|Introduction To Careers In Social Work|
|Written by Department of Health|
|Tuesday, 20 June 2006|
Page 1 of 2
Care Appointments presents the Department of Health's guide to careers in social work...
What is Social Work?
Social workers tend to specialise in either adult or children's services
Adult Services: Roles include working with people with mental health problems or learning difficulties in residential care; working with offenders, by supervising them in the community and supporting them to find work; assisting people with HIV/AIDs and working with older people at home helping to sort out problems with their health, housing or benefits.
Children / Young People Services: Roles include providing assistance and advice to keep families together; working in children's homes; managing adoption and foster care processes; providing support to younger people leaving care or who are at risk or in trouble with the law; or helping children who have problems at school or are facing difficulties brought on by illness in the family.
If you leave school at 16 or 17 and are interested in this area, you can start a preliminary further education college course in Social Care or pursue a modern apprenticeship in Health and Social care. Both of these options will include placements and you may also be able to combine this with voluntary work. Through job experience and NVQ assessments, you could become eligible to enter the degree course and if employed within the sector, your employer may provide funding for you to do this.
Check out your local FE colleges to see if they offer Social care courses or talk to your school careers service.
If you're under 21 and have - or soon will have - at least 2 A levels or equivalent qualifications, you can apply to universities and colleges that offer the 3-year degree course*. Application is through UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service) Universities and colleges throughout the country offer the programme.
If you already have a degree in another subject, some universities offer a shorter postgraduate course which will enable you to practise as a social worker. You will need to contact individual universities for further clarification.
A high proportion of Social Workers come to the job as a second or third career. Your previous experience will be valued and may be considered in place of formal academic qualifications when considering your eligibility to join a degree course.
Because career-changers may be older and have family responsibilities, it can be challenging to survive financially while following the course. However, since September 2003, students studying for the degree qualification will be eligible for an annual bursary of up to £2900 and free tuition fees.
Degree in Social Work
Previous qualifications in social work including the diploma will continue to be recognised as valid social work qualification.