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Five social care careers you may not have considered

05 December 2014 Candidate Blogs / Career Advice

Whether you've always wanted to work in social care, or already work in social housing and want to explore new opportunities, Morgan Hunt shows you the careers you might not have considered within the sector from the people who know. We asked our top candidates how they came to be in the profession, what a typical day is like, why they do it & the pro’s & cons of the job to get some insight into what working in social care is really like, this is what they had to say...


Drug & alchohol worker

Chris Nicklin is an Alcohol practitioner for Aquarius in North England

"I had previously worked in the construction industry for many years but after a drop-in available employment options, together with health factors, I decided to retrain. I started going to night classes on a level 2 certificate in counselling and over the years progressed through numerous qualifications resulting in a Master of Science in Psychotherapeutic Counselling.

A typical day for me at work is never typical, you never quite know what you're going to get. This is what makes my job so varied, enjoyable and challenging. It can be difficult but very rewarding too.
I can honestly say I have never for one moment regretted the decision to retrain, and although it has taken hard work, commitment and sacrifice, I wouldn’t change a thing".


Support worker

Vicki Shattock is a support worker at St Basils in the Midlands

“I started off by training to be a theatre nurse. Although I qualified, I knew all along it wasn't the right thing for me. I wanted to have more direct support with people and make a difference to their lives. I am now working as a Support Worker for a homeless charity for 16-25 year olds.

A typical day for me is dealing directly with their housing support needs, sorting out benefits, finding them appropriate housing. Liaising with multi-agency organisations, I also deal with varied mental health issues, teenage pregnancy, and other such health related issues. No two days are the same and some days can be so chaotic and emotionally challenging, but I know we make a difference to most of the young people we work with which is why I do it”.


Substance misuse officer

Sue is a substance misuse officer in Birmingham

“After qualifying as a counsellor in the Summer of ‘99, I had gained a whole host of new skills and didn't know what to do with them. I bought the Birmingham Evening Mail and applied for a post at a prison, I was unsuccessful but was instead offered a post at HMYOI Stoke Heath as a CARAT worker and since then I haven't looked back.

The reason I wanted to work in this field was that I wanted to make a difference to people’s lives by allowing them to explore their lifestyles. I wanted to be able to give them an opportunity to make informed choices in addressing their substance/alcohol misuse.  I now work in the community, predominantly with dependent drinkers, my current day to day duties involve; making comprehensive assessments, devising tailor made care plans, making risk assessments and conducting one to one sessions, and this is just the basics. I deal with the “here and now" issues my clients are faced with but my main aim is to support people who want to make lifestyle changes and want to do something about it! I actively promote recovery and the support networks that are available in the wider community whether they are abstinent or have controlled drinking.”


Operations Manager

Stephen Lewis is an Operations Manager for Great Places Housing Group in Merseyside

“Like many people I ‘fell’ into a career with housing – I did a bit of volunteering at a local night shelter, and this ignited a bit of a spark in me to work in homelessness services.  I moved round a bit within my company, and ended up managing a couple of supported housing schemes and a floating support service.  It’s great seeing chaotic clients come into the service, and get the quality support that they need to stabilise their lives and move on into more independent accommodation.

There’s no such thing as a ‘typical day’ in this role – as much of a cliché as it sounds, every day is different!  If you like being busy, and enjoy a lot of variety in your job, then supported housing is definitely a good choice. There’s a massive variety and range of opportunities to get involved in – great if you’ve got a short attention span like me!”


Substance misuse practitioner

Steve Guinan is a Substance Misuse Practitioner for Aquarius in Shrewsbury

After working at care homes, homeless hostels, supporting housing projects and providing outreach support for many years I used this experience and ongoing training to become a substance misuse practitioner – it is a varied role where I can adapt to different surroundings, work with others, (staff members, medics, clients and partner agencies) working on my own managing caseloads, seeing people who need support (one to one and also in a groups/workshops) I also take part in multi-disciplinary meetings such as child protection meetings and community partnership forums. 

I have worked for and still continue to work for some fine organisations with fantastic people.  I have seen time and time again recovery is more than possible.   The positive changes that are made can result in the increase of self-confidence, motivation, feelings of achievement moving into a better place where everyone concerned can feel that forward pull, reassurance and safety. To be able to have the opportunity to be involved to help someone to bounce back is a key factor in my job satisfaction.

If you’re feeling inspired to get involved in social work don’t hesitate to get in touch with a Morgan Hunt consultant today, our consultants work on a personal and consultative basis with our candidates. Get in touch with our team to find out how we can assist you with your job search.


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