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How To Get A Job in Social Care

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What is Social Care?

Social Care is a service that supports the safeguarding and wellbeing of vulnerable adults and children. Social care involves providing care for adults who suffer from an illness, a disability, or poverty, or providing care for children, including the investigation of unsafe living conditions, and aiding with disabilities.

This support tends to be within a home environment, and provides services for anyone at risk of physical or mental pain. There are also community-based settings such as nursing homes and hospitals.

What is it like to work in a Social Care job?

Working in Social Care is one of the most demanding – but also rewarding – jobs out there. The care given can vary depending on the circumstance of the situation, and will cover anything from physical, social or emotional support. Ultimately the aim is to give independence and control to the person receiving care, making sure they can live their lives comfortably and without pain.

The majority of Social Care jobs are within the Public Sector, meaning part of the field is controlled and funded by the Government. This affects jobs’ working conditions; rather than working to make a profit for your business, your job will involve achieving goals around the rehabilitation and care of others, with the overall goal to improve their quality of life.

Typical duties in Social Care include:

  • Assessing individuals and families through interviews to review and understand their situation
  • Attending court cases to offer evidence
  • Dealing with emotionally difficult situations
  • Maintaining records
  • Offering support and making decisions on the best option for the individual
  • Working varied hours and travelling
  • Writing up assessments

Who are the key Social Care employers?

There are many opportunities within Social Care, and the sector is constantly growing, especially as our population ages.

There is a strong need for more people to enter this profession, with increasing support for those choosing to take this career path. Depending on the area you wish to focus on will determine the decisions you choose to make on employment.

There are local authorities such as Social Services, voluntary organisations like Action for Children and Mind, and also private organisations including SCIE and Everycare who all play a role in Social Care. The NHS is also an option, providing Social Care across the country.

What qualifications and training are required?

Social Care is a graduate profession, meaning you will need to complete undergraduate degree or an equivalent qualification. This usually takes three years, and it is advised to be intertwined with some form of work experience in a care setting.

For the academically-minded, there is also the opportunity to pursue of a masters degree in social work. This is a great option if you wish to build on your undergraduate degree in Social Care or if you have a degree in an unrelated subject.

If you are making a career change, or are qualified in a completely different subject, there is also the option to take a fast-track training course, where you will blend both academic study and learning as you work.

It should be noted that financial help is also available in those wishing to study in this field through Social Work Bursaries.

What are a Social Carer’s key skills?

Social Care’s central focus is the wellbeing of others. The most important trait in this role is compassion; the ability to empathise and understand. At times, this work will be stressful and emotional, but always the ultimate goal is to support those in physical or mental distress.

Other key skills include:

  • Ability to set professional boundaries
  • Balancing personal mental health with that of others
  • Empathy
  • Friendly and patient approach to difficult situations
  • Good listening skills
  • Keeping records on cases
  • Organisational skills to prioritise cases and fluctuating scenarios
  • Positivity
  • Resilience to emotional stress
  • Social skills and compassion for others

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