The role of a Children’s Support Worker comes with a huge level of responsibility but can truly be one of the most rewarding careers. As a Children’s Support Worker, you can expect to be working with children with learning difficulties and with challenging behaviour, which can be really difficult physically, mentally and, of course, emotionally. You’ll be required to support them in several ways, from helping them with their educational development to aiding them with personal care, allowing them to gain independence and making a massive impact to their daily lives.
How do I start a career in Children’s Support Work?
You can opt to go down the academic route, which would involve attending college to qualify for your NVQ2 and 3 in care, but this is not essential as most employers will be happy to let you learn on the job. You will need to undergo an enhanced DBS check in order to work in care – regardless of which type of care you choose to opt for. To work in a children’s home, you must be at least 4 years older than the oldest child – this typically means that you would need to be 23 – however, some homes may specialise in care for younger children.
If you’re not yet old enough to work in your preferred setting, consider getting experience elsewhere – working with a different type of client, for example, in a home for the elderly or respite care. This will really help to add depth to your CV, making you even more employable. If you’re in this position now, get in touch to see what opportunities are available in your area.
What can I expect to earn?
As a starting salary, you can expect to be earning from around £15,000, with the potential to earn up to £27,000 as you build your experience. You’ll be expected to undertake training on the job, working towards NVQ, BTECH or other care related qualifications and may even have the opportunity to branch out and specialise in more specific areas such as social work.
What will my working pattern be?
Each setting is different, but there is a general expectation that a support worker will work shifts. Contracted hours will range from 37-40 hours per week and you will often be required to work on evenings and weekends. Sleep-in shifts may also be included as part of your contract or may be available as ‘overtime’.
Do I need experience?
If you’re drawn to a career in care, but are completely new to the industry, we can offer training to help prepare you for a new role. We also provide a thorough, in depth induction program which is designed around the candidate and the client. You may feel like you’ve been ‘thrown in at the deep end’, but this is often the best way to learn (and you’ll learn very quickly!). We work with a number of clients locally, so we’re confident that we can place you in a setting that is suited to your strengths and preferences. Get in touch to find out more about our training and see what your options are.
Overall, working as a children’s support worker is hard going, with long hours and daily duties which are not for the faint hearted, but being able to go into work every day and make a real difference to a child’s life makes it all completely worth it. If you’re looking for a role that really matters, where you can have a truly positive impact, contact us today and start your caring journey.