Community Support Worker
Many people with learning disabilities 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 that that 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. Every person we support has their own needs and personality, and your responsibilities will reflect that. Here are some of the areas that you are most likely to be involved in:
- Health and wellbeing. 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 the 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.
- People with learning disabilities 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 will 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 people with learning disabilities 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 license 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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