We’re helping Scottish Care celebrate and raise awareness of Scotland’s care at home and housing support services during Home Care Day today (25 October).
With nearly 69,000 people working in care at home and housing support, it’s the largest group of workers in social services. If you are one of the 69,000 it’s time to celebrate the excellent work you do supporting and providing care to thousands of people every day.
Why do you work in care at home and housing support?
We recently spoke with Elizabeth Baillie, who works at Kingdom Housing Association in Fife about her role as a support worker and her recent return to studying.
Why did you decide to work in care?
I’ve been with Kingdom Housing Association for around 20 months. Before that, I worked in catering for 30 years. I went along to an open day Kingdom Housing were holding, applied for a job and was delighted when I got it. It is something I’d always wanted to do.
What does your role involve?
I work with various people, supporting them in their own homes. I’m currently supporting a man with autism and learning disabilities and someone who has cerebral palsy.
You’ve recently completed the SVQ Social Services Healthcare at SCQF level 6, what did it involve?
I’d only been with Kingdom Housing for around four or five weeks when I started the induction for my SVQ. I got quite a shock when I started as I thought it would mean going to college. I didn’t realise I would be assessed in my workplace and complete the work online.
I completed some of the units online and then my assessor (an independent assessor) came and observed me while I was working. I felt a bit sorry for him as I think I drove him mad! But he was great and gave me lots of support.
I haven’t been in education for over 30 years and the SVQ is all elearning – I don’t get on very well with computers! Once you get into it though, it gets easier. At first, I used to do everything in writing before putting it on the computer. I worried I wouldn’t cover all the scenarios I needed for my SVQ but over time these did happen. My assessor kept telling me not to worry about it but I still did.
I completed the SVQ in seven months. It didn’t take as long as I thought it would.
Has gaining an SVQ made a difference to you?
I’ve learned so much. I developed my knowledge and practice, including around how I support and communicate with people who use services, supporting individuals in their daily living and meeting domestic and personal needs.
I learned about lots of different things such as autism, Asperger’s, handling medicine, food hygiene (although my previous experience helped with that), moving and handling, planning and organising skills and much more.
How did you feel when you completed the SVQ?
Elated. I’m 55-years-old and to achieve it is brilliant.
What would you say to other workers about to start a qualification?
Get on with it! Once you’ve got it all done you can put it behind you.
There are so many benefits to having your SVQ. If I’m struggling or not sure about something while at work I look back at my notes.
It’s also a great confidence builder. It’s great knowing I can help my colleagues out if they are struggling while completing their SVQ.
Looking to improve your skills and knowledge? Try our free and easy to use resources.
SSSC Learning Zone – has a wide range of free learning resources available for desktop computers and as apps for tablet and smartphones, meaning you can learn where and when suits you. This includes:
- Safe administration of medication (SafeMed)
- Adult support and protection
- Understanding dementia
- Dementia: Understanding stress and distress
- Personal outcomes for people living with dementia
- Making better decisions simulator provides you with some challenging decisions, which enables you to see how your decisions might affect the outcomes of people if you had to make them in real life situations.
- Career development toolkit
- SVQ support apps provide knowledge relating to the mandatory units of the social services and healthcare SVQs.
- Jargon and acronym buster (JAB)
- Modern apprenticeship core skills: Social Service and Health Care
supports you to undertake a modern apprenticeship in social services and health care at levels 2 and 3 providing knowledge about core skills.
- Supporting digital learning support conversations about how you support digital learning in your organisation and help you develop an action plan to improve your support for digital learning.
- Appreciative Inquiry resource pack
Remember to tweet what you are doing to celebrate Home Care Day #homecare17