Our staff work with people who, for all sorts of reasons, need support to carry out the day-to-day business of living. The key to the work is building relationships with people: winning their trust to help them take control of their lives. Many staff work in residential homes or in people's own homes, working particularly with older people. However there is also a huge range of other roles, including working with adults with disabilities.
It is possible to work in residential homes from the age of 16, in supervised posts. If you want to work with people in their own homes though you have to be over 18 years of age. The regulatory body - Care Quality Commission - has developed national minimum standards which are used to regulate the provision of service in several areas of social care. These national minimum standards lay down requirements in relation to the employment and supervision of young people. Details of the national minimum standards can be found on the website for the Commission at www.cqc.org.uk
Not necessarily. Most roles within Somerset Care do not require you to have any qualifications or training before you start. When you begin working you will be given induction training which takes place in the first twelve weeks of your new job, using national standards adapted to where you work.
This training will ensure that you know how to do your job properly and safely. Induction training gives you professional recognition, and then you may work towards the relevant QCF qualification, which Somerset Care pay for.
You will be working with people who are potentially vulnerable or physically frail, and so need to be of the highest calibre and integrity to do this worthwhile work. All applicants must undergo pre-employment checks, which include requesting an Enhanced Certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service and supplying two satisfactory references, one being from your last employer.
We often want people to start straight away but we need to perform the pre-employment checks as detailed above before confirming your start date.
Most experienced staff will remember sharing this anxiety when they started work! Personal care is part of most roles. This means assisting clients with bathing/showering, assisting clients to use the toilet and helping change incontinence pads. Induction training and work shadowing are really effective at overcoming any awkwardness and embarrassment.
Because the people we care for need our assistance 7 days a week throughout the day and evening, we do try to 'share out' the unsocial hours. Very few people want to work every weekend, for example. For fairness, we usually ask that each employee is available for at least alternate weekends. If this is a problem for you then please discuss this at your interview.
This varies, but it may help to think about the tasks that you do throughout the day. So, we may help people to get up in the morning, get washed, dressed, eat and prepare meals and prompt medication. Whatever we might assist them with it is an important part of our role though to let them remain as independent as possible.