What is Support Working ? Support workers; Provide support, advocacy and information to the individuals in health care. Provide emotional and practical support to service users. They help service users meet their personal care needs sensitively and appropriately to a high standard, including personal hygiene, assistance with laundry, and preparing meals and drinks. Enable service users to achieve independence as far as possible in all areas of their life. Help service users to identify and choose their support needs. Assist in implementing and reviewing care plans.
Education and Training Requirements
Support worker – education and training requirements
To be a support worker no specific minimum entry requirements are needed.
It is essential that support workers have to be registered with the NISCC (Northern Ireland Social Care Council) they have to be able to be found in the register. http://www.niscc.info/en-GB/check_the_niscc_register-9.aspx
As a bonus it would be good if applicant’s have a GNVQ in Health and Social Care. This would be an advantage and applicants need to be literate and numerate.
Previous experience of working with people in a social care/support setting can be very useful.
Some authorities might offer the opportunity to work towards NVQ/SVQ in Care (e.g. Certificate in Mental Health) modules.
Once you are working as a support worker, training will be received from the employer in all aspects of the job including:
The legal context of family support work
Assessment methods when working with families
Continued…. Child protection issues Recognising the signs of drug and alcohol abuse, and domestic violence Health and safety and first aid. You may also be encouraged to work towards qualifications such as; A foundation degree in Professional Studies in Family Support A BTEC HNC in Advanced Practice in Working with Children and Families A postgraduate award in Child Protection and Family Support. You will be expected to keep your skills and knowledge up to date throughout your career and many employers provide on-going supervision, coaching and training opportunities.
Personal Attribute Requirements Support workers have to be effective and clear communicators, in order for people to trust and have understanding in what they are saying.
They need to be flexible, e.g. be there for people when they are needed most.
Assertive in all cases Respect individuals in having their own confidentiality Support workers need to have a certain sense of humour in order for others to trust them Dedication is needed as sometimes they will need to put themselves out in order to help others.
Continued…. They need to be caring and compassionate about their work, they have to come across as they really do care and that they want to help, if individuals do not see this they will not trust the support worker. Support workers need to be patient. They have to wait for service users to come to them for help they cannot approach service users looking for answers.
The need to show that they are role models to others Respectful
The need to be able to show people that there is positive and optimistic ways at looking at all situations and that not every aspect of life is negative.
They need to be confident in themselves and have self-accepted themselves as a person, in order for others to trust and approach them and not think that there is several different sided to the support worker.
Practical Skills A support worker needs to have a variety of skills so then they are able to support those who need their help. Some of their skills will have to be practical to help people develop and help them prepare for everyday life. The clients that they are supporting can have learning difficulties so the support workers aim would be to promote independence and practical skills. E.g. the support worker can encourage and help them make a budget for their weekly shopping. The can also support them on other practical task such as cooking, Cleaning, writing letters etc. The support workers will also have to help them run their home, support them organise the payments for their bills. They will have to be good listeners so then they will be able to listen to their clients problems then hopefully help them. They will need to have flexible approach to the hours that they can work because their clients may need to call on them at any time. They will need to have good communication skills. This skill is very important for a support worker because they need to communicate and connect with a range of people. Communicating is essential for support workers as it prevents abuse and neglect. They will also have to be able to build working relationships with their clients so they will then be able to gain their trust and support them further. They will have to do this an a non-judgemental approach towards the clients
Knowledge and Understanding Requirements Knowledge Medical knowledge Knowledge of basic care Know how to work a care plan Know how to work in a team
Understanding Understand a range of social problems e.g. drug abuse Understand how to work in a team e.g. working closely to social workers Understand they may have to take part in some intimate care Understand how to work appropriately with families and children