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Care home advocate Resident representative

Care home advocates make sure the views and wishes of residents in care homes are heard.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £18,000 to £30,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 30 to 37 per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements, but it will be helpful if you have:

  • an understanding of the needs of older people
  • paid or unpaid experience of working with this age group in advocacy, care services, social work or counselling
You could take a basic training course in advocacy.

The ability to speak a community language may be an advantage.

You’ll need clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • excellent listening and communication skills
  • the ability to engage with older people
  • self-confidence and negotiating skills
  • administration and IT skills

3. What you'll do

You day-to-day duties could include:

  • making sure residents are treated fairly and with dignity
  • finding and explaining information
  • helping residents explore their options and make informed choices
  • making sure residents have access to their care plan
  • helping residents to speak for themselves or speaking on their behalf
  • helping to negotiate with others involved in decisions
  • going with residents to meetings to provide moral support, or attending meetings on their behalf
  • working with with care home staff and other agencies

You’ll give support on many issues, like:

  • choice of accommodation
  • care home closure
  • discontentment with the service
  • exploitation or abuse (physical, psychological, financial or sexual)
  • financial matters
  • power of attorney
  • disputes or difficulties with family members

4. Salary

Starter: £18,000 to £25,000

Experienced: £25,000 to £30,000

Many advocates work as volunteers, and paid positions can be part-time. 

Volunteers usually receive travel expenses.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work full-time, 30 to 37 hours a week.

Sessional work is also sometimes available.

You’ll have an office base, but you’ll spend most of your time visiting clients in care homes and attending meetings.

Some of the issues you deal with may be distressing.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to a more senior role, like advocacy coordinator.

Last updated: 04 October 2016