Explore job roles in adult social care

There are different places where you could work in adult social care, including at someone’s home, a residential care home, or inviting someone to live with you through a Shared Lives scheme.

Care worker supports man cooking

Care at home

Supporting people in their own homes

Anyone at any stage of life could need care and support while living at home and in their community. This includes people with learning disabilities, mental health conditions, sensory impairment or physical disabilities and older people.

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Care worker supports elderly man with shaving

Residential care

Supporting people living in nursing/care homes

Residential care can often (but not always) involve working with people with health conditions such as dementia and other complex needs that make it difficult for them to live independently in their own home.

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Care worker supports young woman on computer

Shared Lives schemes

Opening your life to include someone who needs care and support

A Shared Lives carer shares their home and family life with a young person (16+) or adult who has issues that make it harder for them to live on their own. These include people with learning or physical disabilities, mental health conditions or dementia, as well as people leaving hospital.

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Qualities that people should have to be a care worker

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. So 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 plans

What experiences and qualifications do I need?

You don't necessarily need any qualifications for many roles in social care. 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.

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