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Social care workers and social carers are extremely important to the rapidly developing industry of health and social care as they provide an invaluable service to those who need help. With a growing aging population in the UK and increasing numbers of dependent people, the pressures on social services means there is a greater demand for more carers, more social workers, and higher standards in care homes. 

In the area of health and social care, as well as caring for patients, social carers provide practical support to help people to help them maintain their independence and lead fuller lives. This often means working with those who are, for one reason or another, less fortunate. 

Through care worker training, participants can develop the necessary skills to develop or build themselves a rewarding career in the health and social work industry

Social care

Social care is typically used to describe the range of services delivered to individuals or groups needing support in their everyday lives. Generally, social care workers, or carers for short, are concerned with the physical and personal care of their clients, as well as providing social support when needed. The care is usually provided at the client’s residence and in residential and/or day-care centres. 

Social work

Social workers are employed by both state and private organisations. While there are a broad number of specialisations within the social work spectrum, social workers are generally there to safeguard vulnerable people from abuse, neglect or self-harm and to  enhance their overall well-being and quality of life. Social workers tend to be employed in one of three sectors:

  • Healthcare
  • Local authorities 
  • Probation services

Choosing the right specialisation

As well as gaining a foundational knowledge in social care or work, there is also a possibility to specialise in a particular area. Candidates can choose care worker training or social work courses that focus on the particular area of interest they wish to hinge their career on, (e.g. the elderly, families, child psychology, mental health and disabilities).

Social care/work training formats

Care worker training courses are designed to meet participants objectives and are available in a variety of different learning formats.

The most popular formats for social care or work training are either distance learning or open classroom courses. Distance learning is useful for those with a busy schedule, as it allows them to work online and within a flexible time-frame. Open courses are beneficial to those who wish to gain a deeper insight into their chosen field of care worker training, as delegates have the opportunity to receive face-to-face tuition from their instructor and will learn in a shared environment where they can ask questions and present their ideas as part of a group.

Qualifications for health and care professionals

The Care Standards Act 2000 provides regulations that determine the requirements for becoming a social worker. To use the title of the social worker in the UK, candidates have to complete a postgraduate degree in social work or an honours degree. There are a broad range of health and social care qualifications available for those participating in care worker training or social work courses including but not limited to degrees, accredited diplomas and certificates.

New standards in qualifications

Social carers and workers are required to continually keep their knowledge up-to-date in accordance with the latest developments in the industry. Care worker training courses and social work qualifications are designed to meet the skill requirements that social staff need at the different stages of their careers and depending on the nature of their work. Care worker training courses help participants become adequately qualified to care for patients, care for people with disabilities, children, elderly or poor.

Additionally, social work courses are aimed to cater for the type of organisation and working environment that social workers are involved in - varying from local authority offices to care homes.

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