Social care - could I care? | Oxfordshire County Council

Social care - could I care?

Find out if you could have a career in care and the different roles that are available

You do not necessarily need to have formal qualifications to start your career in care because you will be offered training to develop the skills and knowledge required.

The most important thing is that you have the right values, behaviours and attitudes.

Not sure if you have the right skills for a career in care? Answering these questions may help you decide.

  • Are you a good listener?
  • Can you talk to people and put them at their ease?
  • Can you put yourself in other people’s shoes?
  • Can you follow instructions and use your own initiative too?
  • Are you reliable?
  • Are you able to fill in forms and write in a diary?
  • Do you believe that everyone should be treated with dignity and have their beliefs and values respected?
  • Do you want a job that offers training, qualification and real career potential?
  • Do you want a job that makes a real and positive difference to people's lives – including your own?

If you answered yes to most of these questions a career in care could be for you.  

To find out more about what working in social care involves and if it might be right for you, take a look at the following

What's involved in social care work?

A career in community based social care offers a variety of roles and can provide opportunities to work with a range of interesting people including older people, or people who may have a learning disability, physical disability or mental health issue. There are also plenty of chances for career progression.

Care work is essentially about providing personal and practical support to help people maintain their independence, dignity and control.

Discover the varied roles and responsibilities associated with jobs in the health and social care sector below.

Home care worker

Home care workers in Oxfordshire carry out the most important of all roles in helping people to stay independent and living in their own home.

Home care workers are also often referred to as support workers and domiciliary care workers.

They support people with many daily activities such as bathing, dressing, toileting, meal preparation and eating and drinking if required.

Prompting people to take their medication so they remain well is also something that is frequently required.

Home care workers provide the person they are supporting with a link to the outside world, bringing news and conversation and often much needed companionship.

Care home worker

Care workers also work in residential care homes and care homes with nursing, where they provide support to some of the most vulnerable people in Oxfordshire.

Care home workers support people with many daily activities such as bathing, dressing, toileting, and eating and drinking if required.

Senior home care worker

Many home care workers progress to the role of senior care worker or field care supervisor.

Senior home care workers may still have responsibility for working directly with people receiving care but their main duties include leading, supporting and supervising a team of home care workers.

They will have a greater understanding and knowledge of legislation relating to the delivery of care and will be involved in case reviews and care planning.

Care co-ordinator

Care co-ordinators are responsible for processing new client referrals, arranging visits and appointments to clients, updating records and ensuring all staff receive their work schedules in a timely fashion.

They match the skills and experience of home care workers to the needs of the person using the service and they check to ensure that the care delivered is of good quality and meets the needs and expectations of service users.

Care co-ordinators will usually have experience of delivering care services and will have good ICT, communication and organisational skills.

Branch manager and deputy branch manager

Care provider managers and their deputies assume full managerial responsibility for the day to day running of their branches.

They are required to have a detailed understanding of relevant legislation and how this can be best met at an operational and strategic level.

They are responsible for the recruitment, selection and vetting of staff and provide coaching and mentoring opportunities through the delivery of training on a variety of care related topics.

Training and support

On the Job

You do not need to have formal qualifications to start your career in care.  You will be given training and support before you start providing care for anyone.

This includes things like:

  • Moving and handling: how to move people without hurting yourself or the client
  • First Aid
  • Medication: so you are aware of your responsibilities in terms of helping people to take their medication.

Most providers will give you the chance to shadow an experienced carer to gain first-hand experience of caring in a supportive environment.

While you are working in your role you may be given the opportunity to gain qualifications, such as a Diploma in Health and Social Care (Adults).

You may also undergo training in specialist areas such as caring for people who may have dementia or other long term conditions, or people who may be approaching the end of their life.

The college route

You can also choose to study and gain recognized qualifications before starting your career in social care. Look out for courses at your local college.

Find a role near you

Last reviewed
16 March 2017
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