The term “floating support worker” is a broad career definition that can roughly be equated to a professionally trained caregiver. It denotes a health care or a social worker who assists individuals in their homes.
Floating support workers focus on building an environment where disabled patients -- or those recovering from mental illnesses or challenges -- are able to thrive and live independently. “It is called 'floating support' because individuals may not need the support permanently and eventually the support ‘floats off’ to someone else,” indicates Julian Housing Support.
As a relatively new career definition, the role of the support worker is an evolving one. A 2008 study by Kings College London determined that duties fall across a variety of fields, ranging from personal care, health care, community involvement, rehabilitation assistance and advocacy. A floating support worker may assist with the management of finances and debt, negotiate with landlords or arrange health care visits and appointments.
No specific training or accreditation requirements exist in the field of floating support, with existing education largely focused in the health care and social work arenas. Support workers average annual compensation of between £13,144 and £18,738, as of September 2010. The National Health Service and assisted living/residential care facilities are the main employers.