How to become a Support Worker

What is a Support Worker?

A Support Worker is someone who looks after the well-being of vulnerable people. They help people living with different disabilities such as mental health needs, learning disabilities, medical conditions or physical disabilities to live their lives more independently and support them to reach their potential by providing both physical and emotional support.

How to become a Support Worker?

You’ll need a mix of accredited qualifications, practical skills, and personal qualities to become a support worker. There are no specific qualifications needed to be a support worker – beyond a good attitude and willingness to learn, which are essential – but experience in the care sector is definitely an advantage.

You can get into this job through:

  • Apprenticeship – You could get into this job through an adult care worker intermediate apprenticeship or lead adult care worker advanced apprenticeship. training course, for example; Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Sales
  • NVQs in Care – Employers might not require that you have the qualification when you apply, but you must demonstrate that you are working towards the certification. Getting an NVQ on the job is simple, and you usually get around a year to complete them.
  • Diploma in Care
  • Care Certificate
  • GCSEs

Support Worker Duties

The duties and responsibilities of a support worker, including:

  • Compassion and empathy
  • Supporting and helping with health care needs, including routine checks or administering medication
  • The ability to show initiative
  • Helping to administer basic care and ensuring that standards of hygiene are adhered to
  • Encouraging and supporting the development of personal skills through hobbies and interests
  • Flexibility in work patterns and schedule is of great importance
  • Ability to understand and be patient irrespective of provocation from patients being cared for or supported
  • Communicating frequently with the patients so as to be able to identify their needs and attend to them accordingly
  • Help clients participate in leisure activities

Support Worker Skills

  • Good listening skills
  • Excellent verbal communication skills
  • Good time management skills
  • Socially savvy
  • Strong organisation and time management skills
  • Excellent organisational skills
  • Flexible and open to change
  • The ability to carry out practical and domestic duties
  • An interest in people and a commitment to helping others
  • Counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • Many support worker roles require a full driving license

How to find Support Worker Jobs

When you search for Support Worker jobs online, be aware that the jobs might be advertised using a different job title. Popular job titles for Support Worker jobs include;

  • Care Assistant
  • Health Care Assistant
  • Healthcare Worker
  • Relief Worker
  • Care Worker

How to apply for Support Worker jobs

These jobs are advertised online, in local newspapers and at your local Jobcentre. To find all the Support worker jobs near you, you need to:

  • Search for support worker jobs on popular job websites such as; Indeed, Total Jobs and CV Library
  • Use the DWP’s Find A Job Service
  • Check local newspapers and local Facebook groups, especially groups dedicated to local jobs

Support Worker Qualifications & Experience

Employers will expect you to have:

  • Experience in working with children, young people and their families
  • A minimum of a level 3 qualification in childcare, social work, social care, counselling, youth work or education

What does a Support Worker do?

The day-to-day tasks of a Support Worker include;

  • help patients to use the toilet
  • help patients shower and get dressed
  • tidy the ward or patients’ homes
  • attend meetings with other healthcare professionals