Community Support Worker
Many learning disabled people enjoy living in support living, as it allows them to live with more independence and choice than they might otherwise experience in a different support setting.
The role of a Community Support Worker is to visit people living in their own homes, and ensure they are safe, happy and healthy. Though some people will still need round-the-clock support, the people you’ll be working with will often be more independent, so your role will involve empowering them to continue to make their own choices.
It’s an outreach role which isn’t CQC regulated, so there is no personal care involved.
We put people at the centre of everything we do. Every person we support has their own needs and personality, and your responsibilities will reflect that. Here are some areas you are most likely to be involved in:
- Health and well-being. This might mean supporting someone to make positive choices about eating well, taking exercise and maintaining good hygiene. It might also involve providing emotional support, or helping them with dressing, washing and personal care.
- Leisure and social activities. Whether it is taking part in a yoga class, painting or going out for a coffee, be prepared to get stuck in! Like all of us, the people we support need to do things they enjoy and get involved in the local community to stay happy and healthy.
- Daily living skills. Things like paying bills, attending appointments, shopping, cooking and cleaning can be challenging for someone with a learning disability, so you’ll be on hand to support and encourage them.
- Learning disabled people can be vulnerable to abuse or exploitation. As their Community Support Worker, you’ll make sure their rights are upheld and they are being treated with consideration and respect.
- There’ll be some important administration to do as well, such as dispensing and recording medicines for the people you support and maintaining accurate records and reports. Everything you do should be in line with current legislative and care standards.
Working hours and environment
As a Community Support Worker, you’ll sometimes need to be on call and able to respond in a crisis. You could be needed in the evenings, at weekends or overnight – it all depends on what support each person requires.
Skills and qualities
Because you’ll be visiting people in their homes, it’s important that you are respectful and sensitive to their needs. You’ll also be happy working independently, as most of your time will be spent out of the office on visits.
Above all, we’re looking for people who’ll put the person they support first. That means being patient and caring, and communicating effectively with them and with others involved in their care.
Qualifications and experience
Experience isn’t essential to become a Community Support Worker: what’s most important is a commitment to supporting learning disabled people to get the most out of life.
While an NVQ Level 2 in Health and Social Care (or a similar subject) is an ideal qualification for a support worker, it’s not essential. We make sure our staff have all the training they need to do their job well.
A driving licence is always useful, as you will be travelling to people’s homes (sometimes more than one in a day) and could be taking them to appointments or on outings.
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