Adult social work is an exciting and fulfilling career for 1.54 million people that are passionate about empowering others and improving their quality of life.
And due to the overall increase in life expectancy, the demand for adult social work has never been greater. Reports show that the social care sector will need another half a million jobs and people to fill them by 2030.
But what does a day in the life of one of these crucial roles look like?
To give you a clearer idea of what to expect, we’ve shared some of the various duties and roles in health and social care in this article. Hopefully, it’ll enable you to decide whether it’s the right career path for you.
“By providing distinctive, valued and personal care, we can help people live the best lives they can, with independence, choice, and control.”
Let’s look first at the ideal personal qualities expected from adult social workers.
Arguably the most desired quality as an adult social worker is empathy. Being sensitive to others’ feelings helps you provide a more personal level of care while building stronger connections with your clients and colleagues.
Getting on someone’s level and being in tune with their emotions is helpful when providing care so you can react quickly to their needs and guide them quickly to comfort.
Having skills in clear communication helps when supporting colleagues and providing care to others, especially in more high-risk situations.
Combining your ability to communicate with an empathetic attitude will help you build meaningful relationships with clients and staff.
But good communication is nothing without listening. Active listening is another excellent quality as a care worker, whether working in a team or recognising a client’s needs.
Being a good carer means helping people to become as independent as possible. A passion for helping and supporting vulnerable people and ultimately enabling them to live a more fulfilling life is an essential skill.
Working in adult social care guarantees you will help make a positive difference in people’s lives and even whole communities, and this relies on the following values:
Enabling clients to have more choices and feel included in society improves their overall wellbeing and quality of life. You can help make this difference to the people you care for while being rewarded with a worthwhile career.
A health and social care worker’s roles and responsibilities will depend on what field or setting you join. But overall, adult social work provides a varied and dynamic schedule where no two days are rarely the same.
But regardless of your specific role and field, the general duties and responsibilities to expect as a health and social care worker includes supporting people with various social and physical activities, such as:
These roles and responsibilities can vary across personal one-on-one care assistants, where you’re employed directly by an individual, to an activity support worker who goes into nursing homes and daycare centres to provide activities for multiple clients.
While your sole duty is providing care, you’ll also be a promoting well being, helping people to feel independent and included in their communities. Beyond just the basics of care and compassion, we want people to live empowered and independent lives.
Depending on what role and level you wish to work at impacts on what type of qualification you need to work in social care.
For example, becoming a care worker needs no set entry requirements. However, employers may still expect core GCSE subjects, such as English and Mathematics.
If you were looking for a more senior role in adult social work, you might want to look into various diplomas in adult care. Carers may be asked to attain NVQ Level 3 in Health and Social Care, which can be achieved during personal study alongside working on the job.
Social worker roles require a Social Work degree that typically takes three years to complete from an official university. The two A-levels you need for a Social Work degree can be reached by doing an equivalent BTEC Diploma Level 3 in Health and Social Care.
Adult social work offers so many learning opportunities for development and progression. Once established as a care worker, you can begin to rise the ranks to becoming a team leader or a general manager.
Most team leader roles require completing the level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care, with senior managers normally asked to complete level 7. After reaching level 7, opportunities will become available in commissioning, procurement, and contracting.
Adult social work is a dynamic industry comprised of many roles and professions with plenty of opportunities for progression and development.
Different types of adult social care may mean you specialise in a specific sector like occupational therapy or provide direct care as a care worker or personal assistant.
Some of the roles in health and social care you can expect to see, include:
Once established in your role, plenty of development opportunities become available across the industry to become supervisors or managers after gaining experience and relevant qualifications.
At Herefordshire Cares, we provide the information you need on finding out more about working in this sector. We work with care providers to advertise their vacancies Whether you want to be a care worker or registered nurse, we have various roles available across the local area on our website, which are being updated all the time.