Residential support workers look after the physical and mental wellbeing of children or vulnerable adults in care.
Salary range: £17,000 to £27,000
How to become a residential support worker
You can get into this job through:
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- applying directly
You could take a course at college, for example:
- Level 2 Diploma in Work Preparation for Health and Social Care
- Level 2 GCSE in Health and Social Care
- Level 2 Certificate or Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People’s Workforce
- Level 2 Certificate or Level 3 Diploma in Youth Work Practice
Many courses include work placements, so this could be a good way for you to get experience.
Entry requirements for these courses vary.
You could get into this job through an adult care worker intermediate apprenticeship or lead adult care worker advanced apprenticeship.
You’ll usually need:
- some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
Some social care employers will be more interested in your work and life experience than formal qualifications, and you can get these whilst working. You can start working as a support worker in:
- a children’s home
- a care home
- a hostel
Volunteering and experience
You can get voluntary experience in a number of ways like:
- volunteering at a youth club
- having personal experience of caring for a family member
- doing voluntary work in a care home, nursery or relevant charity
To apply directly for jobs in residential support, you’ll need paid or voluntary experience in the social work and care sector.
You can find out more about becoming a residential support worker from Think Care Careers.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- sensitivity and understanding
- the ability to work well with others
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- customer service skills
- a desire to help people
- excellent verbal communication skills
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
A driving licence could be useful.
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day tasks might include:
- checking residents’ needs and progress
- providing physical care, which could include bathing, toileting, dressing and feeding
- providing one-to-one counselling or group therapy sessions
- teaching daily living skills like budgeting, shopping and claiming benefits
- providing leisure and creative activities in a safe and supportive setting
- helping residents to deal with problems and become independent
- talking with residents’ families and arranging family and home visits
You could work in the community or at an adult care home.
Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could take on more responsibility as a senior support worker or manager.
You could also train as a social worker.