Ask Sheila - Archive England

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and therefore is no longer available to answer your social care questions. However, you might still find the answer you’ve been searching for down below.

04th August 2016

Are there any restrictions for employing a 15 year old person as a support worker in care settings?

Hi Sheila

We have recently offered work experience for a person from a local school. As she was brilliant, we are considering to offer her employment for the weekends. She is 15 years old in full time education. I'm aware of the time and working regulations for employing a 15 year old child. My question is: are there any restrictions for employing a 15 year old person as a support worker in care settings? For example, if this person can assist residents during meal times, providing activities or 1:1 support? Can a 15 year old child stay with residents without another carer?

Many thanks

Dear Dawid,

Thank you for your question.

Providing that you comply with the relevant legislation relating to employing a 15 year old then you can employ this young person.

At this age the tasks that you identify are appropriate for her to undertake, except I am unclear what you mean by support. She should not be providing personal care at this age. She can however sit and talk to the resident, do small tasks for them, serve the teas and coffees etc.

She can be with the resident unaccompanied but there must always be trained carers nearby.

You should also go through the appropriate recruitment process so that you have a proper file for her.

I hope this is helpful.

Best wishes.


*All information is correct at the time of publishing.

About Sheila

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and over the years , prior to her retirement she has answered thousands of your social questions. You can still access the many questions below.

For Sheila Scott OBE as the former CEO of National Care Association (NCA), care is Sheila's life. She possesses a strong command of the issues facing the care sector informed by her long career as a nursing professional, the owner and manager of a care business, and as a leader in the care sector.

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