The flexible career

By at home

Discover a job that fits around your family’s needs – social care

If you’re thinking of dipping your toe in the world of work again, but need to find something that will allow you to pick up the kids up school or make their sports day and nativity plays – a career in social care could be the answer.

What’s more, jobs in this sector will draw on the skills you already have and use every day, as a carer to your own children and family.

What is social care

Broadly speaking, social care jobs involve providing practical support to help people maintain their own independence and lead fuller lives.
From children to the elderly, and people with learning difficulties to those with physical disabilities – you can make a real difference to the people you care for.

The work also offers a level of flexibility that means it can fit in around your family commitments. There are many part-time jobs and lots of positions are outside the typical nine-to-five office hours. You could be working in a residential care home, a day centre or out in the community. Working with children might involve spending time in youth centres and drop-in centres, for example; while a job as a personal assistant could see you based in someone’s home helping them closely with the practicalities of daily life; and a job in care of the elderly might involve working in a care home.

Fulfilling and worthwhile The most satisfying careers are those that involve something you really care about, so if you have a genuine passion for helping others, nothing could be more rewarding than a career in social care. The most important qualities you need are an interest in people and a respect for what makes them individuals. Your attitude and life experiences are usually far more important than formal qualifications in social care work.

Choose an area Decide whether you want to work with children and young people; the elderly; people with learning or physical difficulties or people who use mental health services. You’ll also need to decide whether you want to help people in their own homes; the community; residential and nursing homes; day care; supported housing; or other settings such as hospices and rehabilitation centres.

Police check You’ll need to undergo a criminal records bureau (CRB) check which is required by law to protect those vulnerable to abuse. Simply fill in a form and send it off with identification documents.


Pictures: getty images

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