Adult Support Workers
Hft supports adults with learning disabilities across England. It can be a hugely rewarding job that provides the opportunity to make noticeable differences in the day to day lives of people who require support to live more independently. Of course, working in social care is unlike most other jobs, and supporting vulnerable adults comes with a few particular considerations, so if you’re thinking of becoming a Support Worker, this is what you’ll need to know…
Can I apply?
In most cases, if you’re aged 16 or over, you can apply to work as a Support Worker. As you will be supporting vulnerable people, you will need to go through an enhanced disclosure check against the Disclosure and Barring service, though having a criminal conviction would not necessarily exclude you from a career in social care.
People with learning disabilities can sometimes display unpredictable behaviour, or behaviour that can be challenging to support. Often this is down to a communication breakdown, whereby the person displaying challenging behaviour wants or feels they need something, but this is not being recognised by those around them. Sometimes it’s way of expressing control. Either way, the job of an Adult Support Worker is to work to understand the underlying causes of the behaviour, so that they can better support the person exhibiting it.
For this reason, having the ability to listen and communicate well are both valuable skills for an Adult Support Worker to master, and patience is considered a virtue.
Supporting people with learning disabilities is a 24 hour job, so Adult Support Workers often work to a shift pattern that will include evenings, weekends and sleep-ins. It can be a physical job too, including bathing, toileting and dressing people with disabilities that find it more difficult to manage these tasks themselves.
Being an Adult Support Worker is a role that comes with a high level of responsibility. You will receive comprehensive induction training, and will need to follow Hft’s Operational Standards which are designed to tell staff what they must consider and do to provide support that is person–centred, protects each person’s rights and meets the legal and regulatory requirements that staff and managers have to work within.
These will cover a wide range of topics from supporting people with their medicines, or money and benefits, to safeguarding and how to recognise abuse. They are written with support workers in mind, so that what you must know and do, and where you can go for further information or advice is always clear. They also include best practice – ie the ways of working that will give the best outcomes for the people you support.
Supporting adults is a role that means keeping the person being supported at the centre of everything that you do, making sure that their choices and wishes are always put first. If you believe in treating people with dignity and respect and empowering people to make their own choices, we’d like to hear from you, as a career as an Hft Support Worker might be just around the corner.