Care work is about providing personal and practical support to help people live their lives.
There are lots of different roles in social care depending on what you want to do, who you want to work with and where you’d like to work. You could be supporting an older person, someone with a physical disability, autism, dementia or a mental health condition. You could be working in a care home, out in your local community, in a hospital or from someone’s home (providing care in someone’s home is often called domiciliary care).
With more people needing support to live independently at home, we need more caring, friendly and reliable care workers to support the vulnerable members of our communities in Oxfordshire.
If you want a flexible and rewarding job with a sense of personal achievement from knowing you are helping other people, then care work could be for you.
Here are just some of the reasons to consider a job in care:
Make a difference to people’s lives every day
- Giving people the help they need to lead the lives they want can be enormously satisfying.
Flexible and convenient
- There are opportunities all over Oxfordshire so you can find a job that's close to home.
- You can work the hours that suit you - there are options to choose a fixed hours contract, or a flexible contract so that you change the hours that you work.
Diverse and interesting days
- You get to meet a variety of people and develop rewarding relationships.
- Each day will be different, as you provide a range of help and support to meet individual care needs.
Training is provided
- You do not necessarily need to have formal qualifications to get a job as a care worker. The most important thing for employers is that you are caring, friendly and reliable.
- You will receive all the training you need from your employer. You can gain recognised qualifications and learn practical new skills, such as how to help someone recover from a stroke, etc.
Care work offers a career not just a job
- You can move up the career ladder to positions such as Senior Carer/Support worker or Registered Manager, or work in a variety of different health and care settings.
Pay and benefits
- Many roles pay above than the National Living Wage and pay travel time between appointments and mileage.
Could I care?
- 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.
Find out more about what working in care involves:
Training and support
You do not necessarily need to have formal qualifications to start your career in care. The most important thing is that you have the right values, behaviours and attitudes. You will be given training and support before you start providing care for anyone, such as:
- Moving and handling: how to move people without hurting yourself or the person being moved.
- First Aid
- Medication: so you are aware of your responsibilities in terms of helping people to take their medication.
Most employers 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.
Different care roles
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-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.
Finding a home in Oxfordshire - a guide for key workers
We know that care workers and other key workers can find it difficult to find affordable housing in the county. Finding a Home in Oxfordshire (pdf format, 1.4Mb) is a useful guide to your options. It includes information about how to access affordable rented housing through district councils and the help you may be able to get to find housing in the private rented sector.