Career Paths

Home and Community

Helping people to live as independently as possible in their own homes is the goal of so much support work.

For many New Zealanders, home and community workers are their first point of contact with the health sector. With new targets for reducing hospital stays, and keeping people living independently in their own homes for as long as possible, demand for community-based roles is growing.

What does the job involve?

Home and community workers engage with people of all ages including young people, older people, beneficiaries and people with disabilities or requiring rehabilitation support. You’ll work with individuals, families, groups and organisations. You’ll spend most of your time out and about, and can be based in a variety of places as diverse as local authority service centres to government departments and community centres. You may be visiting psychiatric rehabilitation centres, marae, churches and recreation centres.

What skills do you need?

Home and community support workers need to be:

  • Supporting, caring and empathetic
  • Good communicators with a desire to educate people about health
  • Good team leaders
  • Able to establish clear professional boundaries between themselves and their clients
  • Well organised with good planning skills
  • Confident drivers

Entry level roles in home and community support don’t usually require any qualifications, but it’s likely you’ll be expected to train on-the-job for the New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing Levels 2 and 3. More advanced roles will benefit from a Level 4 qualification or higher.

An historic pay equity settlement for care and support workers in New Zealand in 2017 means that care workers are now recognised and rewarded based on their qualifications or experience.

More information from Careerforce about qualifications in the home and community support sector.

What roles are available?

Initially you’ll find yourself in roles like these:

  • Support Care Worker
  • Home Aide
  • Community Support Worker

More advanced roles include:

  • Community Facilitator
  • Community Health Worker
  • Senior Support Worker
  • Team Leader
  • Consumer Advocate
  • Victim Support
  • Violence Intervention

Our Stories

Olivia Bryce

Working part-time for Custom Care Nursing to provide care for people who need assistance in their homes is the ideal job for nursing student Olivia Bryce.

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Many employers will support on-the-job training where you’ll have the opportunity to earn as you learn, get practical skills and work towards achieving a nationally recognised qualification without taking on a student loan.

Check out these sites to find the right job for you!