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About

Set up by a home care worker, with and for home care workers.

Homecare Workers' Group provides a space where England's 625,000 domiciliary care workers can come together.

 

As a community of best practice, the group promotes the highest quality of personalised care for all those we support, and is dedicated to bringing the voice of home care workers to discussions about how social care is both perceived and organised in England.

Background

Hi, I'm Rachel. I set up Homecare Workers' Group in 2023 and have been a home care worker in Nottingham since 2018. I have always loved the work itself: it is exceptionally rewarding and makes you think on your feet constantly.

From day one I felt deeply affected by the extent of social isolation I saw when visiting clients in my community. I was also surprised by the differences between the health and social care systems, given the amount of overlap. This got me reading about social care in my spare time to learn more about how it is organised.

After a few months of full time home care work, I was physically drained, which is very common. My interest expanded to looking at employment conditions for care workers and how we are regarded by society as a whole. Did you know it has been estimated that between 10-13% of home care workers are effectively being paid below the National MINIMUM Wage as a result of unpaid travel time?

Eventually I ended up going to my local university to study Sociology and Social Policy so I could learn more about the history and governance of social care. I am now in my final year, still working part-time.

Based on reading and my own experience as a care worker attending conferences about social care policy, I know that the voice of home care workers is seriously lacking in discussions about issues affecting social care, despite our daily exposure to how services work on the ground and the invaluable insights we could offer as a result of this.

 

The lack of voice for home care workers in such forums is unsurprising: we usually work alone, are employed by thousands of different companies, most of us don't belong to a union and our working lives often leave us very little free time to think beyond getting through each week. Negative perceptions of care work (and with that, care workers ourselves) alongside poor working conditions have been said to amount to the "institutional humiliation" and "structural silencing" of home care workers. 

On the Information page of the website, I am doing my best to summarise the issues facing social care and how they might be resolved. These articles draw on the wealth of research that already exists, and it's interesting stuff. If you're a home care worker in need of financial, legal or emotional support, check out the links on the Support page. To join a secure online group for home care workers and access an extensive hub of resources, sign up to the website.

My hope is that through Homecare Workers' Group, we can finally come together as a proper community, instead of remaining a silent force of workers who drive from house to house on our own.

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