Cooking – Cooking and presenting meals and snacks for residents
- Food for events – Making cakes for resident’s birthdays, cooking on the barbecue at summer parties, Christmas dinner, etc.
- Stock Ordering – Ensuring all ingredients are available to complete meal prep to recipe spec
The benefits of starting your chef career in care is that you get.
Every care company is a business, and there are many different types of office-based positions. Most positions will require some care experience, but sometimes administration / office experience, as well as the right values to work in care are the main requirements.
Working in office-based positions in care may involve:
- Reception / Administration – writing up care plans, supporting with employment checks, answering the phones, greeting people on arrival
- HR / Recruitment – advertising vacancies, speaking to potential staff members, interviewing
- Customer Service – supporting clients, family members, and other professionals working in liaison with the care company