dhsc

Care assistant

Care assistants are part of a team supporting people with all aspects of their day-to-day life.

What is it?

Care assistants are part of a team supporting people with all aspects of their daily life, including social and physical activities, personal care, mobility and meal times. Care assistants usually work as part of a team in a residential care or nursing home. Roles can range from Maternity care assistant, Mental health care assistant, Emergency care assistant and Night care assistant.

Care assistants’ duties involve supporting lots of different people including adults with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, dementia and other mental health conditions.

What might the role involve?

Your role might involve:

  • supporting people with social and physical activities
  • booking and accompanying people to appointments
  • helping with personal care such as showering and dressing
  • assisting people with eating and drinking
  • monitoring individuals’ conditions by taking their temperature, pulse, respiration and weight, and possibly helping with medication.

What skills do I need?

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 able to work as part of a team.

Additional skills required to be a care assistant 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 experience and qualifications do I need?

You don’t necessarily need qualifications to become a care assistant. 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 qualification 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 start the job.

How do I progress?

When you start in your role, you’ll do an induction, which should include the Care Certificate – these are the minimum standards that everyone working in social care needs to know.

It might also include necessary training such as health and safety, first aid and moving and handling, or specific training such as autism awareness, communication skills or training to help you support people with dementia.

Beyond this there could be opportunities to progress by doing a vocational qualification such as a Diploma in Health and Social Care, or continuing a professional development qualification such as dementia, end of life or autism care. Later in your career, there may be opportunities to progress into management roles, or you might choose to go into other roles such as an advocacy worker, personal assistant or rehabilitation worker.

Explore more job roles


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.

Find out more

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.

Find out more

Search jobs

Results will be within 10 miles of your search location