What qualities do care and support workers have?
While every role requires some core life skills like teamwork and problem solving, it's your values, behaviour and attitude that will set you apart. If you're the sort of person who treats others with respect, listens to their needs, understands their emotions, and is warm, kind and honest, then social care could be the career for you.
Everyone working in social care needs a good standard of English, as well as numeracy and digital skills. You will need to be a self-starter, as well as being able to work as part of a team.
Additional skills required to work in adult social care include:
- organisational skills
- good listening and communication skills
- the ability to understand and follow policies and procedures
- good writing skills to fill in care and support plans
What skills and qualifications do I need?
You will need the Care Certificate, but your employer will provide you with this training if you have not previously completed it. What's really important is that you're a kind, compassionate and thoughtful person. Your employer might ask that you have qualifications showing good English and numeracy skills such as GCSE A-C in English and Maths. It might also be helpful to have a social care qualifications such as a Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care. Don't worry if you don't have these qualifications though - if you're interested, you can work towards them once you've started in the role.
You can access employment support such as CV writing help or interview skills at Hounslow Adult and Community Education
How do I progress?
When you start in your role you’ll do an induction, which should include the Care Certificate if you haven’t previously completed it; these are the minimum standards that everyone working in social care needs to know.
It will also include training necessary for your role such as health and safety, safeguarding, first aid and moving and handling, or specific training such as autism awareness, communication skills or training to help you support people with dementia.
Beyond this there could be opportunities to progress by doing a vocational qualification such as a Diploma in Health and Social Care or continuing a professional development qualification such as in dementia, end of life, or autism care. There may be opportunities to progress into management roles or you might choose to go into other roles such as an advocacy worker, personal assistant or rehabilitation worker.