Residential support worker
Residential support workers look after the physical and mental wellbeing of children or vulnerable adults in care.
£15,000 Starter - £26,000 Experienced
41 to 43 a week (evenings / weekends / bank holidays on a rota)
Where to start
You can get into this job through
a college coursean apprenticeshipworking towards this roleapplying directly
You could take a course at college, for example:
- Level 2 GCSE in Health and Social Care
- Level 2 Certificate or Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care
- Level 2 Certificate or Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People's Workforce
- Level 2 Certificate or Level 3 Diploma in Youth Work Practice
- Level 3 Diploma for Residential Childcare
Many courses include work placements, so this could be a good way for you to get experience. You may need 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a Level 2 course. You'll need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a Level 3 course.
You could get into this job through an adult care worker Level 2 apprenticeship or lead adult care worker Level 3 apprenticeship.
You'll usually need some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for a Level 2 apprenticeship. You'll need 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for a Level 3 apprenticeship.
Some social care employers will be more interested in your work and life experience than formal qualifications, and you can get these whilst working. You can start working as a support worker in:
a children's home, a care home or a hostel.
You can get voluntary experience in a number of ways like:
- volunteering at a youth club
- having personal experience of caring for a family member
- doing voluntary work in a care home, nursery or relevant charity
To apply directly for jobs in residential support, you'll need paid or voluntary experience in the social work and care sector.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- sensitivity and understanding
- the ability to work well with others
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- customer service skills
- a desire to help people
- excellent verbal communication skills
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and Requirements
You'll need to pass enhanced background checks.
A driving licence could be useful.
What you’ll do
In this role you could:
- check the needs and progress of residents
- provide physical care, which could include bathing, toileting, dressing and feeding
- provide one-to-one advice or group support sessions
- teach daily living skills like budgeting, shopping and claiming benefits
- provide leisure and creative activities in a safe and supportive setting
- help residents to deal with problems and become independent
- talk with residents' families and arrange family and home visits
You could work in the community or at an adult care home.
Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could take on more responsibility as a senior support worker or manager.
You could also train as a social worker.