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
You could take a course at college, for example:
- Level 2 GCSE in Health and Social Care
- Level 2 Certificate or Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care
- Level 2 Certificate or Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People's Workforce
- Level 2 Certificate or Level 3 Diploma in Youth Work Practice
- Level 3 Diploma for Residential Childcare
Many courses include work placements, so this could be a good way for you to get experience.
You may need:
- 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
You could get into this job through an adult care worker intermediate apprenticeship or lead adult care worker advanced apprenticeship.
You'll usually need:
- some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
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
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
To apply directly for jobs in residential support, you'll need paid or voluntary experience in the social work and care sector.
You can find out more about becoming a residential support worker from Think Care Careers.