Support, time and recovery worker
A support, time and recovery (STR) worker provides practical support to adults and young people who have mental health issues or a learning disability.
This page has information on the role of a support, time and recovery (STR) worker including entry requirements and skills needed.
STR workers provide support and give time to the service user to help their recovery.
As a STR worker, you'll be part of Criminal Justice Liaison and Diversion teams. These multi-agency teams help people get the support they need for their mental health issues. You will help people deal with some of the other issues in their lives such as:
- substance misuse (alcohol and drugs)
- social exclusion
- challenging behaviour
- basic skills
You will help people by:
- assessing their needs
- building professional helping relationships
- planning a programme of support
- working with their families and friends
- referring them to other agencies
- recording information and updating records
Where will I work?
You may be based in mental health units, probation service offices, clinics, courts, hospitals or police headquarters. Wherever they are based, STR workers spend a lot of time visiting service users and meeting other agencies.
Who will I work with?
As well as working with service users, you may work with mental health nurses, psychiatrists and social workers. You will also work with other agencies such as housing, police, training providers and accommodation providers.
There are no set entry requirements to become a support, time and recovery worker. However, employers ask for a qualification in healthcare and/or relevant experience.
Employers often want to see that you have experience of mental health services. This could be from working with young people or adults with mental health issues, either paid or voluntary. Your experience could also be from your personal circumstances - looking after someone with mental health issues or dealing with your own mental health issues.
Employers also expect good literacy and numeracy. They may ask for GCSEs or equivalent.
Skills and personal characteristics needed
STR workers need to be:
- willing to work with people with challenging behaviour
- able to motivate people to make changes in their lives
- accepting of other peoples lifestyles
- understanding of people with mental health issues
- flexible and adaptable to deal with unpredictable situations
- calm in stressful situations
You'll also need
- very good communication skills, including listening
- accurate report-writing skills
- practical skills for everyday living
- problem-solving skills
Training and development
As an STR worker, you will go through an induction programme. You will have ongoing training to keep your skills and knowledge up to date.
You may work towards a qualification in mental health at level 2 or 3.
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Support, time and recovery workers working in the NHS are paid on the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay system. You would typically start on AfC band 3. With further training and experience, you could apply for more senior positions at bands 4 and above.
STR workers work standard hours of around 37.5 a week. They often work shifts, which could involve nights, early starts, evenings and weekends.
Terms and conditions will usually be different for STR workers working outside of the NHS.
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If you're applying for a role either directly in the NHS or in an organisation that provides NHS services, you'll be asked to show how you think the NHS values apply in your everyday work.
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