Shall I move jobs for a new challenge?
Question: I have been working in the children and families sector for several years but I feel I need a new challenge. How would you advise me on moving into the adult care sector?
Answer: The great thing about a career within social care is that many skills are transferable. Generally there can be fantastic opportunities available for the right people to work within other sectors, broaden their abilities and learn new practices and legislation. It is also sensible, in a potentially stressful career like social care, to keep yourself up to date by learning new skills and this kind of move will certainly achieve that.
Firstly, you need to decide what area of adult social care would best suit you. I suggest you research various different roles and speak to a variety of adult practitioners about their positions and experiences to seek their thoughts and advice. Then look at your knowledge and skill sets and consider how these may transfer into adult care. A discussion with your agency consultant can also help.
Your CV should be updated to highlight the relevant skills you have for adult care. You may be surprised at just how much experience you already have. For instance, many children and families qualified social workers will have experience of working with parents who have mental health issues, drug and alcohol problems or disabilities. These skills can be transferred to a variety of adult settings.
In addition, most social workers complete adult, children and family-focused placements whilst completing their qualification, which can be highlighted too. Although care plans and assessment skills may be the same between adults and children’s services, you will still need to be fully aware of the legislation for the area of adult services you are interested in. In interviews, we suggest you emphasise why you enjoyed working with adults and how successful you were in the courses this can help secure a good position.
Another route you could explore could be to work with youth offending or leaving care teams, which are specific to working with young adults. This would be a great stepping stone before making the full transition into adult services, giving you the opportunity to build up your transferable skills to work within the adult sector. You will also be working with adult teams, which could help you to get a foot in the door. Finally, working within the same local authority may ease the transition from children’s to adult’s social care services because each local authority uses similar systems.
Richard Smith is health & social care director at social care recruitment firm Beresford Blake Thomas www.bbt.co.uk
Question to answer for 16th October:
I am employed as a domiciliary care worker and have recently gained my NVQ level 3. Will I need to retrain because of personalisation of services?
This Career Clinic is published in the 2 October issue of Community Care magazine