If you are interested in working in childcare or already work in childcare you may also want to think about becoming a Personal Assistant (PA) as there are many transferable skills that could also be used in this role.
What is a personal assistant?
A PA will work directly with one or more children supporting them in their own home or to access community based activities.
You’ll be employed directly by a parent/carer who are managing and paying for their child’s care through a social care direct payment or personal budget.
You can be employed directly by one employer or work for a number of different people.
Your role might include:
- Providing one-to-one support for the employer’s child with disabilities.
- Either supporting the employer’s child within the employer’s home or supporting the child to access community resources including social and physical activities.
- Helping with personal care such as bathing and dressing.
Who can become a Personal Assistant?
Anyone over 16 years of age, who does not live in the same household as the employer, and who has been identified by the employer to support their child. This can include a family member who does not have parental responsibility.
What skills do I need?
It is important that you have a positive attitude towards disability and are committed to helping the employer’s child meet their full potential. There are also some specific skills needed to work in this role:
- The ability to work on your own initiative
- Good listening and communication skills
- Flexibility and time management
- Good interpersonal skills to work with someone on a one to one basis.
What experience and qualifications do I need?
You don’t necessarily need any qualifications to become a PA. What’s really important is that you have the right values and behaviours to work in social care.
It might be helpful to have a social care qualification such as a Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care, but this can be done once you start the job.
It might also be useful to have experience working in a similar role or with vulnerable children. You could gain this experience through a work placement, from your personal life, through volunteering or as part of a traineeship or apprenticeship.
How do I become a Personal Assistant?
If you’re interested in working as a PA, there’s lots of advice and information at the Skills for Care Information Hub
Nottinghamshire County Council also have an information page on Personal Assistants
Nottinghamshire County Council do run a scheme called Support with Confidence for people who want to work as a PA. The scheme includes training (e-learning courses) and an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. It is free for PA’s applying to join the scheme and once you have successfully completed your application you will become accredited and your details will be added to the Council’s register and directory of PA’s on the Nottinghamshire Help Yourself website. Anyone looking to employ a PA for support will then be able to contact you. If you are interested please click on the following link: Support with Confidence