What Skills Do You Need To Be a Support Worker?

Care Careers Tips

The role of a Support Worker is varied, where no two days are the same. They play a vital role in supporting people throughout their everyday lives, and it’s one of the most fulfilling and rewarding careers. If you’ve ever wondered ‘what do support workers do?’, we explain the role of a support worker, their day to day responsibilities and how to become a support worker below.

What is a support worker? A Support Worker helps vulnerable people to live happy, independent and fulfilling lives through providing practical and emotional support. The day-to-day duties of a Support Worker can vary depending on the needs of the service user.

Support Workers can work in a variety of different settings. There are different types of Support Workers, such as Domiciliary Support Workers, Clinical Support Workers and Children’s Support Workers. Your responsibilities can also vary depending on the type of role you choose. You may work within service user’s homes, within a care home or a day centre, or out in the community. You also may work independently or as part of a team.

The role of a Support Worker is an incredibly important and rewarding role, as you are improving the quality of life of our service users, keeping them safe, helping them to achieve their goals and most importantly, making a positive difference in their lives.

Support workers provide the physical and emotional support that someone might need to achieve their goals A support worker helps vulnerable people to live happy and independent lives As a support worker, you may find yourself working in a number of settings. You may be expected to work in people’s homes, in health and social care settings such as supported living services or care homes, and out in the community.

What does a support worker do? Now you know what a Support Worker is, you may be wondering ‘what does a Support Worker do?’. The roles and responsibilities of a Support Worker can change every day, overall you will be providing physical and emotional support to a service user and their families. This may include:

  • Helping with household tasks, such as tidying, or helping with paperwork.
  • Monitoring their healthcare needs, this may be medication management or checking their temperature.
  • Helping with everyday tasks, such as meal preparation or food shopping.
  • Liaising with other professionals, such as doctors or nurses, to ensure consistency of support.
  • You may help with personal care.
  • Understanding a service user’s communication needs and adapting your communication to each person, such as sounds, tones and body language.
  • Encouraging and supporting a service user's skills through hobbies and interests.
  • Supporting a service user to gain employment.
  • Providing emotional and behavioural support.
  • Teaching and assisting with life skills, such as budgeting and paying bills.
  • Delivering individual support plans.
  • Helping and encouraging a service user to access community facilities and be included in community groups.

As previously mentioned, your role can vary depending on the path you choose as a Support Worker. For example, a domestic Support Worker may provide care mostly surrounding helping with household tasks, assisting with life skills and everyday tasks. A Clinical Support Worker may work alongside other professionals such as a nurse, and tasks may include medication management and administration, personal care and more, depending on the needs of the service user. A Children’s Support Worker will provide support to a service user and their family or caregivers. A career as a Support Worker can be extremely varied, and there are many different career paths you can choose, but it is always extremely rewarding.

Are you thinking about starting a new career in care?

What skills do you need to be a support worker? To start a career as a Support Worker, there are essential skills you will need. These are core life skills that you most likely already possess, such as:

  • Communication: Support workers must effectively communicate with service users, their caregivers, and colleagues to provide the best care and support.
  • Adaptability: The ability to adjust to changing circumstances and meet the diverse needs of service users is crucial in this role.
  • Resilience: Support workers often face challenging and emotionally demanding situations, making resilience a key skill for maintaining a positive and productive approach.
  • Emotional intelligence: Understanding and empathising with the emotions and needs of service users is a vital skill as a Support Worker.
  • Time management: Efficiently managing tasks and schedules to ensure that service users receive the care they need in a timely manner.
  • Collaboration: Being able to work alongside other professionals such as nurses and doctors, and work with a service user’s family, friends or caregivers is essential to ensure the service user receives the care they need.

The role of a Support Worker is diverse, offering a dynamic and fulfilling career. It's an extremely rewarding profession, dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable individuals. Becoming a Support Worker is not just a job; it's a calling to make a genuine difference in the lives of others.

Many of our carers and our service users share their stories on how care has changed their lives, click here to hear from Cera’s own Michelle, Kayla and Anne-Marie about the difference it has made in theirs. If you would like to find out more about the key duties of a carer, read our blog. Interested in making a career change and need to update your CV? You can check out our CV tips here.

If you're ready to contribute towards making a difference in care, you can view our current vacancies here. To view our branches and find the one closest to you, click here.

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