Becoming a Personal Assistant
Have you ever considered becoming a Personal Assistant?
If you are looking for a flexible and rewarding job role within the social care sector then you may be interested in becoming a personal assistant for individuals who receive a direct payment from the Council.
Some of the benefits of becoming a personal assistant are that previous experience may not be necessary; there may be flexible working opportunities and the ability for you to work locally together with a good rate of pay.
Whilst you may not necessarily need previous experience to become a personal assistant you will need to have key qualities such as a caring and supportive attitude, being dependable and patience, having an understanding of the issues faced by the individual you care for, being discrete and confidential, being able to work on your own initiative and respecting the privacy of the individual you care for and their family.
What is a Direct Payment?
A direct payment is where the Council gives individuals who are entitled to receive social care services money so they are able to employ a personal assistant and/or purchase their own care and support instead of them relying on the social services department to arrange this for them. A direct payment gives an individual choice and flexibility as they are able to decide how and when their care and support is provided.
Who would employ the Personal Assistant?
The individual in receipt of a direct payment i.e. the ‘cared for’ would employ the personal assistant. This means that the individual would be responsible for managing the terms and conditions of the personal assistant’s employment contract together with organising their own care and support.
What could a Personal Assistant be expected to do?
The majority of personal assistants are employed to support individuals with daily tasks which could include:-
- Assist in maintaining personal hygiene e.g. bathing, showering, strip washing, brushing teeth, brushing hair, etc.
- Assist with getting up in the morning and going bed at night
- Assist with dressing and undressing, care of hearing aids, dentures, etc.
- Assist with moving and handling
- Assist with meal preparation which could include microwave meals, oven cooked meals or you may be required to cook some light meals.
- Support the Individual to access the community which could include engaging in activities such as going swimming, going to the gym, going to the pub, going to an adult education class, going food/clothes shopping, etc.
- Support the Individual to manage their personal affairs e.g. opening and reading mail, going to the bank, paying bills, etc.
- To provide companionship to the Individual, actively talking and listening to them about their hobbies and interests
AFTER READING THE ABOVE
Are you interested in becoming a personal assistant?
If you are interested in becoming a personal assistant you will need to register your interest on the Blaenau Gwent County Borough website. Your details will then be held on file and forwarded to potential Employers (Individuals) for their consideration as and when required.
When an opportunity of work becomes available, a member of the Direct Payments Team will contact you to find out if you are interested in working for the Individual; they will explain the type of tasks you would be expected to do, the number of hours to be worked each week, and the days and times, etc.
If you confirm that you would like to be considered for the role then you will be invited to attend an interview where details of the job role, rate of pay and contracted weekly hours, etc. will be discussed in more detail. If you are successful in being offered the role of a personal assistant this will be subject to a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, reference checks and eligibility to work in the UK check, etc.
If you would like to find out more information about the role of a personal assistant there is an Online Guidebook which aims to raise awareness to personal assistants and is accessible by going to the following link: www.pasonlineguidebook.blogspot.co.uk
Direct Payments Team
Andrea James - Direct Payments Manager and Social Services Complaints Officer
Denise Williams - Direct Payments Officer
Julian Pryce-Hughes - Direct Payments Officer
Julie Durham - Direct Payments Officer
Telephone: 0149 355265
Social Services Department