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What does working in adult social care involve?

Adult social care is all about supporting people to maintain their independence, dignity and control which involves providing personal and practical support in a range of different ways.

There is a huge variety of roles in public sector adult social care, including front line staff who work directly with people who have support needs and people who specialise in certain areas such as dementia or learning disabilities. More senior roles include managing services and leading teams which can make a vital difference to the way services are delivered and support is provided. There are also a range of 'non-traditional' roles such as chefs, maintenance and administration vacancies which also play a key part in supporting people. Every job in adult social care really does make a difference, and there is something for everyone. 

Every day is different working in this area. One day you may be helping a person with their shopping, the next you could be providing support on a day trip somewhere or getting involved in sporting activities.

Many adult social care services operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, meaning you could choose a working pattern which suits you, without being tied down to fixed nine-to-five office hours.

How can I start a career in adult social care?

Many roles within adult social care do not require you to have specific qualifications. What really matters most is that you're a kind and compassionate person with the ability to engage with and listen to people. You have to be passionate about making a positive difference and ensuring the best possible outcomes for people and their families.

You may have cared for a loved one and want to use your own personal experience to make a difference to the lives of others. If this sounds like you then you could be the perfect fit for a role in adult social care.


1.48 million
people currently work in social care
of people feel their work makes a difference

If you're completely new to adult social care, there are various ways to start in the sector depending on which area you'd like to go into. 

Apprenticeships in the sector are a great way to gain valuable work experience, work towards a recognised qualification and earn while you learn. There are also a lot of entry level jobs in social care such as Support Workers and Care Assistants which will not require specific qualifications, you'll need to demonstrate the ability to carry out the role effectively.

What progression opportunities are there?

When you start a new job in adult social care you'll receive a full induction which will include any training relevant to your role. Every job will require key life skills such as teamwork and communicating and you'll have the opportunity to develop these skills further whilst working in the adult social care field alongside other professionals.

Employers will also offer additional training and education opportunities, including the opportunity to work towards relevant qualifications to further develop your career.

I'm interested in a career in social care, how do I apply?

If you want to make a difference to people's lives and their families, all our social care vacancies can be found here.

It may also be worth signing up for job alert emails so you can be automatically notified about vacancies which match your criteria.