Health and Social Care
If you would like to work with children and young people in Health and Social Care settings in England, you would be advised to consider the Level 2 Certificate for the Children and Young People’s Workforce or a relevant Level 3 qualification.
For those in Wales and Northern Ireland there are specific Children and Young People Health and Social Care qualifications designed and approved for you.
Alternatively you might want to work with adults in a health or social care setting such as nursing homes, care homes, hospitals or in care in the community.
You may also have a special interest in working with people who have dementia or learning disabilities.
Both the Level 2 and Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care (Adults) for England consist of three distinct pathways that cover these areas.
For Wales and Northern Ireland the Level 2 and Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care (Adults) Wales & Northern Ireland have a specialised unit for those looking to work as social workers.
In addition you might be interested in acquiring shorter specialised qualifications in Paediatric First Aid, Assisting and Moving of Individuals, Prevention and Control of Infection and Food Safety and Nutrition.
These are available in England, Wales & Northern Ireland and cover children and young people and adult settings.
Since April 2015 employers have been required to implement the Care Certificate as part of their induction process for employees new to care. The Care Certificate applies across the continuum of the health and the social care sectors and identifies the introductory underpinning knowledge, understanding and skills practitioners must demonstrate to ensure the delivery of high quality consistent care.
The origins relate back to recommendations from the Cavendish Review and the Care Certificate was developed in collaboration with Health Education England, Skills for Care and Skills for Health.
What is involved?
It is essential that care workers understand the biological aspects of health and social care; with many carers it will form the most important area of their knowledge. Learners need to know how individuals grow and develop physically, and they might also need to understand and study a range of illnesses and disabilities.
Nutrition might form an integral part of of some health and social care courses; this is particularly important where learners will be responsible for creating and implementing diets for care service users. This area of study will usually also include specialist diets for diabetics, Muslims, vegetarians, coeliac and other unusual diets.
All health and social care course contain an element of law; learners will requires a good grounding in the legal aspects of health and social care, and their responsibilities in relation to legislation. This will include up-to-date knowledge of social policy, as well as the various laws regarding rights, discrimination, abuse and welfare.
Ethics is a broad and vital field of study within health and social care; in the workplace care-givers need to be able to support individuals who feel that they have been, or are being, treated unfairly.
Confidentiality, privacy, risk taking and personal choice are ethical issues which are encountered and processed on a daily basis within health and social care environments.
Ethics is also the process that health and social care services follow to explore, justify and effect change; an example of this could be if a new drug or procedure is being developed - at some point it must be trialled on patients, The analysis of positive and negative effects or outcomes, and the consent of the patient.
Achieving your qualification
Typically students of health and social care will be required to undertake a work placement alongside their academic studies; this placement could be in a Day nursery, Residential home, Hospital, Care home, Nursing home or other caring establishments.
Depending on their qualification, learners may start their career as care assistants and further develop their pathways to include specialisms within a particular field.
Care Value Base
The care value base is a set of rules or regulations and guidelines that every care practitioner has to follow in order to provide service to their clients or patients.
The Seven Principles are:
Promoting anti-discriminatory practice
Maintaining confidentiality of information
Promoting and supporting individuals' right to dignity, independence, choice and safety
Acknowledging people's personal beliefs and identities
Protecting individuals from abuse
Providing effective communication and relationships
Providing individualised care