• The Open University

This course is part of the Introduction to Social Care ExpertTrack

Introduction to Social Care: Working in Social Care

Develop essential skills needed for working in social care settings and examine whether a career in social care is right for you.

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  • Duration

    4 weeks
  • Weekly study

    4 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
  • Included in an ExpertTrack

    Course 2 of 3
  • Get full ExpertTrack access

    $39/monthFind out more

Explore the skills, challenges and benefits involved in a career in social care

What’s it like to work in social care and what makes a good social care worker?

If you’re considering a career in social care, this four-week course from The Open University will help you understand what it’s like to be a paid social care worker.

Grow your knowledge through first-hand accounts of social care workers

Through engaging real-world examples, you’ll learn what social care workers do, the settings they work in, and the people they support, including, but not limited to, individuals with disabilities and long-term conditions, children and young people, and those in later life. You’ll learn about the principles that guide their practice, the skills required, and some of the issues they face.

Develop essential communication and empathy skills to become a great social care worker

You’ll explore person-centred practice and develop an understanding of the core communication skills for social care work, including active listening and empathy. You’ll look at the nature of risk in social care contexts and discover how to keep service users safe, including how to raise concerns. You’ll also learn about how social care workers can work safely, including the importance of maintaining professional boundaries.

Learn from experts in social care at The Open University

By the end of this course, you will have a better idea of what it takes to work in the social care sector, including the essential skills and values, the principles underpinning safe practice, career pathways and training and development opportunities to support your next steps.

You’ll learn from experts at The Open University, who have delivered learning for the health and social care sector, working with employers, including the NHS, social services, and the voluntary sector for over 30 years.

What topics will you cover?

  • What do social care workers do?
  • Who uses social care workers’ services?
  • The essential communication skills for social care workers
  • The practice of person-centred care
  • The principles underpinning safeguarding and professional boundaries
  • Career development opportunities in social care

Prove you're job ready

Highlight the new, job-relevant skills you’ve gained and supplement existing qualifications with a hard-earned, industry-specific digital certificate – plus one for every course within your ExpertTrack.

  • Learn the latest in your chosen industry or subject.
  • Complete each course and pass assessments.
  • Receive certificates validated by the educating organisation.
  • Impress employers with learning outcomes you can add to your CV.
  • Make your career dreams a reality.

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Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explore the role of social care workers, and the skills, knowledge and values needed to work in the sector
  • Apply essential communication skills for social care workers and implement person-centred practice
  • Identify the principles underpinning safe practice
  • Explore ways of developing a career in social care and further your knowledge in social care

Who is the course for?

This course is for anyone interested in learning about social care. You don’t need any prior knowledge of social care to join. It will benefit:

  • Anyone new to social care or those with a basic understanding who want to learn more
  • Those considering working in social care who want to know more
  • Social care service users, informal unpaid carers, or those who want to find out how to support others in our care system

Who will you learn with?

I'm a registered social worker and have worked in social care and social work. At the Open University, I've enjoyed teaching and supporting students from their first steps up to postgraduate level.

Senior Lecturer in the School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care with research interests focusing on the intersection of practice-based learning and care.

Who developed the course?

The Open University

As the UK’s largest university, The Open University (OU) supports thousands of students to achieve their goals and ambitions via supported distance learning, helping to fit learning around professional and personal life commitments.

  • Established

  • Location

    Milton Keynes, UK
  • World ranking

    Top 510Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020

About this ExpertTrack

Gain an introduction to social care and understanding of paid and unpaid care work in today’s social care sector.

Start learning today - free 2-day trial

After your free trial you can:

  • Pay $39 per month to keep learning online
  • Have complete control over your subscription; you can cancel any time
  • Work at your own pace and set your own deadlines at every stage
  • Only pay while you’re learning; the subscription will cancel automatically when you finish
  • Complete online assessments to test your knowledge and prove your skills
  • Earn digital course certificates and a final award that you can share online, with potential employers, and your professional network
  • Keep access to the content of courses you complete even after your subscription ends

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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