So, you’re sold that Health and Social Care is the path for you. That’s great and all, but where on earth do you start...
- Requires excellent communication, observation and listening skills, as well as strong leadership
- With experience, progress to regional manager within a large healthcare company or charity
- Option to become a freelance consultant or a care home inspector
As a care home manager, you may work in the public or private sectors, or for a charity. You'll usually work with a specific client group like older people, people with mental health problems, people with learning or physical disabilities, children or young adults, or the terminally ill. The best care managers ensure that their care services are clearly visible as a local resource integrated in the community.
As a care home manager, your duties may include:
- Meeting legal requirements including health and safety
- Providing information, advice and support to residents, families and staff
- Protecting confidentiality
- Promoting residents' rights and duties
- Encouraging residents to take part in activities
- Helping residents to access local services and join in the local community
- Monitoring business performance and quality of care
- Agreeing contracts, budgeting and fundraising
- Developing policies and practices
- Recruiting, training and supervising staff
As a children's home manager your duties may include:
- Looking after the welfare of children in your care
- Making sure that quality standards are met
- Enabling access to local education, health and other services
- Promoting children's rights and duties
- Taking part in care planning, statutory case reviews and conferences
- Developing positive behaviour and discipline
- Responding to child protection concerns and complaints
This work can be emotionally and physically demanding. Residential care is a 24 hour, year-round service and you'll usually work between 35 and 40 hours per week; this could include shifts, evening and weekend work, occasional sleep-ins and some on-call duties in the event of an emergency. For some jobs you may need to live on site or have a driving licence.
This role requires excellent communication, observation and listening skills, as well as strong leadership.
You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in a subject like health and social care management before applying for a place on a graduate trainee scheme. You'll usually need 1 or 2 A levels for a foundation degree or higher national diploma and 2 to 3 A levels for a degree.
You may also be able to start on a higher apprenticeship for children, young people and families managers, or care leadership and management, then do further on-the-job training.
You can apply for training if you're working in social care, for example as a deputy manager. It's recommended that you start the Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care and Children and Young People's Services within 3 months of taking up your job. You'll need to complete it within 2 to 3 years. There are 6 pathways to choose from, which are Management of Adult Services, Management of Adult Residential Services, Practice in Adult Services, Management of Children and Young People's Services, Management of Children and Young People's Residential Services and Practice in Children and Young People's Services.
You'll be expected to already have qualifications relevant to the care services your home provides, for example NVQ Level 4 in Health and Social Care, nursing, physiotherapy or occupational therapy, qualification and registration, social work qualification and registration.
The previous qualifications required to work as a care home manager are still valid if you have them but are no longer available to study. Your employer will now support you to do the Level 5 Diploma.
You will need to pass enhanced background checks.
Check the Skills for Care advice on meeting workforce regulations for more details.
With experience, you could progress to regional manager within a large healthcare company or charity. You could also become a freelance consultant or a care home inspector. With experience you could consider strategic roles such as commissioning posts with local authorities and NHS trusts