Social Care: A Growing Industry
If you’re thinking about social care, whether you’re considering training for the first time, or in the middle of your career and looking for new social care jobs you must wonder about the state of the sector. It’s often talked about as being overburdened, or under resourced, but social work is the hidden engine of our aging nation, there has never been a better time to commit to it.
Experts estimate that adult and child social care add around £50 billion to the UK economy in wages, supplies and even profits. If you factor in the additional value added by relieving the burden on family members to allow them to work and support themselves, and ushering children through the care system and into society it’s value is incalculable.
The UK has an aging population, so in the next decade, more and more resources will have to be devoted to caring for the aged who are no longer able to care for themselves. This doesn’t just mean more traditional carers. This opens the door for new innovative kinds of occupational therapy and people delivering workshops to help make sure those in care homes aren’t left isolated and bored: art and drama therapy groups, even ceramics can help to boost the quality of immeasurably for the elderly, even those requiring full time care.
This also creates opportunities for social carers in rural communities: social funding is traditionally concentrated on big cities, but there are aging populations in need of care right across the country, including smaller towns and villages that don’t normally figure on budgetary agendas. David Powell’s report calls for more localised funding that wouldn’t just ensure provision of care for the elderly away from urban centres, but also lead to an economic regeneration in the isolated, rural areas that are so in need of it.
Funding initiatives like ‘Community Catalysts’ in Somerset point the way forward to how local schemes that serve the needs of the community and build on its strengths can attract the money needed to get off the ground. It’s entrepreneurial ‘social start ups’ like this that point the way forward to a bold and exciting future for the social services in these otherwise embattled times.
If you grew up in a rural community and are considering social work, this could be the best time and get in on the ground floor of the coming revolution.