If you are interested in helping others learn basic life skills and live independently, you may find a career as a group home worker to be a fulfilling one. These workers tend to be employed in a variety of private settings and play a very crucial role in monitoring clients—from teenagers with behavioural problems to disabled seniors—and ensuring they get the care and guidance they need.
A group home is more or less a private residence for specific types of residents to live in to receive support and treatment. These residents may be adults who have been diagnosed with mental illness or seniors who have suffered a fall and need to recoup from their disability. Some group homes treat the mentally ill and the disabled, while others house young residents who cannot live with their families due to behavioural issues or residents who suffer from substance abuse.
Have it in mind that residents in these group homes require much supervision and assistance in many cases. As a worker who supervises and assists residents, you cannot expect one day to be just like another. Note that one of the primary functions you have in a group home is as a liaison.
This involves ensuring communication between the resident and law enforcement agencies, families, or community organizations and updating these parties of the status of the resident. The job might also include arranging social services for the resident when required.
In a group home, monitoring the behaviour of residents is also very crucial, especially in environments where the residents have had a turbulent past. Note that as a group home social worker, it is your job to help resolve disputes, search resident’s property for dangerous items and in some cases drug test the residents. All of this is done to ensure the safety of residents and staff members.
Another important duty in this environment is teaching the residents to develop skills so that they can live independently in the future. Note that you may be required to teach residents about hygiene, meal preparation, taking medications, cleaning the home, going to work and other life skills. Workers will take their residents to and from appointments while they live in the home.
How Much Do Group Home Workers Earn Monthly / Annually?
Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a group home worker. Reports have it that the best states for people in this position are Rhode Island, California, Washington, and Massachusetts. Group home workers make the most in Rhode Island with an average salary of $51,353.
While in California and Washington, they would average $50,343 and $50,094, respectively. Although group home workers only make an average of $49,201 in Massachusetts, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country.
In the United States, with more and more seniors needing direct care after a disability, the need for group care workers is only predicted to grow. According to reports, there will be a need for more professionals in the public setting in the next few years. If you would like a rewarding career, study to become a group home worker and choose the setting you would like to work in.
6 Steps to Getting a Job at a Group Home
Just like it was expressed above, workers in a group home settings provide health and personal care services to residents who cannot take care of themselves. The duties of a group home worker include bathing and dressing people, providing light housekeeping services and in some states, checking clients’ vital signs and giving medications.
Note that states require that workers in a certified group home obtain formal training from elder care programs, home healthcare agencies or local colleges. Here are basic steps to consider if you are looking to get a job in a group home.
- To become a group home worker, you need a high school diploma or an equivalent. Some employers may require post – secondary education, such as an associate or bachelor’s degree in social work. Acquire an internship at a group home to gain hands – on experience working with residents.
- Contact the group home in the area of the world that you’d like to work in. Some group homes will only accept volunteers, in which case you should explain in what area you’d like to help: tutoring, teaching music classes, performing construction on site, gardening, etc.
- Email or fax your resume or CV to desired group homes if you have qualifications in an area where they have job openings such as administration, social work, child psychology, etc.
- Ask about required immunizations you might need to receive before working in a group home abroad, and get those before travelling.
- Budget your money especially if you will be travelling abroad. Also verify that you have enough money for a plane ticket and living expenses for the amount of time that you’ll be there, especially if you will just be doing volunteer work. Make sure that you know whether your group home will provide accommodations.
- Budget your time if you will be working in the United States. Ensure to set a schedule with the group home which you will follow as a volunteer or worker. Both the institution and the residents will be relying on you, and you want to provide them both with a stable schedule that you can easily follow.
According to industry reports, group home jobs are expected to rise by 34 percent through 2029, a rate much faster than average when compared to other jobs. Note that the primary factor in this growth points to the aging baby boomer population and older people who will require healthcare and personal assistance.
Since group homes provide a less expensive choice than hospitals or nursing homes, the need for workers will grow as more people seek these options. Have it in mind that jobs will also be available as employees leave their positions due to the low pay and high emotional demands, requiring new workers to fill the vacancies.
A group home worker job is an entry – level position; so many employers also provide on – the – job training. To be a good group home worker, you need lots of patience and empathy, and the perseverance to handle different physical, emotional, and behavioural issues.