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What are the different social care settings?

Social care can take place in a variety of different settings, such as residential or at home, depending on the needs of the individual.
Care worker reads to elderly man sat on settee

Social care can take place in a variety of different settings, depending on the needs of the individual. Group living in a residential setting may be best suited to people who need full-time care. Community facilities, such as a luncheon club or a day centre, may suit people who are able to live with a family, or independently, but occasionally need some additional help.

As a social care worker, you might be working in the individual’s own home. You could even offer care and support in your home as ‘shared lives’ or foster care.

Residential settings

  • Larger residential homes designed to care for up to 60 adults who each have their own room, but may share other living space. Many homes can offer short breaks for respite care, or for regaining skills and confidence after a stay in hospital.
  • Smaller shared accommodation for a few individuals. Children’s homes, for example, usually have no more than six beds. Some young people or adults live together in a house or flat and have support staff to help them live independently.

The community

  • Day centres or luncheon clubs that adults can attend either every day or a few times each week. Transport is usually provided, along with a meal and activities.
  • Outreach work supporting adults or young people with activities such as budgeting, employment, education or using leisure facilities.
  • Advocating for individuals who are not able to speak for themselves.

Individual’s own home

  • Domiciliary care that involves providing support with day-to-day living and personal care.
  • Reablement is short term work, designed to help people grow in confidence and regain skills for living independently and safely.

Your own home

  • Shared lives with adults in need of support.
  • Fostering children and young people.


Something to consider…

Think about where you would like to work.

Are you a team player and happier working alongside others? Do you have initiative and an interest in working one to one with people? How do you feel about inviting people to live with you? Would you prefer a long-term relationship with individuals? Or a short, targeted relationship?

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