How To Become A Social Worker
The role of a social worker is both challenging and rewarding. Social workers help people to live successfully within their communities, by helping them to solve their problems and live meaningful, fulfilling lives.
As a social worker, you will engage not only with clients, but also with their families, friends and other organisations such as the police, schools and local authorities. Social workers support people with a range of issues, such as mental health problems, learning difficulties, drug addiction and illness and tend to specialise in either children or adult's services.
All social workers need to have excellent communication and people skills, the ability to listen, patience, tact, empathy and the capacity to relate well to different groups of people.
Other Qualifications Needed
In order to qualify as a social worker you will need to complete an approved three-year undergraduate degree. If you already have a degree, you could apply for a two-year postgraduate course.
Since August 2012, social work qualifications have been approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Social work degrees are a mix of academic and professional training that includes 200 days of assessed practice in a variety of settings, which qualifies the holder to work with both children and adults. Since September 2012, newly qualified social workers have been expected to take the Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE), a 12-month programme designed to develop a social worker's skills and confidence as they learn on the job, while receiving support and guidance from a line manager or supervisor.
Training for Social Workers in England is overseen by the Care Quality Commission. Additional information about training can be found at Skills for Care (www.skillsforcare.org.uk), the strategic body for workforce development within the adult social care sector.
Average Working Hours Per Week = 35-40 Hours a week
Common Working Pattern
Time Taken To Qualify
What Next/Career Development
Qualified social workers can extend their career by becoming managers or team leaders. Some social workers choose to specialise in a particular area, such as mental health, homelessness or adoption, or undertake further training to become a therapist or lecturer.
Facts And Figures
• There are approximately 87,500 social workers registered with the General Social Care Council.
(Source: Centre for Workforce Intelligence, 2012).
• The number of adult social care jobs is projected to be grow to around 3.1 million by 2025.
• The number of adult social care jobs in England in 2012 was estimated at 1.85 million; the number of people doing these jobs was estimated at 1.63 million.
(Source: Skills for Care)