Advice please

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Please someone help me, my 20 year old daughter has just started her caring career, is there a legal amount of shadowing hours she has to do before going out on her own? she has done about 10hours shadowing, and this past weekend, she was out alone, meeting people she had never met, getting into trouble for being late. She doesn't drive, so the company sent her a driver, but he was also a carer, and his timetable totally conflicted with my daughter's and the both missed many calls due to their schedules. I don't think my daughter has done enough shadowing. Thank you in advance x
Hello Helen

Sorry, but Carers UK is a charity set up many years ago to support those caring for sick or disabled friends/relatives in an unpaid non-professional capacity. Our forum provides peer support and advice to other unpaid Carers.

I would suggest that your daughter contacts the union that looks after Care Workers (Unison ?).
Hi Helen

Like Susie says this is a forum for unpaid carers but I don't mind answering wearing my second hat as I also do some part time paid care work.
There are an awful lot of very poor care agencies out there and the rate of staff turnover is enormous.
If your daughter wants to stick with it, she will need to do a bit of research and find a decent agency to work for. Even then she will need to be very assertive with the office regarding what shifts, clients and travel time are given to her or she just won't stick it.
There are good agencies but I fear they are in the minority.
Susie , I don't think any agencies are covered by a union these days as hardly any Local Authorites employ their own care staff these days. They tend to contract the work out to a few agencies that will do the work for the lowest prices and consequently tend to offer a poorer service than an agency only dealing with private clients directly.
Sorry if I am painting a rather gloomy picture of the care industry but your daughter will need to make it work for her rather than the other way round.
Re shadowing- it very much depends on the agency. There is statute regarding in house training but unaware of any re shadowing. The compay I work for always introduce anyone new to a client with an existing care giver so no one is ever in at the deep end. :D :D I wish her luck with her new career.
Top Tips
Research the agency before agreeing to work for them
Determine in advance when you will be available to work and stick to it like glue
Check work schedules as soon as they are issued and raise concerns with office re travel times in advance
If things go pear shaped make sure the office know why
Both the GMB and Unison say they cover care-workers (and I don't think it matters if the care workers work for private agencies - it certainly damn well shouldn't!)(sorry if I sound indignant - but if agencies don't want their staff to be unionised, tough on the agencies!!!!!!)

At the very your daughter could check out what is considered good or acceptable practice for new members of staff. Clearly your daughter should NOT be placed in situations where her lack of experience causes risk either for her client or herself.

Do you think your daughter might be better to start off working in a residential home, if that's possible?

If not, it sounds like getting a car is going to be essential for practical purposes.

Overall, do remember that the UK is very short of care-workers, so that SHOULD put your daughter in a relatively strong position!


https://www.unison.org.uk/about/our-org ... r-members/

https://www.gmb-southern.org.uk/work-an ... e-workers/
Helen_1611 wrote:Please someone help me, my 20 year old daughter has just started her caring career, is there a legal amount of shadowing hours she has to do before going out on her own? she has done about 10hours shadowing, and this past weekend, she was out alone, meeting people she had never met, getting into trouble for being late. She doesn't drive, so the company sent her a driver, but he was also a carer, and his timetable totally conflicted with my daughter's and the both missed many calls due to their schedules. I don't think my daughter has done enough shadowing. Thank you in advance x
Hello Helen,

My aunt has a care company that looks after her personal care, sadly to say this is becoming an increasing problem for most first time carers. My aunt is on what they call a double up run, meaning 2 carers must attend each time she needs a call. That being said its also a run where all new starters are placed to learn, shadowing, hands on training to help them get used to doing the jobs required while having someone who is experienced to observe them day by day.

This is part due to two things..
1. Being that they will have time to acquire the necessary dbs/crb information so they can do single calls unsupervised.
2. Make sure they are confident enough and understand the job and it's requirements. I have known the company have a short shadowing period as little as a day then start the double up run the following day. I think most of the time it comes down to how short on staff they are or have other staff on holiday/sick leave and need someone to cover various calls. Hopefully in time she will settle down into a regular routine but for now, sadly to say she will just have to accept that shes new and still learning, be kind to the clients and just explain that she's just started and the office is the reason she is running a little later than normal. I'm sure she will be fine :)

I agree 10 hours doesn't seem a along time for shadowing. ( not sure if she had been on a training course prior) If you think of the fact that shes just started her caring carer but most of the carers that don't work in the professional side of it.. never had any training and learned as they go along making mistakes and learning from them.
I'm surprised an agency is sending someone out to work without first obtaining DBS. Surely this is illegal from a safeguarding point of view?
Hi Helen
The boss of the Care company my Mum had (lovely girls and excellent care given) insisted on a couple of weeks of in office/base training plus computer course qualifications they had to pass before her new employees 'shadowed' for a couple of visits to my Mum for the single calls and then attended on double calls before being allowed out on their own. There was always someone 'on duty' at the end of a mobile call should they need advice or even support (where the on duty carer would come out to help if needed). The boss was also a qualified 'trainer' and was very keen on her employees being fully trained and completely confident before 'going solo'.
I was aware however that 'walking' carers (those without cars) caused problems as they were often unable to get to where they were needed, when they were needed.
I think your daughter needs to feel fully trained, fully supported and fully aware of the needs of each service user she is required to attend. If not then there is bound to be trouble ahead one way or another.
I admire your daughter for taking on this challenge (working as a carer) but she does need to work for a really good company.
Good luck to her.
E.
Henrietta wrote:I'm surprised an agency is sending someone out to work without first obtaining DBS. Surely this is illegal from a safeguarding point of view?
They cover their backs by assigning them to a run with a regular carer who is both dbs checked and been doing the job over a year who knows most of the clients already. They never let new starters do any calls solo until the DBS comes through. One of my aunts carers is only 23 himself and been doing the job for years, hes fully qualified to NVQ level 2 (started NVQ level 3 this year) and checked and has a contract to the company for the run my aunt is on. Most of the time he is the one who new starters shadow and will help guide them.

He also gives them plenty of opportunity to get hands on, if he feels confident they know what they are doing he will let the office know and they will start mixing them with other members of staff on other double up runs until the DBS comes through. Soon as the DBS comes, then the office will aim to get them out doing whatever calls they can.. I'm sure they will try to get her doing as many calls as possible, especially at weekends and holidays when a lot of staff tend to suddenly" fall ill " ( mostly because some staff went out drinking the night before ) or school holidays are another time when staff tend to request time off alot.
They also carry out a 13 week assessment check for each new starter to see if extra training is required and to see how they are settling in with the clients.

Just make sure your daughter knows she can say no.. also make sure the office knows the times she's available for work and the times shes not. They will always ask new starters to cover calls they say they can't cover, due to staff sickness.. Sometimes its a ruse because the oncall doesn't have the time or just can't be bothered to do the call themselves.