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For those who enjoy working with people, a residential support worker or care officer, may be an excellent career choice. The clients, both children and adults that are in residential care, require either social or emotional care.

Required Duties

Client needs change regularly and so do the duties of the support workers; you will need to assume a lot of responsibility and accomplish many different tasks. The position involves being a teacher, a counselor and a social director.

Progress will need to be monitored and tracked through written reports with the results communicated to the families and the relevant health care professionals. While providing superior physical care is critical, creating an environment that will improve the quality of life is equally as important.

As with most jobs, previous experience is required. These skills can be obtained through voluntary or paid positions in social work or health care. Typically, these skills can be acquired through work at a youth club, care home, nursery, or relevant charity, or from personal experience caring for a family member or friend.

There are numerous web sites that are dedicated to providing advice, information, and links to recruitment sites. The level of experience can result in additional responsibilities such as supervising or leading a team. In instances of residential support jobs, experience is generally valued higher than academic credentials.


Academic qualifications can complement experience so college courses in a relevant field would be helpful. A BTEC National Certificate or Diploma in health and social health care would certainly improve a resume.

Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) clearance is also required for residential support workers although prior infractions may not mean automatic elimination.

Additional Training

Once hired, there are many opportunities to improve your skill set. There is on the job training, short in-house courses, and opportunities to rise to and qualify for a higher skill level.

Working Conditions

The work week is about thirty seven hours involving different shifts, week ends, and “sleep in” duties. Work may involve “on call” responsibilities but there is widespread job sharing or part time work available.

Salaries and Work Environment

Full time salaries range from £13,000 to £18,000 per year depending on experience. Senior support workers can make between £19,000 an £24,000. Your job could be based in homes, care centres, hostels or out in the community.


Social care workers need to register through the General Social Care Council (GSCG) because, in the future, this will be a requirement. Additionally, following the GSCG Code of Practice will be mandatory.

Residential support workers fill a great need in today’s society; it is a fulfilling job enriching other people’s lives. Through experience and education, this could be your career.

We have lots of job guides in the UK healthcare sector why not read about social work assistant and what their job profile is.

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