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What is a personal assistant?

Personal Assistants (PAs) are the second largest workforce in social care, many people are unaware the role exists or what it means. Most people might think being a PA involves working in an office, fulfilling business and admin tasks. However, there is a different type of Personal Assistant – the Personal Assistant who works in the care and support industry, supports people with a specific need to live independently and lead their best possible life.  

A Personal Assistant in care is employed by an individual employer to assist them with their care and support needs.

It is not a care role in the traditional sense - the role is hugely varied and can range from providing personal care or administering medicine to accompanying people to social activities or supporting them at their place of work. 

Further information on what is a Personal Assistant can be found here Personal Assistants (skillsforcare.org.uk)

 

Who do personal assistants in care work for?

The Personal Assistant always works directly with, and for, the individual they are supporting.  Personal Assistants are not employed by Kent County Council.

Personal Assistants who work in the care and support industry are not employed by a care agency, they are either self-employed or employed directly by the person they support. 

They may be employed by: 

  • A personal budget holder or direct payment recipient – someone who is eligible for support and funding from social care or health services.
  • A self funder – someone who uses their own money to fund their care.
  • A family member or representative – when the person who requires support does not have the mental or physical capacity to be the employer.

What do personal assistants do?

The role of a Personal Assistant can be varied and it will always depend on the needs of each individual employer. Each role will have a set of specified duties that are decided by the individual employer based on the aspects of their life where they need support.

Typical tasks might include:

  • Companionship
  • Providing transport
  • Assisting the employer while out in the community
  • Supporting the employer at their place of education or work
  • Personal care
  • Household tasks
  • Supporting the employer with their health needs
Last updated: 27/09/2022