‘Care for others, make a difference’: Why you should consider a career in adult social care
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We spoke to Jack – former retail worker and now a full-time care assistant – and Danielle – manager at Black Swan care home Laurel Lodge – to understand why they love working in care and the opportunities available.
What is adult social care?
Adult social care refers to a system built to support and maintain the physical and mental wellbeing of disabled and elderly people.
Some examples of adult care services include care homes, nursing homes, home care (domiciliary care) and short breaks or respite for carers.
Why work in the care sector?
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Working in adult social care may not have been something you’d considered, but there’s so much more to this sector than meets the eye.
“I first started at Laurel Lodge as a cleaner – I needed a job to fit in around my studies at university but wasn’t enjoying my current position in retail, so I decided to try something new. I soon developed an interest in the care assistant role,” says Jack.
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“When Laurel Lodge had a position available, I applied and progressed from my cleaning role to a full-time care assistant.”
When asked what Jack would say to people like him who may have preconceptions about the care sector, he said to ‘keep an open mind and to give it a go’.
“A few years back I would never have imagined I’d be in this position - I took the cleaning job at Laurel Lodge as an alternative to working in retail originally, and can’t believe where I am now! I truly enjoy my job and can’t wait to come into work each day,” Jack says.
Not only does a job in care enable you to build close relationships with residents or clients, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. Although sometimes challenging, supporting the people you are caring for to live a happier, more independent life results in immense job satisfaction - you can see just how much you’re helping.
“It’s knowing that you’re making a difference to someone’s life that makes working in adult social care so special,” says Jack.
What does a job in adult social care involve?
There are varying responsibilities depending on the job role. For example, alongside helping residents with their immediate needs - washing, dressing and helping them take medication – Jack’s role includes entertaining the guests weekly with his guitar skills, coordinating group activities, and simply spending time with residents.
Jack explains: “My favourite thing about my job is the relationship I have with the residents. Learning from them and hearing of their experiences is amazing, and I love that I can be there for them as a carer, but also a friend and confidant.”
How can I get a job in care?
“You don’t always need to have experience in the sector or even qualifications in some cases to start your career in care,” Danielle explains.
“What’s really important is that you’re kind, thoughtful and passionate about the role.”
If you’re interested in a job in adult social care, a Level 2 or 3 diploma in Health & Social Care is desirable but not essential - you can work towards any qualifications once you’ve started your role.
Career progression is also possible within the care sector. Danielle has always had a passion for care, and since starting as a care assistant at seventeen, she’s gained a Level 5 diploma in Leadership and Management and is now the manager of Laurel Lodge.
What job roles are available?
Not all roles in adult social care involve working in a care home for elderly people. You can care for someone with learning disabilities, mental health conditions, sensory impairment or physical disabilities in their own home, for example.
Alternatively, you could invite someone to live with you through a Shared Lives scheme. This could be a young person (16+) or adult who is strugging to live on their own and needs a helping hand.
For more information about training and careers in adult social care visit Norfolk and Suffolk Care Support Ltd website norfolkandsuffolkcaresupport.co.uk