Arlene has been in the care sector for 21 years and was initially drawn to the career for the flexibility it offered her to work around her family commitments. She’s since gone on to take advantage of training opportunities afforded to her to progress in her career and develop new skills.
“I started when my boys were in primary school. I first began as a part-time carer which allowed me to work four days on and four days off. I could also do evening shifts, so it suited me with my other commitments. I did that for nine months then applied for a senior supervisory role which I then did for another three years.
“My manager encouraged me to do leadership and management training, which was great. There was a part-time post that came up for a Meals on Wheels service and the new Incontinent Laundry Service. I didn’t think I’d get the job – I was really surprised when I learned I did. They then made my role full-time. I managed the intake team for all the packages of care that come through the council and did that for a few years. I then got asked to cover the Grangemouth area which I jumped at the chance to do.
“My mum had been a carer and she loved it. She always praised the flexible shifts and how you can increase or decrease your hours based on your situation. This really felt like it would suit my busy life.
“I’m now a home care manager and currently manage 30 staff. There are over 80 service users, so a lot of people rely on our help. We offer a Care at Home service, which means we provide support in peoples’ homes to assist them with whatever they require. There are also things like annual leave, hospital admissions, new referrals and staffing issues to contend with on any given day which keeps things exciting and interesting.
“Achieving qualifications, I never thought I’d get has been one of the best parts of my career! My work put me through my SVQ4 Health and Social Care and Management. I also think the job has changed my outlook on life for the better. I look at everything in my life holistically. I look at everything differently and I know everything is achievable.”
Arlene’s advice to people looking to apply for an adult social care position:
“Like any job, it has its challenges but it’s such a rewarding role. If I have a breakthrough with someone, it just makes any little challenges you face so worth it. The people you care for really develop a trust in you and know that you’re there to help which is just one of the best feelings in the world. I love watching people begin to trust us and allow us to make a difference in their lives.”