Residential support worker

Residential support workers look after the physical and mental wellbeing of children or vulnerable adults in care.

Average salary (a year)

£17,000 Starter

to

£27,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

41 to 43 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on a rota

How to become a Residential support worker

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly

College

You could take a course at college but this is not essential. Some employers may want a level 2 college qualification as a minimum.

Qualifications could include:

  • Level 2 Certificate or Diploma in Work Preparation for Health and Social Care
  • Level 2 GCSE in Health and Social Care
  • Level 2 Certificate for the Children and Young People’s Workforce
  • Level 2 Certificate or Diploma in Youth Work Practice

Although taking a social care qualification is not essential for finding work, most courses include work placements, so this could be a very good way of getting experience.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) for a level 2 course

More information

Apprenticeship

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship in adult care.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More information

Work

Some social care employers will be more interested in your work and life experience than formal qualifications, and you can get these whilst working. You can start working as a support worker in:

  • a children's home
  • a care home
  • a hostel

Volunteering and experience

You can get voluntary experience in a number of ways like:

  • volunteering at a youth club
  • having personal experience of caring for a family member
  • doing voluntary work in a care home, nursery or relevant charity

Direct application

To apply directly for jobs in residential support, you'll need paid or voluntary experience in the social work and care sector.

More information

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a residential support worker from:

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to work well with others
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • customer service skills
  • a desire to help people
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • Being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

  • pass enhanced background checks
  • be at least 18 years old, and at least 4 years older than the oldest child in the home to work in children's homes. For this reason, many of these jobs carry a minimum age restriction of 23 years

A driving licence could be useful.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day tasks might include:

  • checking residents’ needs and progress
  • providing physical care, which could include bathing, toileting, dressing and feeding
  • providing one-to-one counselling or group therapy sessions
  • teaching daily living skills like budgeting, shopping and claiming benefits
  • providing leisure and creative activities in a safe and supportive setting
  • helping residents to deal with problems and become independent
  • talking with residents' families and arranging family and home visits

Working environment

You could work in the community or at an adult care home.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could take on more responsibility as a senior support worker or manager.

You could also train as a social worker.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Domiciliary Care Assistant

  • Wage : £248.70 Weekly
  • Location: Banham NR16 2HE

Apprentice Care Assistant

  • Wage : £8,102.55 Annually
  • Location: Luton LU1 2BQ

Courses In England

Pearson BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Health and Social Care (QCF)

  • Provider: Christ The King College
  • Start date: 03 September 2019
  • Location: Newport

Cambridge Technical Diploma in Health and Social Care (VRQ)

  • Provider: The de Ferrers Academy
  • Start date: 05 September 2019
  • Location: Burton on Trent

Get help using this service

Call 08000 150 950

8am to 10pm, 7 days a week

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