The Role of a Support Worker

05 December 2022
As a support worker, you will play a crucial role in supporting people with learning disabilities and autism to lead a fulfilling life. If you’re interested in becoming a support worker, we’ve put together this guide to help you decide if a role in social care is right for you.
The Role of a Support Worker

What is a Support Worker? 

A support worker is someone who supports people living with learning or physical disabilities, autism, or mental health needs. They encourage and help them to live their lives more independently and support them to reach their potential. 

A support worker role is varied and each person who requires support has unique individual needs. All good support providers will put the person at the centre of their support plan. This is called person-centred, active support. If you’re considering becoming a support worker be sure to check that this is how your prospective employer works. 

What Does a Support Worker Do? 

A support worker’s day-to-day responsibilities depend on the needs, wants and ambitions of the person they are supporting. At Dimensions, we help people to carry out their daily tasks to take care of themselves, we teach them new skills, provide emotional support and work towards longer term goals that ensure they are living a fulfilled life. 

As a support worker, you will find yourself working in a variety of settings. This can include someone’s family home, a supported living service (usually a private rental property where the person lives alone or with a small group of housemates)  or a small care home, usually of no more than 6 people. 

Responsibilities of a Support Worker

  • Support workers have many responsibilities, including:
  • Providing physical support with household tasks and personal care. 
  • Undertaking routine checks, dealing with medication and working with healthcare professionals.
  • Helping the individual grow with personal development, hobbies, and interests. 
  • Helping the person gain crucial life skills, such as shopping, paying for bills and using public transport.
  • Learning to communicate effectively with the person, whether they use words, and helping the person communicate effectively with those around them. 
  • Supporting the cornerstones of a good life: health, relationships and activities.  

Why Become a Support Worker

Being a support worker can be a rewarding job and there are many reasons to work in support work. It can be a challenging role to take on, however the positive difference that you can make to someone’s life brings accomplishment and satisfaction. 

If you enjoy a varied job, supporting and caring for others and are a sociable person, support work is a great career choice. You can help individuals build up their confidence, reduce loneliness and have fun, creating wonderful memories together. 

What Skills and Experience are Needed to be a Support Worker? 

Experience within the care sector is helpful but not essential, as the skills that are more beneficial to have to be a support worker are: 

  • A genuine interest in helping and having fun with other people, regardless of their disability. 
  • The ability to help a person communicate with those around them, including healthcare professionals, without taking over. 
  • A high level of patience, understanding and emotional resilience. 
  • Able to make positive relationships with people and their families. 
  • Can remain calm under pressure when dealing with challenging situations. 
  • Good time management.
  • An understanding of the importance of helping a person make choices and thus exert control over their life.
  • An understanding of the importance of doing things ‘with’ a person rather than ‘for’ or ‘to’’ them.

Qualifications of a Support Worker

To become a support worker, it isn’t required to have any qualifications as when you start a support worker role at Dimensions, we provide all the mandatory training you’ll need. Everyone who works for us is trained to meet mandatory and essential standards, and you’ll find we train our colleagues beyond the minimum requirements. 

Within the first 12 weeks of working with us, we’ll support you to complete the Care Certificate or All Wales Induction Standards.

And as you progress your career with Dimensions you’ll find a wide range of training and career development opportunities open up to you.

How to Become a Support Worker

If you believe you have what it takes to become a support worker, take our quiz to find out if it’s right for you. Then, you can apply for a support worker career at Dimensions. You can search for the role you want by searching for a particular keyword, postcode, or type of role. Then, click apply, fill in your details and upload your CV! We will be in touch with you.