A valued and vital profession

Adult social care covers all forms of personal and practical support for adults who need extra support to stay healthy, play a part in their community and lead as fulfilling a life as possible. It’s delivered by the voluntary sector (charities/not for profit), independent providers (including private companies and family run businesses), through local government (social care and health services) and people arranging their own support through Personal Assistants. It includes many types of support and help, from care homes, day services, outreach and crisis support, to an individual’s own home.


Being a care worker is a vital and enriching role

Working in adult social care means you’ll be interacting with and supporting a range of people. They may be living with disabilities, old or young, be seeking help with addiction management or homelessness, or may have complex health conditions. And some of these people can face more than one of these challenges.

Adult social care is tailored to each person’s ability, needs, preferences and the outcomes they want. That makes the job both challenging and ever-changing. You’ll develop a mix of important skills to meet the needs of each individual, helping them to maintain and improve their wellbeing and achieve what matters to their lives. It’s life-changing for them, and you.


Where does adult social care take place?

You may find yourself providing support to people in any of the settings below. As your career progresses and you gain experience you may find yourself moving between them as you settle on an area that you find most rewarding and motivating. There are many job types within adult social care and they can be found in every setting, so you’ll have the same opportunities and career paths no matter where you are providing support.

Supporting people in their own homes to live a more independent life. This could include people with learning disabilities, mental health conditions, sensory or physical disabilities or older people. You’ll be helping individuals with taking medication, getting the right nutrition, and engaging with social activities.

Supporting people living in care homes. People in care homes may have complex needs or conditions like dementia or require the extra support that living in a care home provides. You’ll need to be creative and dedicated, to ensure people have the best life possible.

Housing support workers help people to live independently in their community, in a safe and secure place they can call home. People might need help to rent and maintain a flat or house, or they may live in sheltered housing where they can access extra support from wardens or a telecare service.

You’ll be supporting adults in need of extra care. It could span from people with mental health issues and learning disabilities to elderly individuals who may have complex needs. In this role you’ll be helping the people you are caring for to have a fun, interesting and stimulating day whilst providing respite for their full time carers.

There are a variety of services throughout Scotland that will allow you to specialise in mental health support, including mental wellbeing and substance misuse support services.



Explore job roles in adult social care

Adult social care encompasses an array of different positions from support workers, care assistants, care home practitioners to supervisors, specialist care coordinators and nurses. With so many job roles and titles on offer, it can be difficult to decide which position is right for you. That’s why we’ve created a helpful guide to the rich range of care sector job titles and their responsibilities.

Pen and checklist note

Getting into a career in adult social care

You don’t need any specific qualifications to start your career in adult social care. What you need is the right attitude and qualities, like patience, respect and collaboration. These transferable skills are vital in adult social care, and employers often invest in training and development for those who demonstrate the right qualities. This is just one of many great reasons to start a career in adult social care.

Tony Taylor

“If you have a genuine caring nature then it’s the dream job. Don’t get me wrong, you have to be resilient and willing to work hard but the rewards are incredible.”

View Toni’s story