Home care roles in adult social care

Home carers provide flexible care at home for people who need some additional support, from those with mental health conditions or learning difficulties, to ​​older and younger adults. The duties of a home carer are centred on offering the practical and emotional support that individuals need to be able to thrive at home and live the life they want to lead with any health conditions they may have. As a home carer, you could be supporting a number of different individuals at the same time or providing live-in care for just one person, either working on your own as a solo operator or as part of a wider team of care workers.

People who enjoy and excel in home care roles are kind, patient, and adaptable. They care deeply about others, listen well, and can adjust their support to meet individual needs. They are also reliable, responsible, and good at solving problems.


Home care support worker

As a home care support worker, you offer care and support to older people, individuals with learning or physical difficulties, as well as families in their own homes. That support can take on many forms, from helping with housework and shopping, to assisting with meals, getting dressed, and even accompanying a person to an outside leisure activity or even college.

To work as a home care support worker, you need to be registered with the SSSC (Scottish Social Services Council) within the first six months of starting employment.

You will find that some positions pay hourly but salaried roles are available too. The minimum hourly rate of pay from April 2024 is £12 per hour.

The role may include weekend working, evening shifts or part-time hours.

Additionally, you could be required to work during national holidays such as Christmas or New Year as people will still require your support during these periods. In doing so, you could help make these occasions extra special.

Personal assistant

Personal assistants role is to support their employer who may be disabled or have support needs, and help them live a safe, fulfilling and independent life. In some cases, the employer can access funding from their local authority to help employ a personal assistant in the first place through self-directed support packages.

No two days are the same and neither are your employers. Your daily and weekly tasks will change depending on your employer’s specific needs, but your role is to help them achieve identified and agreed goals to support them in leading a more independent life. These tasks could range from meal preparation, housekeeping and assisting with personal care, to accompanying them to appointments or social activities.  

You will find that working hours can vary and will be agreed with your employer. Part-time and full-time positions are equally likely.

The minimum hourly pay for a Personal Assistant in Scotland is £10.90, rising to £12 in April 2024, but PA salaries can vary according to the employer, with some PAs earning more than this.

You don’t need formal qualifications for this role, but what you will need are the right personal qualities. Patience, adaptability, the ability to listen and compassion are just a few of the vital skills that will support your employer to live comfortably and safely.

Many of the personal assistant roles will offer specific training that is tailored to the needs of the employer. And what all employers will be looking for are good communicators who are both understanding and empathetic. There are some helpful courses through the Personal Assistant Network Scotland which you can consider doing. A local independent support group could also be a good place to get advice.


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Home care service manager

This position of home care service manager requires more experience as the responsibility of managing a care service would rest with you. You would be providing and supervising the provision of care and assistance to people in their own homes. These individuals could be experiencing a wide range of conditions from disabilities and mental health conditions to learning difficulties. As a manager you would ensure that your team has everything they need, are happy in their job, and have the support needed to provide the best care possible.

The role offers great opportunities to develop your skills and encompasses everything from recruitment and supervision to developing policies to improve standards, as well as liaising between staff, families, and those you care for and support. You must be registered with the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) and follow the Codes of Practice for Social Service Workers and Employers.

A working week would typically be from 35 to 40 hours. However, shift systems, being on call and weekend schedules are very likely to be part and parcel of the job.

The role involves working in people’s homes and spending time with the residents. And while the role can sometimes be demanding, every day is different, and every day is rewarding.


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