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Looking for a role where you can support people with living with disabilities to live more fulfilling and independent lives? Supported living offers just that, along with being a very rewarding and enjoyable career path that’s filled with different opportunities.

We often get asked about how to start a career in supported living, what it’s like, and what qualifications might be needed, and so we’re here to answer the most commonly asked questions.

What is supported living?

Supported living is a service that allows people living with complex needs to live in their own homes in the community, whilst being supported to increase or maintain their level of independence.

Read our blog to find out more about what supported living is.

What are the main duties of someone working in supported living?

There are a number of different roles you can choose from in supported living, from a Support Worker, to a Team Leader or Service Manager. 

The duties will vary from job to job, but some of the main responsibilities are:

  • Supporting people living with conditions including learning disabilities, autism, or physical disabilities dependent on their needs and wishes - this can range from an hour or so a day, to 24-7 support.
  • Helping people complete daily personal care tasks or providing health care needs, for example, dispensing medicine or routine healthcare checks.
  • Empowering people to be happy and comfortable in their own home, and to feel confident in going out and getting the most from their local community.
  • Providing emotional support to the people you support and their families.

What qualifications do I need to work in supported living?

The job role you are interested in will determine the qualifications required, with some jobs requiring more than others. At Lifeways, we are looking for positive, friendly people that are dedicated to making a positive difference to people's lives. 
Having previous experience in the healthcare sector can be beneficial, but if you’re just starting out in your career, experience isn’t required as we will provide on-the-job training. If you are switching careers, experience and skills in other areas, for example, time management, working well in a team and communication skills can all be a significant advantage.

For more senior roles, such as applying to be a Team Leader, there will be certain requirements, for example:

  • Previous working experience of the client group you are applying to work with.
  • An NVQ Level 2 or 3 or above/equivalent in Health and Social Care, or the intention to work towards the qualification.

You can find out more about what being a Support Worker is like, by reading our blog on the role of a support worker.

Working in supported living at Lifeways will offer you access to a number of fantastic training and development opportunities. Each person that joins our team is supported to follow a comprehensive induction programme, where you will learn about our company values and our person-centred approach to service delivery. After completing your induction, you’ll be fully skilled and confident to provide quality care to the people you’ll support.

If you want to find out what career progression is like with Lifeways, read our blog where Kent Area Manager Tamara Okei-Achamba shares her nine-year story of her career progression and how the support from her managers got her to where she is today.

Why choose a career in supported living?

Whilst working in supported living can be a challenging role at times, with lots of hard work needed, it’s definitely a very rewarding career option. It’s all about helping make a positive difference to other people’s lives, and our support workers will often say that their biggest satisfaction is in seeing the people they support become happier and more independent as a result of their work.
Another great thing about a career in supported living is that no two days are the same, and the job role is so varied that you will find yourself completing different tasks and learning new things every day.

Some of the best parts of the job are interacting with other people, sharing new experiences together, creating new memories and celebrating successes. You’ll enable people to meet their short- and long-term goals, overcome many challenges they have, and support them to build confidence, self-esteem and new friendships.

If you want to find out more about what it’s like to support individuals with diverse and complex needs, watch the video above, where Team Leader Brooke shares her Lifeways career story.

“I absolutely love my job here at Lifeways. I’ve managed to develop so much as a person. It’s been brilliant.” says Brooke.

How to find a job in supported living?

At Lifeways, we help people to lead more fulfilling, independent lives by providing extraordinary support for adults with learning disabilities, autism, physical disabilities, acquired brain injuries and mental health needs. If you’re looking for a role in supported living, please take a look at our careers section. We have many exciting opportunities across the country.

If you have any questions regarding starting a career in supported living in one of our many Lifeways locations, please feel free to get in touch.

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