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How to become a Care Assistant

care assistant careers

What does a Care Assistant do?

Care assistants, sometimes known as care workers / carers, provide practical help with daily activities to people with a range of difficulties. They work with children, people with physical or learning disabilities, older people or families. Carers may help people in their own homes, in sheltered housing, day centres or in residential settings such as nursing homes.

Home care assistants work as part of a team, visiting clients daily to provide support. Some care assistants work as part of an outreach team, helping families and parents experiencing difficulties adjusting to new responsibilities. A new role in social care work is that of personal assistant; this involves working closely with one disabled person to support them in their day-to-day life.

Residential or day care assistants work with others in implementing individual development programmes for clients, often becoming the ‘key worker’ to one or two residents. They may help to organise recreational activities and escort clients to and from the residential home, particularly young people who attend a local college.

Certain tasks are common to all care assistant roles, including:

  • getting to know individual clients and being aware of their special interests and social needs
  • supporting clients with daily personal care such as dressing, using the toilet, washing and feeding themselves
  • undertaking general tasks such as housework, laundry and shopping
  • helping people organise paying bills, budgeting money and letter writing
  • giving social and emotional support.

What's the working environment like working as a Care Assistant?

Home care assistants usually work 37 to 40 hours a week, which may include weekends. Those working in residential settings may have occasional overnight stays, often on a rota basis, or even be required to live in. Part-time work is often available.

Protective clothing such as gloves and tabards may be issued, and safety equipment is frequently used. Care work can be physically strenuous and mentally challenging.

What does it take to become a Care Assistant?

To be a care assistant, you should:

  • be sensitive to the needs of people from different religious and cultural backgrounds
  • be physically fit to cope with lifting and carrying
  • be sympathetic and patient, and a good communicator
  • be reliable, flexible and able to work as part of a team
  • have knowledge of basic hygiene standards
  • be able to remain calm under pressure.

Care Assistant Career Opportunities

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Care Assistant that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

NHS Learning and Development Service
Tel: 08000 150 850
Email: learning@nhscareers.nhs.uk

Skills for Care
Albion Court
5 Albion Place
Leeds
LS1 6JL
Tel: 0113 245 1716
www.skillsforcare.org.uk

Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC)
Compass House
11 Riverside Drive
Dundee
DD1 4NY
Tel: 0845 60 30 891
www.sssc.uk.com

Care Council for Wales
7h Floor
South Gate House
Wood Street
Cardiff
CF10 1EW
Tel: 029 2022 6257
www.ccwales.org.uk

Northern Ireland Social Care Council
7th Floor
Millennium House
Great Victoria Street
Belfast
BT2 7AQ
Tel: 028 9041 7600
www.niscc.info

Courses to help you become a Care Assistant