Residential Support Worker
Residential Support Workers support people with learning disabilities in a residential care setting.
People requiring residential care will often have higher support needs that mean supported living might not be the best living arrangement for them. They may have an age-related condition such as dementia, or have complex communication and behavioural needs. In many cases they will be non-verbal. As a result, residential support work often involves more hands-on care, but this doesn’t make it any less rewarding.
Irrespective of the support setting, all Hft staff are encouraged to push boundaries and challenge assumptions. That’s why our Support Workers are trained in our Fusion Model of Support, which puts the person we support at the centre of everything we do, and helps ensure the best possible outcomes.
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 Residential 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
You’ll be supporting the person in their home. It’s likely that you’ll be asked to undertake shifts at weekends and evenings, as well as the occasional sleep-in shift, so it’s important to be flexible.
Skills and qualities
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 Residential Support Worker: what’s most important is a commitment to supporting people with learning disabilities to live the best lives possible.
While an NVQ Level 2 in Health and Social Care (or a similar subject) is an ideal qualification for a Residential Support Worker, it’s not essential. We make sure our staff receive all the training they need to do their job well.
A driving license is always useful, as you may be taking people to appointments or on outings.
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