Social Care Careers

Social care is about providing practical and emotional support for people, perhaps to help manage the impact of disability, family pressures, illness, or ageing. Social care workers provide the extra help needed to improve quality of life for people; often enabling them to live as independently as possible.

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    Read more in the 'Working in Social Care' factsheet.  

    Click on the topics below to find out more.

Having some relevant voluntary or unpaid experience may help when you first apply for a job in social care. Some posts may require formal qualifications, normally vocational qualifications; however, at entry level it is possible to get these qualifications after starting work in social care. The qualifications required will vary according to employer and job role. This will be published in the job advertisement/employer recruitment pack. Information about vocational courses is available from schools and colleges careers services.

Social care jobs within Health and Social Care Trusts Health are advertised here

Vacancies with independent, private and voluntary social care organisations can be advertised in local newspapers, the internet, job centres and with recruitment agencies.

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The Apprenticeships NI programme offers training across a range of skills areas to people ages 16 and over. There are limits and conditions for thos candidates aged 25 years and over. Apprentices can earn a wage working with experienced staff to learn and develop their skills. They receive ‘off-the-job’ training, usually on a day-release basis with a Training Supplier, to work towards achieving vocational qualifications and Essential Skills qualifications (reading, writing, maths and computers).

Further Information is available from the Apprenticeshilps NI website

Social care offers a flexible career with a huge range of jobs to choose from. It involves working with older people; people with acute, or terminal illness; people with physical, or learning disabilities; people with visual or hearing impairments; families and children or young people; people with mental ill health; people who are homeless and people with alcohol and/or drugs dependency.

Services are provided in people’s own homes, in day centres, in community centres, and in residential or nursing homes. Job roles include:

  • Domiciliary Care Worker/Manager
  • Care Assistant
  • Day Care Worker/Manager
  • Adult Residential Care Worker/Manager
  • Senior Day Care Worker/Senior Care Assistant
  • Family Support Worker

Those aged 18 or over can expect to have a salary starting at £10,500 per year which could progress to around £25-30,000 per year as they gain experience and additional responsibilities.

As social care workers gain experience, knowledge and skills, they can progress to more challenging positions such as senior care assistant, senior support worker, or manager. Staff progressing to more responsible roles will have to undertake qualifications appropriate to the job role. They can achieve this through in-service courses, formal study or work-based qualifications such as RCF Certificates and Diplomas. Normally, a social care worker would plan and evaluate their training and development with their manager as part of their PRTL and supervision sessions.

Social care workers must complete 90 hours of training and learning (PRTL) during each three/five year registration period. Guidance on the PRTL Requirements and the Continuous Learning and Development Standards for Social Care Workers is available in Post Registration Training Learning.

Social Care workers must be registered with the NISCC and agree to meet the NISCC standards for their conduct, practice and training. New workers who are not NISCC registered will be expected to apply for social care registration as part of induction to their new role. Registration is completed through the NISCC Online Portal. More information about registration, fees and the Standards of Conduct and Practice is available in the Registration & Standards section.

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