People with first-hand experience of social care are almost three times more likely to consider working in the sector than those with limited or no knowledge, a new survey has found.
The social care special interest group at the Institute of Health and Social Care Management (IHSCM) carried out the survey of 225 people, split equally between those working in and outside of social care, to gauge current perceptions of the sector.
It found that 64% of all respondents would consider a career in social care, but those with first-hand experience (54%) are much more likely to take up a role in the sector than those with limited or no knowledge (19%).
Respondents were most aware of care homes (97%) and home care (92%) and least aware of extra care housing (54%), especially those with limited or no knowledge of social care.
Nearly all respondents (86%) cited the CQC or equivalent as the best source to find out the quality of a care organisation, followed by word of mouth (74%), with the media cited as the least reliable source of information (23%).
Meanwhile, 86% of all respondents stated that care workers didn’t receive the recognition they deserved.
IHSCM said the findings of the survey are being shared to understand how to make the public more aware of social care services, including how to obtain reliable information, as well as highlighting the importance of social care to society and as a rewarding career choice.
“It’s revealing to see that those people who have had some first-hand experiences of social care are three times more likely to want to work in our sector. This is a positive finding and demonstrates a greater need to introduce social care as a career option to young people, graduates and those in careers with transferable skills,” said Jane Brightman, general manager of Social Care at IHSCM.
Adam Purnell, Domiciliary and Quality Lead for Kepplegate and Chair of IHSCM’s Public Image of Social Care subgroup, said: “Care workers have been going above and beyond to deliver the best support that they can give, while making personal sacrifices. This survey highlights the need for better public awareness of our sector in order to break down any remaining barriers and ensure care workers get the recognition they truly deserve.”