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What qualities do you need to work in social care?

11th Mar, 2019

What qualities do you need to work in social care?

Have you found yourself questioning whether a career in social care is for you? 

Social care worker jobs can be very fulfilling for those who are passionate about care and bringing the best out of people. The role of a social care worker is to support individuals or groups who live with special needs, disabilities, are going through personal crises or need extra support to cope with everyday life.

So, if you have a talent for bringing the best out in people and filling them with confidence, then a job in social care could be perfect for you. 

We’ll be sharing a brief insight into a couple of social care roles, how to become a health and social care worker and discussing who the job is suited to.

What is the difference between a social worker and a social care worker?

You may have heard two titles relating to social care jobs: social worker and social care worker. Each plays an important role and together provide the two sides of the coin.

Social workers are professionally qualified and responsible for assessing the client’s personal needs. They develop and provide a care plan to suit the client's unique requirements.

A social care worker’s job is to implement the care plan and provide the practical and emotional support that the client needs. They may work in a home environment, nursing homes or community centres.

Social care work focuses on using a strengths-based, needs-led approach to work through a client’s presenting problems.

Understand the role of a social care worker

Your World Healthcare has a great range of social care worker vacancies in Ireland, so let’s take a more in-depth look into what this particular role involves. 

"Social Care Workers are professional practitioners engaged in the practice of social care work. Social care work is a relationship-based approach to the purposeful planning and provision of care, protection, psychosocial support and advocacy in partnership with vulnerable individuals and groups who experience marginalisation, disadvantage or special needs. Principles of social justice and human rights are central to the practice of Social Care Workers." - Social Care Workers Board, CORU (Health & Social Care Professionals Council)

As previously mentioned, a social care worker will provide the services compiled on the care plan created by the social worker. 

The duties of a social care worker may include helping clients with:

  • Dressing
  • Feeding
  • Cleaning
  • Toileting
  • Exercising
  • Taking prescribed medication
  • Bills
  • Job hunting
  • General day-to-day activities

Another responsibility of a social care worker is to challenge their clients so that they may reach their full potential. They might be supporting a homeless person find work or somewhere to live, teaching a client with special needs how to be more independent or helping an adolescent who’s lived in care to adapt to life as a self-sufficient adult.

They could be working amongst:

  • Children and adolescents in residential care (or leaving care)
  • Homeless people
  • Addicts 
  • The elderly
  • Those with special needs

At times, a social care worker’s job may involve working alongside the client’s family to ensure that they too understand and support the care plan, particularly at times when the social care worker isn’t present.

Social care workers will stay in touch with the social worker assigned to the case to make sure the client's care plan is up-to-date with their current needs. The role may also include liaising with other professionals on the client's behalf.

The ideal characteristics of a social care worker

Social care workers form close relationships with their clients built on time and trust. Therefore, they need to have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and also be trustworthy, empathetic, understanding, non-judgmental and encouraging. 

At times, the role requires assertiveness and the ability to provide ‘tough love’. Sometimes, clients will need to be told no and have alternative methods demonstrated, especially when working with children and adolescents who need support with behaviour management.

How to become a social care worker

In the Republic of Ireland, social care workers who are in the publicly funded health sector are expected to have completed a three-year level 7 degree in Social Care; however, continuing to level 8 can help you secure a management position. This differs to Northern Ireland where you need an NVQ or equivalent (unless you’re interested in a supervisory role).

As a social care worker, you are also required to register with CORU’s Social Care Workers Registration Board.

To learn more about Your World’s social care worker jobs, call us on 01531 2888 or find our current vacancies here. Why not also speak to our team for advice on training to become a social care worker?