Are you motivated in helping people and being a compassionate human? Then, the career of a Social Care Worker would be best suited for you. This career is gratifying in terms of money and client satisfaction. It also involves working for a good cause and helping the vulnerable and disadvantaged people in our society to get a better life.
And this article would give you a detailed analysis of this career and focus on becoming a social care worker in the UK. Thus, by using all this information, you would be able to make an intelligent career choice.
Table of Contents
Who is a Social Care Worker?
Social Care Workers are professionals who provide care and support to disadvantaged individuals. They provide various types of assistance and show an immense level of empathy. The care and support are of their fullest potential because this is what this role is all about. Their primary purpose is to serve the vulnerable people in society and provide justice to them in various ways.
Additionally, their client group ranges from people in age, race, and sexual orientation. Some examples include:
Thus, this indicates that the nature of this job is quite challenging and requires a large amount of patience and empathy to be efficient at it.
There are also some core principles of this profession. That is, an individual should have a helping tendency and be very compassionate towards others. They must also keep in mind that they should keep all their client’s information confidential and maintain their dignity.
However, you have to keep in mind that this profession would not be ideal for you if you are just looking for an earning source through a job. Apart from earning money, you need to have a pure soul and clear intentions to help the people and do your best to provide them with justice.
How to Become a Social Care Worker?
Social workers are in high demand in the UK, so many people are interested in entering this field. However, there are several steps in becoming a social care worker in the UK. Thus, let us have a look at some of the entry pathways in this profession.
Initially, you will need to complete your GCSE O-Levels and A-levels first. For O-levels, you will need to score a minimum C and have English, Maths and Science in your chosen subject list. Whereas for A-levels, you will need to pass in a minimum of two subjects with a minimum D.
You can choose any subject you prefer. But the most relevant ones for this field are – Sociology, Human Psychology and Law. However, different universities and institutes have other requirements. Thus, it is better to check with them individually.
Secondly, you could enter this field through vocational qualifications. The benefit of these qualifications is that you can complete the courses in 1-1.5 years. After completion, you can get your certificate easily. Moreover, students from any educational background can get enrolled in such courses.
In addition, these courses are fully equipped with healthcare and social care industry information. It will make you ready to practice in the professional field in a short period.
For example, this Health and Social Care Course is fully accredited by the governing body. If you have a very hectic schedule, this course would be perfect for you since you can complete the entire course online with 24/7 tutor support!
Social Work Apprenticeships
Apprenticeships open an ample opportunity for aspiring social care workers. The duration for social work apprenticeships usually lasts for three years. Upon completion, you will be able to register with Social Work England. They are the regulators for the social workers in the UK.
Apprenticeships are a combination of university education and on the job training. So you don’t need to worry about the hefty university tuition fees or the burden of student debt. Social work apprenticeships are available at all places in the UK. Therefore, you could easily get in touch with the one in your local community.
Moreover, some of the apprenticeships pay a certain amount of money for the work hours completed. However, the amount paid per hour is relatively less than the usual pay of a social care worker. It can range from £4-6 per hour. This is just the icing on the cake.
Because firstly, you are getting paid for learning work instead of spending any money from your pocket and getting a professional accreditation. Secondly, you are under the full supervision of an experienced professional in this field.
Skills Required to Become a Social Care Worker
Having the right balance of skills for a particular profession is as effective as being educationally and professionally qualified. Thus, to be an effective and successful social care worker, you need to possess the following skills:
Social work is an emotionally challenging field. It will always require you to deal with individuals and families in hardships regularly. In this case, resilience and your ability to control your emotions are essential. In addition, you need to stay mentally strong and not let any situations affect your health.
Active listening involves effectively listening to others, understanding their situations and analysing their needs. You also need to understand their body language and tone of voice. Thus, it will help you understand your client’s situation properly and make them feel comfortable.
It involves both verbal and non-verbal communication. As a Social Care Worker, you are always required to communicate with your client’s and well colleagues. There are various channels involved – face to face, phone conversation, email, etc. Thus, it is important to constantly communicate clearly and in a precise manner.
To stay up to date with various software and technologies, you have to be a tech-savvy person. It will help you get updated information, record cases electronically or even help you to handle the paperwork more efficiently.
As a social care worker, you will need to analyse several situations and use your thinking abilities. It will enable you to make crucial decisions and solve several complex issues regarding a case.
Roles of a Social Care Worker
A social care worker has a unique set of roles. These roles come in various forms. But, all the different roles fall under Social Care Work. These roles require you to work with a diverse range of people and assist them with their problems. Let us look at some of the most common roles and responsibilities of a social care worker.
Care workers support people in all aspects of their daily schedule. For example, they would assist in different physical activities, exercises, cook meals throughout the day, take them shopping or any outing. They usually work in care homes or people’s homes. Furthermore, they work with all genders and age groups.
In their daily routine as a care worker, they will have to support their clients with various physical and social activities. This involves taking them to doctor appointments, helping them to take a shower and dressing them, and cooking meals for their clients.
If the clients are specially-abled or cannot eat by themselves, they also need to feed them. Moreover, they need to make sure that they check their blood pressure, pulse, oxygen level regularly. They also need to give medicines at regular intervals for their severely ill clients.
As a welfare officer, you will be responsible for advising people regarding several matters. This includes- disability allowances, housing benefits, and support with rentals. Welfare officers work for different associations. Such as social housing, community care, and charity and non-profit organisations.
In a daily routine as a welfare officer, you will be responsible for checking if your clients are eligible for any government benefits for their situations. You have to help them regarding any application process, work with different agencies or lawyers for any case of your client.
Additionally, you will also need to be aware of different laws and welfare regulations in the UK. Since you have to speak for your clients in several situations, you need to build a rapport with them and know them and their stories well.
The role of a personal assistant is to focus on one or a few individuals and assist them with various aspects of their lives and restore confidence in them and help them live independently. You can work for any particular individual or even work for some social care agencies. As a PA, you will be someone’s right hand and help them overcome any obstacles they face.
A day in the life of a PA involves supporting individuals with their social or physical activities, such as exercising. If an individual has any physical disability, you have to take them to work or college and pick them up. Thus, you need to have a valid UK driving licence.
On the other hand, if your client has a mental disability, such as autism, you have to be extra cautious because you always need to be around them regarding any needs.
Rehabilitation workers help their clients to live independently and with complete confidence. People reach out to a rehabilitation worker if they have gone through a challenging phase and can still not restore their everyday lives. For instance, after meeting with an accident, after survival from a deadly disease, financial trauma, or even losing a loved one.
Therefore, as a rehabilitation worker, you will be responsible for restoring their confidence in themselves and motivate them to do better in their lives. You can speak to your clients to figure out what issues they are going through and then helping them accordingly. Based on the information gathered, you could research some therapists if they require further medical assistance. You could also perform activities that interest your client to keep them engaged.
Women Rights Officer
In our society, women are the most vulnerable. They have to go through many struggles in terms of surviving amongst everyone and their personal lives. The domestic abuse and rape cases in the UK is, unfortunately, relatively high. Thus, these women who survive such unfortunate situations need the help of a qualified professional- Women Rights Officer.
Therefore, as a women rights officer, you will be responsible for listening to the stories of these women and showing them a ray of hope by fighting for their justice. You will have to provide them with empathy and the utmost care to uplift their mood and make them mentally strong. Furthermore, you will have to contact different shelter providing agencies and human rights lawyers to fight for their cases at the court.
An employment advisor is someone who provides support to unemployed people. They also assist the employed ones in trying and maintaining their employment in various ways. Sometimes, current employees feel threatened by newcomers or a new change in business. It makes them very scared to be seen as redundant by their employers. You could work in different career counselling centres, charity organisations or even in the local community place.
Therefore, a day in the life of an employment advisor involves talking to clients about their strengths and weaknesses, interests and life goals. You will also be responsible for performing their skill assessment and exploring their work opportunities based on those. You could do so by assisting them in constructing their CV. It is also essential that you build a good connection with local employers or training providers to refer your clients to them.
Social Care Worker- Salary Expectations
Salaries depend on several factors. It includes the area you work in, the work setting (e.g. employment advisor, mental health advisor), skills and experience, and the company you work for. Although the salary range usually varies from city to city.
Most neighbourhood specialists would pay travel costs for ventures made for business purposes. However, numerous neighbourhood specialists are glad to arrange flexible working hours, have family-accommodating strategies and childcare voucher plans.
However, there is no fixed salary range. But, for newly qualified social care workers, it ranges from £24,000 to £30,000 per annum depending on the local authority and location. When they acquire some experience in the field, the salaries can increase to £40,000 – 50,000 range per annum.
The field of social work is up-and-coming and will help boost your career in the long run. Social care workers are critical people in our society since they help vulnerable people to lead everyday lives. Therefore, you will get a good salary every month and earn a lot of respect and trust if you choose to work in this field.