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A Career as a home support worker - who qualifies and how?

In-home support services have witnessed a progressive growth in the recent past, with more people getting acquainted with these services. The IHSS is responsible for taking care of elderly, disabled people, or people under certain medications, and helping them execute tasks in their day-to-day life.

What are the Roles of Home Support workers?

In general, home support workers are responsible for supporting vulnerable people in multiple aspects of their everyday life. The goal is to assist these people in taking care of themselves, make them independent and self-reliant.

Primarily, on a day-to-day basis, support worker’s duties begin with the basic household work like preparing food, cleaning, laundry, helping with meal preparation, grocery, and other household chores. Subsequently, the duties are more client specific. This may include taking care of the patient’s health care needs, managing their medication, and personal care. The duties extended to many more other activities, some of these may include:

  • - Providing mental support to individuals as well as their families.

  • - Managing the client's finances

  • - Helping them approach community facilities and meet friends

  • - Visiting the doctors or therapists to guarantee a consistent care

  • - Encouraging hobbies

  • - Understanding their communication requirements and shaping your communication accordingly. For example, sounds, behaviour, tones, and body actions. Etc.

What are the skills needed?

Having the right set of practical and soft skills is crucial for a successful career in home caretaking. Some of the major soft skills include:

  • - Mental strength with good emotional understanding.

  • - Team Collaboration

  • - The ability to stay relaxed under pressure situations

  • - The ability to be comprehensive and distinct for attention-to-detail

  • - Client support skills

  • - Fluent communication skills

Why choose a career in-home support services?

Home support jobs are one of the most satisfying jobs that you could ever possibly do. Having the privilege to mark a difference in someone's life is simply incredible.

The demand for home support services is at an all-time high and will further continue to rise. In fact, it is predicted that by 2030, there will be almost 72 million people of 65 years or greater age. Hence, making a career out of caretaking which includes growth and tremendous amounts of learning is very possible and can be rewarding.

How to apply?

There are multiple ways to apply for jobs in home support services. The most common one is obviously applying through a college course.

Following are some of the courses:

  • - Level 1 Certification in Healthcare and Social Care
  • - Level 2 Diploma in Care
  • - T Level in Health.

Other methods of application include Apprenticeships, applying directly, or volunteering. For apprenticeships, there aren’t any fixed requirements as such, however, for an intermediate apprenticeship, some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent will be helpful. While for advanced apprenticeships, 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4, including English and maths, will help.

You can also volunteer to work with a care home, hospital, or charity organization in supporting vulnerable people. Direct applications are also facilitated in this profession. In fact, you'll find this work experience quite insightful. Do note, that some employers may require you to have GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in English and maths, or an equivalent qualification

What are the qualifications required?

There are multiple levels of care qualifications that facilitate career building with the help of basic understanding and competence in the skills of caring.

Level 1, 2, and 3 qualifications

These qualifications are essential in providing the foundational knowledge regarding care jobs, however, these don’t guarantee your skills in this particular field.

Level 2 and 3 Diplomas

Level 2 and 3 Diplomas in health and social care ensure that a caregiver possesses the specific knowledge and skills that are required to deliver the right care and support. They signify a certain level of proficiency as well as accomplishment, and indicate that you are fit to practice.

Through various courses, you can also opt to develop some specialized skills like dealing with a diabetic person or someone recovering from a stroke.

For patients having more complex or challenging medical conditions, a nursing qualification can be essential sometimes.


A career in home caretaking can be one of the most fulfilling careers. In fact, it all starts with the desire to help people and make a difference in the real world.

Here are some important expert tips to help you boost your career in this field:

  • 1. Always arrive with the right mindset, have a warm and empathetic attitude. When entering into someone's personal space, the effort should be to make the person as comfortable as possible.
  • 2. Knowing about your client beforehand is vital to make you and your client comfortable with each other.
  • 3. Observation skills are extremely crucial.
  • 4. Establish clear communication and use regular feedback to enhance your skills.

Furthermore, practicing the significant skills overtime is highly essential.

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