Dec 14

Residential Care Workers and Care Assistants

Residential Care Workers and Care Assistants will be providing support to people who require a greater level of care within a safe, comfortable and enriching environment.

Residential staff and care assistants ensure people living in residential homes or supported living, are treated with dignity, provided with a professional level of care and that their health, personal and social needs are met.

Whichever setting you work in, you will be enhancing the lives of people, ensuring that their wellbeing, freedom of choice and independence are respected at all times.

There are various job roles to start your career such as:

Residential care worker, care assistant, care practitioner, support worker

Typical duties depending on the setting and experience/age of the worker can include;

  • Providing social and emotional support by talking, listening and conducting general discussions and reminiscing through conversation
  • Supporting with personal care such as getting dressed, washing and bathing
  • Assisting at meal times and with meal preparation;
  • Assisting with domestic tasks in the residential home such as housework, shopping, laundry and general housekeeping tasks;
  • Promoting recovery from illness and ensuring health, safety and wellbeing;
  • Supporting older people to regain skills and abilities e.g. after a period of illness;
  • Supporting and participating in individual or group based recreational activities and encouraging social interaction including retaining or becoming part of their community;
  • Supporting any family, friends with maintaining regular contact and liaising with relatives, social workers, occupational therapists and other professionals such as GPs and district nurses;
  • Protecting and promoting individual’s rights.

Read a case study in Care Council for Wales leaflet A Great Career Opportunity – Working in Social Care (PDF 1.2 MB)

Working in this area you will need:

  • Good listening and communication skills and the ability to relate to older people and their carers;
  • Awareness and understanding of the needs of older people;
  • To be non-judgemental and have patience and tolerance;
  • A supportive, sensitive and caring nature and the ability to show empathy;
  • The ability to use own initiative and work with minimal supervision or as part of a team;
  • Flexibility to work shifts, including weekends;
  • To normally be at least 18 years of age with an up to date enhanced DBS (you may still undertake supervised work at the age of 17).

Experience of providing care and support to older people or similar, as well as a range of life experience would be an advantage. However, you may still be able to start your career with minimal experience as training is provided by employers through compulsory induction programmes. Work-based qualifications can also be obtained through employment. The recommended qualification is QCF Level 2 Diploma in Health and Social Care (Adults)Wales and Northern Ireland
(adapted from Care Council for Wales e-leaflet Working with Older People)

Average salaries start at national minimum wage, increasing with qualifications and experience. There are many potential employers who you could work for in the public, private and voluntary sector and many job roles which you could progress into e.g. senior support/care worker or management roles. With numerous services offered to older people within different settings, there is plenty of scope for developing skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience and enjoying a varied and challenging career. Care roles can be a gateway to other professions such as nursing and social work.

View training available Find care providers Volunteering

© Regional Workforce Partnership - Website designed by Cardiff Council Web Team

Cookie policyPrivacy policy