Social Worker

Average Salary: £24,000 - £29,000
Competition: LOW-MID
Years Experience: 1-4 years

“You need to care about people. It helps you get through the toughest situations as you always remember why you do it.”

Nashreen, Social Worker

Job Summary

Whilst many adults and children have the luxury of not needing the level of support of social care, there are many vulnerable individuals that do. Social Workers help and provide support to these individuals to safeguard them from harm and improve their health and well-being. This will allow for them to live more independently. Oh we do love Social Workers!

Duties

Social Workers normally specialise in either Adult or Children Services. Both areas can include working with the elderly, people with physical or learning disabilities, young people in care and so forth. Each individual may require specific needs, but generally Social Workers could be getting involved with:

  • Assessing and reviewing service users’ needs in their home or in hospital
  • Building trusting relationships with service users and families
  • Writing detailed reports on service users’ social support, care needs and potential issues or safeguarding concerns
  • Organising services that promote independence
  • Actively engaging and advising carers and families to enable service users to sustain their caring role
  • Liaising with other social workers and multidisciplinary teams for specialised advice

Key Skills & Characteristics

A Social Worker should:

  • Be able to communicate effectively to a variety of people
  • Have the ability to negotiate and interpret on behalf of service users
  • Possess excellent writing skills for accurate assessments and reporting
  • Good observation and listening skills
  • Be assertive dealing with professionals and families with conflicting views
  • Have strong organisational skills and be able to prioritise workload
  • Be caring, patient and able to remain calm under pressure

Entry Routes

Although quite a specific field, there are many different routes to become a Social Worker. Essentially, you will need to do either an honours or postgraduate degree in Social Work. The degree must be approved by either Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), Care Council for Wales, Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC) or Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC). This is your bread and butter.

Obviously work experience is always essential. Programmes such as Frontline and Step Up to Social Work combines both the work and study elements of social work.

Nashreen studied a degree in Childhood Studies and then joined her local council as a Community Care Officer. The local council provided her opportunities to gain her Masters in Social Work, which allowed her to become the Social Worker she is today.

Job Progression

Community Care Officer

Social Worker

Senior Social Worker

Advanced Practitioner

Advice From Our Experts

Top Tip

“You need to care about people. It helps you get through the toughest situations as you always remember why you do it.”

- Nashreen, Social Worker, on the importance of caring.

The Good

  • Service Users - Visiting people and hearing their life experiences
  • Rewarding - The satisfaction of being able to support people that are disadvantaged
  • Challenging - Everyday is different and brings a new challenge

The Bad

  • Paperwork - Can be laborious and seems never-ending
  • Long Hours - You have to be prepared for working outside normal hours, especially when there is an emergency
  • Stressful - The workload is intense