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Becoming a Personal Assistant (PA)

Personal Assistants (PA’s) are employed to assist children/young people  who need support with health or social care and provide extra support to the parent/guardian.  Every child is different and so are their needs, PA support can vary from working with a child with Autism to sensory loss to behavior issues to being physically disabled so each child needs to be supported in their unique way.

Personal Assistants supporting children are usually employed by the parent/guardian/carer of the child who is in receipt of Direct Payments, and are employed by Bedford Borough Council.   You are entitled to the same employee rights as any other employee, such as paid holidays. 

PA’s are not employed by Bedford Borough Council

Watch this short film to find out more about becoming a Personal Assistant in Bedford Borough, the opportunities this will give you as an individual and the positive impact you can have on families:

See below for more information or if you would like to speak to someone about this page please contact us on 

What does a Personal Assistant do?

Working as a Personal Assistant can be a rewarding role and an opportunity to gain experience. You will be working directly with the child/young person and may support the parents’ guardians by offering them practical support.  You will be supporting the child/young person in a Person Cantered way, by tailoring their care to the child’s individual needs.

Personal Assistants are paid an hourly rate that is set by Bedford Borough Council’s Direct Payments Policy but can be topped up by the employer if required. The hourly rate depends on the individual child circumstances.

Personal Assistants can help by carrying out a wide range of tasks including:

  • Supporting the child/young person to access the local community.
  • Supporting the child/young person child with leisure and recreational activities.
  • Personal care, supporting to wash/dress/feed/toileting etc.
  • Support with health related tasks.
  • Sitting service whilst the parents/guardians go out

Where can i find out more about working as a PA

Becoming a Personal Assistant hints and tips video

Back in June 2021  as part of the #SummerofSEND we filmed an informal chat between Tina Holt Children and Disability Team Manager and John Wallis Team Leader Direct Payment at the Disability Resource Centre about becoming a Personal Assistant with some hints and tips.

You can watch the video here

How many hours would I work?

The hours are usually part-time and flexible and so could be fitted around other commitments such as childcare, a university course, other part time work etc.

People have different needs and this affects how much support they require and when they need it.

A Personal Assistant’s hours can vary from a few hours once a week to a few hours each day. It could be during the day, in the evenings, weekdays or weekends.

What skills or experience do I need?

If you haven’t any previous experience of being a Personal Assistant, then don’t worry - as long as you have the right attitude and are willing to learn, that’s what is important. Personal Assistants need to be caring, understanding, patient, reliable and flexible. You and your employer will need to build up a trusting and respecting relationship.

Click here to download the Skills for Care have produced a guide on the values needed to work in Social Care. 

Is there an informal online session that i can attend to find out more

Please drop in to the Disability Resource Centre online meetings on Fridays at 10am to talk to someone who knows all about it.

You can join our new online meetings every Friday at 10am.

If you are using a mobile device or tablet then you’ll need the Whereby online meeting app.

Download the free Whereby app for Android devices and Apple devices.

What FREE training is available from the Disability Resource Centre

  • Being a Personal Assistant
  • Safeguarding
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Accessing online learning
  • The Care Certificate

For more information visit the FREE training courses for Personal Assistants and the people they care for on the Disability Resource Centre website