This video shows what it is like to work for Choice Support and tells Laura and Paul’s stories.
“I have worked for Choice Support for several years now and I still believe that they are the best employer that I have ever had. Choice Support really does put people first and all levels of management are accessible and approachable. Choice Support really values its staff and this is evident.” 2015 staff survey
We care deeply about the people we support and improving the lives of people with a disability. Our reputation is built on the hard work, dedication and commitment of our staff.
The people we support vary in age from 18 to 80+ and have a varying range of abilities and needs. Most of the people that we work with have learning disabilities and many of the people we support also have physical or sensory disabilities; mental health needs or limited communication skills. Other people we support also present challenging behaviour; this can manifest itself as anything from being withdrawn to being physically or verbally abusive.
Improving lives means having the right people in our organisation. Although the values we look for are the same across our workforce, the reasons people work or volunteer with us are as diverse as the needs of the people we support.
Many of our staff find they are interested in support work having had experience of caring for a relative.
Some have worked in other social care providers and are looking for a friendly and flexible organisation to work for. Others want to develop new skills such as working with different client groups or gaining experience in another area.
Many are completely new to care and support and a lot of these see a support worker role as the first step on a career ladder into nursing or management.
We also have a number of older staff members who may have finished working, but who don’t want to fully retire and who are looking to stay active and give something back.
We understand that our staff members have busy lives outside of work and that it’s important for us to be as flexible as possible with regards shift patterns. In many instances the people we support don’t mind whether something happens on a Monday morning or a Sunday afternoon, so as long as we’ve got it covered we’re happy to work with you in a flexible way.
We always try to understand the motivations, skills and passions of our staff and new recruits as this helps us to match our staff to the needs of the people we support. If we can find people with similar interests then that makes for a more interesting lives for everyone.
The majority of our staff are employed as Support Workers or Personal Assistants working individually or as part of a small team supporting individuals in all aspects of their daily living. This may involve accompanying someone to the shops or cinema, basic housekeeping such as cooking or cleaning, helping someone to learn a new skill or supporting someone during a care planning meeting with a social worker. Some individuals also require support with intimate personal care (e.g. using the toilet, bathing).
Sometimes we are also looking for operational managers. We also employ office staff in our Finance, HR, Training, Housing, Quality and IT Departments.
Bank support workers work on a casual “as and when required" basis. This means that you will be offered work when it is available, but there is no guarantee how much work you will get or when you will be offered work.
When you are offered work, you do not have to accept it, you can turn work down if you are not available or if the work you are being offered is not suitable for you for any reason. This means that bank work can provide you with a lot of flexibility, you can work when and where it suits you, however, there is no guarantee of the minimum amount of work you will be offered.
There are also no restrictions on you working elsewhere. You can combine bank work with another job, education, family responsibilities or use it as a way of seeing if you might enjoy a career in social care before commiting yourself full time. The more flexibility you can offer the more likely it is that you will be called for work and the more work that you do and prove that you are reliable and hard working the more regular work you will be offered.
Bank work is paid monthly and you will also be eligible for paid annual leave (based on your average earnings). You will receive the same training as our permanent staff, which you are also paid to attend.
The hours of work available are completely variable depending upon the needs of the people being supported in each service. As a bank support worker you could be booked to work weeks in advance and you can also be contacted at short notice to work straight away, but you can always say no to work.
Many bank support workers go on to become permanent employees and the process for converting from bank to permanent is very easy.
As a bank support worker you must have a mobile phone with a text messaging facility as most of our shift requests are sent by text.
Choice Support is committed to staff learning and development and we are one of only a handful of social care organisations that are accredited as an Investor in People at the Silver level.
We offer a range of on the job mentoring, classroom training and e-learning based on your existing experience, regulatory requirements and the needs of the job. Some of this is offered to all staff and some is given on a case by case basis depending on the needs of the people that you will be supporting. There is also provision available for office staff to access external training when required.
Choice Support is committed to developing its staff to help them achieve their full potential. To achieve this we advertise all our vacancies internally and we have a clear career progression. We also have a supportive management culture and run an internal management development programme to help potential managers acquire the skills they will need in order to move into management positions.
We have an open culture which encourages two-way communication. As well as regular supervisions and team meetings we gather feedback from staff via our annual staff survey and Culture for Care programme. All staff also have the chance to discuss what is working as well as their frustrations directly with senior management through our open forums.
We also offer a number of additional benefits including
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