The social care industry performs a vital function for our society, offering the nurture and support that is needed to keep it going, whether that be looking after children with special educational needs or making home visits to cater to those who are homebound. In any industry there will be misconceptions and stereotypes, deterring people from pursuing a career in the field. The social care industry is no exception. In this blog, we’ll explore and debunk the most common myths of what it’s like working in social care.
Myth #1 – A career in social care is only for women:
There is a definite misconception that all carers are female. Whilst there is a higher representation of female workers in social care, it is crucial to debunk the myth that caregiving is a profession exclusive to women. The reality is the sector offers a diverse array of roles to individuals of any gender, acknowledging the importance of gender diversity in providing inclusive care services. Diversity in the industry ensures a more holistic and adaptable approach to meeting the various needs of care recipients. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that the selection of a caregiver’s gender can be influenced by the specific care requirements of the individual in need.
Myth #2 – It’s a low skilled profession:
Social care is often misconstrued as requiring minimal skills and qualifications. In reality, workers in this field undergo extensive training, equipping themselves with a diverse set of skills ranging from empathy and effective communication to the complexities of case management. Many social care professionals actively pursue various qualifications to qualify them for the role. This commitment takes patience and resilience which is a skill in itself. Not only that, but it is also a common practice for social care workers to undergo on-the-job training or to complete training whilst working.
Myth #3 – Social carers only work with older people in care homes:
A common misconception is that social care is solely based around elderly care. Whilst elderly care is an important part of the social care sector, there are many types of people to whom the sector caters. It spans from adult services (such as learning disability, housing and mental health) to children’s services (such as special education needs, secure centres for young people and physical and emotional disabilities). The requirements of each role will vary. It could be helping someone with a physical disability attend an activity or plan a day out. It could be helping a young person who is housed in a secure centre to help them develop healthy habits, cope with their situation and turn their lives around.
Myth #4 – There is little career progression:
Social care is a diverse industry offering various paths for career growth. As a social care professional, you can specialise in areas like child welfare or elderly care based on the path you’re most passionate about. Numerous qualifications are available to help you qualify for desired roles or advance to more senior positions. This blend of passion and education strengthens the social care industry by fostering a culture of continuous improvement and adaptability in response to the needs of society.
Myth #5 – Social care is just a job:
Unlike most career paths, social care is a career that can become very personal. Being rooted in direct engagement with communities and individuals, it relies on the positive attributes of nurturing and effective communication. Most social care professionals are passionate about making a meaningful impact on the lives of different people, transforming their role beyond mere employment into a societal function. Social care is not just a job, it’s a dynamic force for positive change!
Myth #6 – Social carers can never be emotionally phased:
While emotional robustness, resilience and the ability to stay calm in the face of challenging behaviours are key attributes of a social care worker, that doesn’t mean they’ve always had it ‘all together’. Depending on their field of specialisation, social care workers are sometimes drawn to the profession because of their own lived experience. Rather than being an impediment, this experience can help them develop a deeper understanding of the individuals they care for.
Myth #7 – Social care is draining with little personal reward:
One prevalent misconception is that social care workers endure constant emotional strain with little personal fulfilment. Whilst there can be emotionally stressing situations due to the nature of the job, it is important to note that workers often find profound meaning and satisfaction in making a difference. With social care there is the opportunity to form strong connections with the people that you are supporting, and you can witness positive transformations as well as contributing to the betterment of lives.
In debunking the myths surrounding social care, we find a field that it is as multifaceted as the people it caters to. Social care workers aren’t confined to an office or limited in their skills, rather they are dynamic individuals fostering positive change, engaging directly with communities and addressing crucial needs in our society. They have the opportunity to witness the transformative impact of their efforts on the people they work with.
Brook Street Social Care has been a trusted recruitment partner to the social care sector for 30 years. As specialists in adult care, education, housing, services for children and specialist social care recruitment, we know how to connect the right person to the right job.
We currently have more than 100 vacancies across the country, offering fulfilling and flexible work – from care assistants and support workers to home managers and service development managers.
If you’re ready to make a difference – whether you’re taking your first step to launching a career in care, or if you’re an experienced carer looking to take a step up – get in touch with your local Brook Street Social Care representative today or browse our jobs.