Different Types Of Support Worker

A support worker is differentiated by where they work and what they deliver. This breaks down into three distinct areas; Clinical settings, Community settings and Domestic settings, in a client’s home.

Support Worker in a Domestic Setting

Picture of a house demonstrating a type of support worker in a domestic setting.

Care Assistant Meaning

Support workers in a domestic setting support all spectrums from young people to disabled adults and elderly people, where the patient is unable to make the most of their lives, without assistance.

Common job roles in a domestic setting include:

  • Care assistant
  • Carer
  • Care worker
  • Domiciliary carer
  • Personal assistant

A care assistant is someone that assists another in order to develop their capabilities, or their ability to continue the aspects of their lives that they value.

What do care assistants do?

Care assistants help people to achieve as much as possible, within their own constraints. They do this by providing personalised care and treatment in the home. Making sure the home is safe and Promoting the choices of the person they are caring for.

This includes everything, from how they want to dress and be seen, their diet, hygiene, education, social life.

Skills of a Support Worker in the home:

  • Trained: Care assistants and support workers are well trained on a general level, so they can engage in moving and handling, etc. They often have some specialist skills, like PEG feeding, Ventilator assistance, nutrition and exercise.
  • Empathy: They have empathy. Enough to connect and emotionally support an individual, whilst keeping in mind their experiences and understanding their feelings.
  • Confident: They are confident enough to work alone and take the initiative where necessary. Care assistants should be confident in the work they perform so that clients can take comfort in knowing that they’re looked after by someone who knows what they’re doing.
  • Reliable: Reliability is absolutely crucial for care assistants, for the simple reason that those receiving care depend on the support for many tasks. For many vulnerable individuals, care assistants are their lifeline.
  • Flexible: Care work is a varied job, no two days are the same in the working life of a care assistant and some care assistants attend many clients on the same day. And to be able to adapt to new situations and new people.
  • Friendly: They have a friendly approach and the ability to put clients to ease, whatever their physical or emotional needs.

Where to find support workers for the home:

There is a large array of options out there, They breakdown into three areas:

  1. Platforms: PrimeCarers, and other similar platforms, give you choice and control over the carer that you work with. They ensure that all carers are safe to work with and are great at what they do. They even insure them. You retain the safety net of having an organisation behind you that can support you if things go wrong.
  2. Agencies: They take the whole task off your hands and staff the care plan according to their specifications. Your carers may be switched out a lot leading to varying quality. You needn’t face the difficulties of managing any of it yourself, which is great for many.
    • You can find them via your local council or by googling for care agencies.
  3. Independent carers: Well trained and hopefully safe to work with. They are fully independent, but you cannot know if they are safe until you meet them. You will find that they are, by about 10%, the cheapest option.
    • You can find them through friends, family and via the classified ads sections online or in the lady

Support Worker in a Clinical Setting

A Nursing assistant is a type of support worker in a clinical setting.

Support worker meaning

In a clinical setting, there are many tasks that support workers can deliver and they go by many different names.

  • Nursing assistants
  • Nursing auxiliaries
  • Health Care Support Workers
  • Physiotherapy helpers
  • Occupational therapy helpers
  • Language and speech therapy assistants
  • Foot-care assistants
  • Ward clerks

The meaning of a support worker is; someone who works alongside somebody who is professionally recognised for their work with physical/emotional support. 

What do support workers do?

There are a range of people that support workers provide help to. Depending on the work they are in, this includes people with a physical disability, people with learning difficulties, and the vulnerable elderly – which includes companion care and caring for people with dementia.

Support workers assist individuals that are unable to live independently by offering them practical help and emotional support.

Skills of a Support Worker

  • Trained: There are often specialised skills and actions they must perform
  • Friendly: A friendly approach and the ability to put clients to ease, whatever their physical or social needs, all with good humour.
  • Sensitive: The ability to be sensitive, tactful and respectful of the client and the client’s family is critical.
  • Patient: A high level of patience as shifts can be long and difficult depending on the current client.

Support Worker in a Communal Setting

Type of support worker in a communal setting.

Social care worker meaning

In England, social care is defined as the delivery of social work, personal care and protection to children/adults in need or at risk due to situations and/or illnesses/disability. 

Each with a level of specialist services, the many areas of need, surrounded by social care, can be broadly categorised:

  • Adults – this includes support for older people, people with mental health problems, a learning or physical disability. Those with alcohol and substance misuse problems, the homeless, prevention of abuse or neglect and domestic abuse.
  • Children, young people and families – this includes preventative family support and child protection services. Child placement, fostering, adoption, working with young offenders. And children/young people who have a learning or physical disability, or who are homeless.
  • Workforce – this includes the provision of resources, training and support for those working in social care.

Social care workers give practical and emotional support to a wide range of different people. Working with individuals, families and communities to protect and promote people’s wellbeing so that they can enjoy a better quality of life.

What do social care workers do?

The National Institute of Social Workers (NISW) in the UK see social care as

Concerning itself with helping people live their lives comfortably, particularly those that require a degree of practical and physical help. Social care workers provide this service of practical support with a view to help individuals maintain their independence. Social care workers help with those everyday tasks that seem small to the average person. This can make a massive difference to someone else’s life, as well as being a rewarding experience for the carer involved.

National Institute of Social Workers (NISW)

Skills of a Social Care Worker

  • Training: They often encounter difficult, unusual and highly emotional situations that they must manage effectively.
  • Empathy: To have empathy, is to have a way to connect and emotionally support an individual. Whilst keeping in mind their experiences and understanding their feelings.
  • Strength: They must be able to set boundaries and accept the limits of what can be accomplished within the time period given.
  • Good listeners: The ability to listen carefully, ask questions and retain information is vital to the counselling role of a social care worker. It helps to open doors, establish trust and discover details about an individual’s unique circumstance – Making it easier to solve problems.
  • Socially competent: A social worker must be sensitive to body language, social cues, implications and cultural patterns of behaviour. Some clients may clearly state their needs. Many others will find it more challenging to express themselves, requiring a social worker to “read between the lines”. This helps to interpret the thoughts and feelings that are being held.
  • Ability to coordinate: Communication and action among multiple parties is a vital part of connecting clients with services.

So there you have it, support workers explained in simple terms. If you have any questions, please get in touch over the phone by calling 0208 103 1117 or by hitting the chat icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.
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Author: James

I founded and manage PrimeCarers, a Platform that connects Private Clients with Private Carers near them.