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The social care worker card

The card has been produced to recognise the key role care workers have in supporting individuals in every community in Wales.

What is the social care worker card?

This is a card that identifies care workers and confirms they are key workers in fighting the current pandemic. It is not a registration card.

Why produce a card for social care workers?

Social care workers are facing similar practical challenges as those working in the NHS and other key worker jobs. They are often working long hours and shifts, which gives them little time to do their shopping. Many of them, particularly those providing care at home to vulnerable people, often have to go shopping for the individuals they are supporting, while staff at adult care homes have to go out shopping for their workplace, if they are unable to secure deliveries.

Social care workers are playing a vital role in caring for adults and children in every community in Wales during this unprecedented crisis. They are supporting people to stay safe and well, which is crucial in helping relieve pressure on colleagues in the health service who are treating people with acute symptoms of COVID-19 in our hospitals.

We hope the card will provide social care workers with useful benefits to help make things a little easier at a time when so much is being expected of them.

What kind of card is it?

There are currently two forms of the card – there is a digital version and a physical card which is made of plastic.

Either version of the card can be used and both are valid until 31 March 2021.

Please note, however, that, as of 8 February 2021, we are no longer issuing physical cards. This is because they will only be valid for a brief period by the time they are delivered.

You can still download a digital version of the card but please be aware that this will only be valid until the end of March. Instructions on how to download the card are provided at the end of this section.

What benefits can I get now with the card?

The following benefits are available to cardholders:

Tesco – you will be able to go to the front of any queue with your card.

Marks and Spencer – you can use the online booking service to reserve a timeslot in-store, so you don't have to queue.

Waitrose - you will be given priority access to Waitrose shops and checkouts without having to queue.

Sainsbury’s – now offering priority access for cardholders.

Aldi – your card will give you priority access to Aldi stores.

At all supermarkets please make sure you show your social care worker card, along with a form of photo ID, if required.

The following benefits are also available to you:

Silver Cloud: this resource provides online programmes to help you ease stress, sleep better or to just cope and maintain a healthy mind during these challenging times. Sign up and use the access code WALES2020.

Well-being support line: The Samaritans have launched a confidential support line, funded by the Welsh Government, for NHS and social care workers and volunteers in Wales. Available seven days a week, it’s designed to help staff process the emotional weight of what they are going through and their experiences, no matter what job they do. Samaritans volunteers will offer a non-judgemental listening ear, safe space to offload and will share information about other sources of support. The line – 0800 484 0555 – is available from 7am to 11pm every day. A Welsh language line – 0808 164 2777 – is also available from 7pm to 11pm every evening.

How will you update the list of benefits?

You can find out about the latest benefits the card can offer you in two ways:

  • by making sure you have opted to receive notifications to the digital card in your Apple or Google wallet. To do this, click on the three small dots in the top right of the screen and it will open a window that has information about the card. Turn on the options for notifications and automatic updates and you will be alerted every time an additional benefit is added to the card
  • returning to this section of the website so you can see which benefits have been added.

Does the card include a photo of the social care worker?

No, it does not include a photo. We would recommend that any worker using it to access benefits also presents a form of photo ID, such as a driving licence or a pass from their workplace.

Who will get them?

They have been distributed to all frontline social care workers in Wales.

What if I have a problem downloading the digital card?

If you follow the instructions given in the e-mail that has been sent out, then you should have no problem downloading the card. There are separate instructions for Apple and Android smartphones. If you have a problem with getting the links to work, then try another web browser, such as Chrome.

What about those social care workers not on the Register?

Managers on our Register have been asked to inform members of their teams who need the card but are currently not registered with us.

Directors of social services, responsible individuals and heads of service have also been asked to help us distribute the card to social care workers in their organisations or commissioned services who may not be registered with us. These could include, but are not limited to:

  • social work support workers
  • Shared Lives support workers
  • foster carers
  • personal assistants.

What if I have a zero-hours contract?

Social care workers are eligible for the card, irrespective of their working pattern or contracted hours. This means those on zero-hours contracts are still be eligible for it.

Do early years and childcare workers get a card?

Early years and childcare workers are eligible for the card if they:

  • work in a Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW)-registered childcare or playwork setting which is open
  • usually work in a CIW registered childcare or playwork setting, but are now working in a local authority hub, as that setting is currently closed
  • work as a flying start worker or with any other early intervention service for the local authority or charity/third sector organisation which means they must travel outside of their home. *Please note this does not include those classed as youth workers.

As the card can only be used by early years and childcare staff who are working, if your setting closes after you have received it, you should stop using the card until your setting reopens.

If your setting is currently closed, but then reopens, please make sure you notify CIW.

If you have any queries that are not addressed in this answer you can e-mail EYCC@socialcare.wales.

Do unpaid carers get a card?

As this card is aimed at workers within social services, it does not include unpaid carers. But we are prepared to provide advice and support to unpaid carers if they cannot get the benefits they and the people they care for are entitled to.

What if people haven’t got a smartphone?

We believe most social care workers will have access to either a smartphone supplied by their employer or their own device.

What about the risk of them being misused?

The digital and hard copy versions of the cards have been distributed in a controlled and secure way. We have a record of the names of all social care workers downloading the card and the physical card has a magnetic signature strip which the holder can sign once. Only the person who has signed the card can use it. We would recommend that any worker using the card to access benefits also presents a form of photo ID, such as a driving licence or a pass from their workplace. This will allow organisations to verify the identity of the individual, if necessary.

All social care workers work to a Code of Professional Practice which requires them to act with integrity and uphold public trust and confidence.

How will you make sure that this card is recognised by supermarkets, the police and other organisations?

Along with Welsh Government and other partners, we have been working with the police, retailers and transport providers to encourage them to recognise this card.

The card is being promoted by ourselves through a number of communication channels, Welsh Government and many of our partners involved in social care in Wales.

What if a card is lost?

If the physical card is lost, a worker should use their digital card instead.

What if I no longer work in social care?

If you no longer work in social care, you should delete the digital card from your smartphone and destroy the plastic card by cutting it up with a scissors.

Are you looking to do something more long-term?

We are planning to introduce a new card from April 2021, which will offer a wider range of benefits to those working in care in Wales. Further details will be available by the beginning of March.

If I haven't got a card, how do I get one?

You can still download a digital card, but please be aware that the current version is only valid until the end of March 2021. Follow the instructions below on how to add your social care worker card to the wallet on your smartphone (iPhone or Android)

How to add the card to your Apple Wallet

    1. Using your smartphone, sign up for your digital social care worker card
    2. This will take you to a sign-up page, where you need to enter your full name and e-mail address
    3. Press ‘Join’. You will then see the image of your card on your phone screen
    4. Tap ‘Add’ on the top right corner to get your personalised pass and add to your wallet
    5. Open your wallet and you’ll see the pass.

    How to add the card to your Google Wallet

      1. Using your smartphone, sign up for your digital social care worker card
      2. This will take you to a sign-up page, where you need to enter your full name and e-mail address
      3. Press ‘Join’. You will then see the image of your card on your phone screen
      4. Tap ‘Yes, I have a Wallet App’ to add your pass to your wallet. The pass will be imported to your wallet automatically
      5. Open your wallet and you’ll see the pass.

      Further information

      If the information given above does not provide the answer(s) you were looking for, then contact iwqueries@socialcare.wales.

      Contact us

      If you have a question or if you can't find what you are looking for get in touch with us.