Skills for Care

At its heart, your job as a personal assistant is about your ability to work with and support other people; it’s what you’re good at and it’s why you work in care. But as with all human relationships, just as it’s important to focus on making things work well, it’s important to know the signs of when they aren’t and your role in resolving any problems that arise.  

Familiarising yourself with the information on this page will mean that you’re prepared for spotting and sorting out problems. Being prepared for problems will mean that you and your employer can minimise their impact and learn from them to improve how the relationship is working.  


Be clear from the start  

From the beginning you and your employer should establish boundaries about how you’ll relate to each other, and discuss how you’ll deal with any problems, for example, if boundaries have become blurred or if either of you are unhappy with something.  


Talk to your employer  

Communication is vital to sorting out any problems. The quicker it’s talked about the faster it can be sorted, and it stops small issues becoming larger problems.  

Just as your employer will expect you to fulfil your employment duties, you have a right to expect your employer won’t do anything which puts you in danger or ask you to break the law.  

If you feel that your employer is asking you to do something that’s risky or goes against what you’ve been trained to do, you should speak with them. If this doesn’t resolve the issues, then speak to others, for example the employer’s family, friends or professionals working with them. 


Getting help and advice  

In all cases, it’s recommended that you raise any concerns with your employer sooner rather than later, so that any issues/concerns can be sorted out amicably.  

If you’re unable to resolve the issue directly and need employment advice you can contact the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS). Find out more on their website at:  

You can also get advice from your union (if you’re a member) or local support organisations, for example peer groups.