Finding or becoming a Personal Assistant (PA)
Personal Assistants (PA’s) are employed to assist children who need support with health or social care and provide extra support to the parent/guardian. Every child is different and so are their needs, PA support can vary from working with a child with Autism to sensory loss to behavior issues to being physically disabled so each child needs to be supported in their unique way.
Personal Assistants supporting children are usually employed by the parent/guardian of the child who is in receipt of Direct Payments. They are entitled to the same employee rights as any other employee, such as paid holidays. PA’s are not employed by Stockport Council. (They are also not usually self-employed - HM Revenue & Customs have guidelines about what they will and will not class as self-employment).
Personal Assistants are paid an hourly rate that is set by their employer. The hourly rate depends on the individual child circumstances.
What does a Personal Assistant do? Working as a Personal Assistant can be a rewarding role and an opportunity to gain experience. You will most likely be working directly with the child and may support the parents’ guardians by offering them practical support. You will be supporting the child in a Person Centered way, by tailoring their care to the child’s individual needs.
PA.s can help by carrying out a wide range of tasks including:
- Supporting the child to access the local community.
- Supporting the child with leisure and recreational activities.
- Personal care, supporting to wash/dress/feed/toileting etc.
- Support with health-related tasks.
- Sitting service whilst the parents/guardians go out.
- Support household by grocery shopping/ preparing meals.
- Cleaning and housework.
Direct Payment Employers wishing to employ a Personal Assistant will create their own job description listing the tasks involved, the hours and the rates of pay.
How many hours would I work? People have different needs and this affects how much support they require and when they need it.
A Personal Assistant’s hours can vary from a few hours once a week to a few hours each day. It could be during the day, in the evenings, weekdays or weekends.
The hours are usually part-time and flexible and so could be fitted around other commitments such as childcare, a university course, other part time work etc.
What skills or experience do I need?
If you haven’t any previous experience of being a Personal Assistant, then don’t worry - as long as you have the right attitude and are willing to learn, that’s what is important. Personal Assistants need to be caring, understanding, patient, reliable and flexible. You and your employer will need to build up a trusting and respecting relationship.
Skills for Care have produced:
- A guide on the values needed to work in Social Care.
- A practical guide to learning and development for personal assistants
You will need to have a current DBS check (formerly called CRB check) carried out before starting your employment. Stockport Council will complete DBS checks where required at no cost to the Personal Assistant.
Is there training available? All Personal Assistants who are employed by people who receive Direct Payments are able to access training from Stockport Council to support them in their jobs.
Training Courses available:
• Personal Assistant Induction
• Emergency First Aid
• Moving and Handling
How do I register to become a Personal Assistant? You can register your interest by completing the online registration form here
Or contact Stockport Council’s Choosing and Purchasing Team:
Telephone: 0161 218 1953
Your details will then be added to the Stockport Personal Assistant Register.
When someone is looking for a P.A., the job description is emailed to everyone on the register. You then decide if you would like to apply for the position and if so complete an application form.
All responses are then passed to the child’s parent/guardian to make the choice of whether they would like to interview and possibly employ you. If you are successful you will be asked for references and a DBS check will be carried out if required prior to starting work.
Download our leaflet about working as a Personal Assistant