We have compiled these social care frequently asked questions to provide the insight you need to make an informed decision about your future, and decide whether a social care role is right for you. If there’s anything we’ve missed, please get in touch and our consultants will be happy to help.
Q: What’s the difference between social care and social work?
A: Social work just is one job within the wider field of social care. Currently, you must either have a university degree in social work or a two year Master’s Degree in social work to become a qualified social worker.
On the other hand, the majority of roles in the social care sector, such as social work assistants, do not require a university degree. There are a number of different ways to get your first social care job. Some people choose to volunteer to gain experience, while others take vocational qualifications such as the Level 2 Diploma in Health and Social Care.
Q: Is working in social care right for me?
A: Social care is a rewarding and satisfying career for hundreds of thousands of people across the UK, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be right for you. Before applying for a role in social care, we highly advise that you use as many resources at your disposal to find out more.
The Question of Care website allows you to watch videos from current social care workers to help you understand what a day in their life is really like. The ThinkCareCareers website also has some excellent information about the different jobs available to you.
Alternatively, if you know someone who already works in social care, why not pick their brains for an hour or two? Find out exactly what their job entails and ask them what parts of the job they would change if they could.
Q: What checks are necessary to work in social care?
A: As you could be working with some very vulnerable people, it’s a legal requirement that everyone working in social care completes a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. This used to be called a CRB check. At Seven Social Care, our compliance system carries out immunisation checks, mandatory training checks, reference checks, documentation checks (e.g. proof to work in the UK, proof of address, driving licence etc.) and DBS checks, to ensure every candidate can legally work in this sector.
Q: Do I need past care experience or qualifications to work in social care?
A: Not necessarily. Social care organisations sometimes employ people without any care experience or qualifications. It is then the employer’s responsibility to provide the necessary training and support as part of the induction. The Care Certificate, which was only recently introduced, sets out 15 standards new employees need to reach to practice within the social care sector.
Once the induction period is over, employers can develop their staff’s skills using formal diplomas. The Level 2 Diploma in Health and Social Care is designed to develop the skills of new workers; the Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care is well suited to those developing into more senior roles; while the Level 5 Diploma is aimed at social care managers.
Q: How do I find a social care job?
Social care workers are in high demand from private and voluntary organisations, as well as the NHS and local authorities. Some of these organisations may have strict criteria and will only look at those with considerable experience and qualifications in the sector. However, if you do not believe you meet their requirements, you should still call up and ask.
At Seven Social Care, we work with a diverse group of organisations in the social care sector to help you find your next job. We provide a personalised service and ongoing support whenever you need us. We can also offer rates that the competition cannot match. For help finding a rewarding and well-paid social care role, register with Seven Social Care today.