Support workers and Paid Carers, what’s the difference?

Throughout the YtB site, you will find that we refer to ‘paid carers’. However, there are a  some roles within the care and support sector that do not fit comfortably into that definition, but will benefit significantly from the information held on this website. Here we look at the role of support workers.

Differences between paid carers and support workers

Much of the work done by paid carers and support workers overlaps – they both provide assistance to individuals who require it and use many of the same skills. However, the real difference between the two is that while paid carers will provide assistance that includes personal care tasks for individuals, for example washing them and helping them get dressed, a support worker’s role  does not include the provision of personal care and in relation to these activities would be restricted to reminding or prompting individuals to do this for themselves. Both categories of staff may provide support such as helping with shopping or providing advice on where to go to for information. Effectively people providing personal care are providing a ‘Regulated Activity’ and those providing support are not.  This difference in the roles carried out also means that organisations that only employ support workers will not be required to register with the Care Quality Commission.

If you are unsure about the need to register, please see our FAQs or our article on Regulated Activities.

Support Workers

Support workers are commonly found in services that work with a preventative agenda. That is, they are working to slow or halt the decline, whether physical or mental, of a client and providing support so that they can remain independent for as long as possible.

Many support workers are employed through companies. However, with the growing use of Personal Budgets and and the freedom this gives to individuals to hire their own workers, alongside the increasing number of self-payers, we feel that there are likely to be a growing number of self-employed, independent support workers in the market over the coming years.

Becoming a self-employed support worker

If you feel that becoming a self-employed support worker is something you would like to do then there are plenty of resources on the site that you can access.  Some additional information is available to those who subscribe to the ‘free membership’, with more detailed information, tips and discounts available for ‘premium members’

You simply need to read ‘support worker’ where the page says ‘paid carer’.

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