Everyone working in social care needs English, number, digital and employability skills including team work and problem solving skills. What core skills do I need to work in social care outlines some of the skills you need and has short activities to help you think about transferable skills from your previous experiences.
There are also some specific skills needed to work in this role. These include:
- good interpersonal skills
- digital skills to research local housing and community services
- number skills to keep financial records
- the ability to understand housing legislation.
You’ll usually need experience of working in social care and health or come from a housing background, such as homeless prevention, housing support or housing benefits.
If you’re applying for an entry level role such as a housing organisation admin or assistant, your employer might ask that you have qualifications showing good English and number skills such as GCSE A-C in English and maths. It might also be helpful to have a social care qualification such as a Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care, but you can do these once you start the job.
It might be useful to have experience working in a similar role or with vulnerable adults. You could gain this experience through a work placement, from your personal life, through volunteering or as part of a traineeship or apprenticeship.
For more experienced roles you might need a qualification or a degree in a relevant subject such as housing, community development or social policy. There are lots of courses that are accredited by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) for example a Level 2 Certificate in Housing Practice, Level 3 Certificate in Supporting Homeless People or a Postgraduate Certificate in Housing Studies.
If you’re interested in working as a housing support officer, there’s lots of advice about finding a role on the Starting your career page. You could look online or in your local newspaper to find vacancies, or you might want to contact local care providers or your local council to ask them directly.
You could also apply for an apprenticeship which means you’ll gain supervisory experience, gain a qualification and earn a wage. This is a great route into a housing support officer role; you could speak to your employer about opportunities or find vacancies on the Chartered Institute of Housing website.
When you start in your role you should do an induction which includes training necessary for your role such as health and safety, risk assessments and safeguarding adults.
When in your role you could do a vocational qualification such as a Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care or a Certificate in Housing Practice. There are also lots of continuing professional development qualification or training to help you progress.
You might want to progress into a further management role for which a level 3, 4 or 5 qualification would be useful.