- Many social workers work with young people and their families. You might also work with the following groups:
- the elderly
- people with learning and physical disabilities
- young offenders
- people with mental health conditions
- school non-attenders
- drug and alcohol abusers
- the homeless.
Tasks typically involve:
- conducting interviews with individuals and families to assess and review their situation
- undertaking and writing up assessments (sometimes in collaboration with other professionals), which meet specified standards and timescales
- offering information and support
- organising and managing packages of support to enable people to lead the fullest lives possible
- recommending and sometimes making decisions about the best course of action for a particular person or family
- liaising with, and making referrals to, other agencies
- participating in multidisciplinary teams and meetings regarding, for example, child protection or mental health
- maintaining accurate records and preparing reports for legal action
- giving evidence in court
- participating in training, supervision and team meetings.
- Social work is a graduate profession and you will need either an honours or a postgraduate degree in social work to find employment. The degree will need to be approved by one of the four regulators. These are:
- Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) - in England
- Social Care Wales - in Wales
- Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC) - in Northern Ireland
- Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) - in Scotland.
- Although the diploma in social work (DipSW) and other previous social work qualifications are still recognised as valid social work qualifications, they are no longer offered to new entrants.
- If you have an HND or foundation degree you will require an undergraduate degree in social work, although the following subjects may improve your chances of entering the profession:
- legal studies
- politics, government or public administration
- social care
- social sciences.