A Career in Social Care? What to expect…  Continued..

By Steven Galvin - Last update

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In this guest blog, Sean Bohan, a graduate of the Open Training College (OTC), continues to outline his career path into social care.

In Part One of this series, I outlined how my entry into a career in Social Care has given me a career path from working frontline ‘in the trenches’, through mid-level management and all the way into top level governance in the sector as an Executive.

Not many other sectors give you such an opportunity for a pathway for both professional development and personal growth; as well as opportunities to progress swiftly into Leadership roles.

The Frontline ..where leaders are made….

In my first role as a Social Care Worker, I experienced the 70-20-10 Rule of learning & development. Simply put, this means that 70% of our learning happens through doing, 20% through observing others, and 10% happens through education and training.

70% of our learning happens through doing

This is where all or most of my learning occurred, by spending time with each individual and their family, through what’s called the “Discovery Process”. I immersed myself into the lives of all those we were supporting and their families. 

This is a genuine and authentic approach towards building deep and meaningful relationships by getting to know each person as an ‘individual’, finding out about their journey, their stories, their visions and – a big part – their networking communities.

20% of our learning happens through observing others…

I was lucky in the early days to have two really experienced colleagues in the owner of the organisation, and another social care worker who between them had been there, worn the t-shirt. I learned so much by just observing how to speak and connect with each young person(s) we had the privilege to partner with along their journey. And we must remember it really is just that; a ‘privilege’ to do what we do; we have the opportunity every day to positively impact the lives of others.

10% of our learning happens through education/training… 

I was lucky that the owner of the organisation encouraged and supported me through a part-time course with the Open Training College (OTC); I got to learn the theories, practices and fundamentals behind the frameworks of social care giving me a solid foundation to put my learning into practice, while at the same time furthering my professional skills and personal development along the way. 

All of which have helped me to become the person I am the today.

“have the desire to know the truth, and be curious when getting to know people” 

Frontline Grass Roots

So often we forget our role is to “facilitate a life not a service”. Our job is to facilitate opportunities and experiences for those we partner along their journey to gaining valued social roles and achieving their own personal goals. We are facilitators, role models, life coaches, mentors, advocates, confidants to each person and their family; and champions of change within society.

It is a privilege to be part of life’s journey for each person we support in this way. We get to start each and every work day with an opportunity to impact lives; but we also get to go home at the end of each of those days knowing that we have left the person better off than when we found them. Our role is to dream big and believe in others when others don’t; our role is to end segregation and exclusion within our communities; our role is to leave a legacy.

The Real Purpose and Role of our Frontline Workers?

  1. Facilitating opportunities & experiences for the good life
  2. Dreaming Big when no one else is
  3. Believing in others when no one else does
  4. Facilitating a Life, not a service
  5. Whether you work with someone for 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 1 year – leave them better off than when you found them.


Author: Sean Bohan

Sean Bohan is a graduate of the Open Training College (OTC). He has enjoyed a career spanning 20 years in the social care sector, working in roles at levels from frontline to management – overseeing Decongregation projects nationally – and eventually at executive level as Head of Quality and Quality Improvement across young person services to end of life care; supporting the areas of Intellectual Disabilities, and physical, neurological and mental health. 

As well as his role with the OTC, Sean is the founder of his own company ‘2nd Mountain’ and The Legacy Series. _______________________________________________________________________________________________

Find out about the Open Training College BA in Social Care

Steven Galvin

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