As a portage home visitor (or portage worker), you would provide a home-visiting service for pre-school children with developmental or learning difficulties, physical disabilities or other special needs. You would help parents to encourage their children's development by suggesting activities and daily routines to make learning fun.
Your work would include:
You would work closely with other professionals, such as health visitors, social workers, physiotherapists and speech therapists.
You would work around 35 hours a week, although part-time jobs may be available. You may sometimes need to work in the evenings and at weekends to visit parents who work during the day.
You would be based in an office, but spend a lot of your time visiting families in their own homes.
Full-time portage home visitors can earn from £16,000 to £18,500 a year. With experience this can rise to between £19,000 and £22,000.
Senior portage workers can earn between £25,000 and £28,000.
Many portage home visitors are part-time and earn a portion of full-time rates (known as 'pro rata' payment).
There are around 140 portage services registered in Britain.
You would usually be employed by local authorities or children's charities.
Vacancies are advertised in local newspapers, on local authority websites, and on LGcareers.
You will need experience of working with children under the age of five, and an understanding of child development. You will also usually need one of the following:
A relevant professional qualification such as teaching, social work or nursing.
An early years qualification such as NVQ Level 3 in Early Years Care and Education.
Visit the Early Years and Playwork Qualifications Database for details of early years and childcare qualifications.
As you will be working with children, you will need Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) clearance.
With some local authorities you may be able to start as a volunteer portage worker.
Before you start work you will attend a three-day, full-time (or part-time equivalent) basic training workshop led by a National Portage Association (NPA) accredited trainer. Your employer may pay for this. Visit the training page of the NPA website for a list of local workshops.
After your basic training, you will be supervised for six months by qualified colleagues, before becoming a qualified portage home visitor.
Once qualified, you will be supported by regular supervision meetings with a senior colleague.
Your employer may also provide professional development programmes and opportunities for networking with other professionals.
As an ambulance technician you would respond to accident and emergency calls, as well as a range of planned and unplanned non-emergency cases. You would usually work in a team, providing support to a paramedic during the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of patients at the scene of an incident and during hospital transfers.
You may use life saving skills as part of your day-to-day work.
A portage home visitor needs:
With experience you could become a senior portage worker with supervisory or management responsibilities.
Additional resources for job seekers and those already in a job.