Guide to becoming a Social Worker
Life can be challenging for us all, but when life is particularly difficult and causes a person a great amount of physical and mental pain, their social worker can make a real impact and help to change their lives for the better.
A social worker assists individuals and communities alike, empowering them with real solutions to life’s challenges, and being there to listen when talking is needed the most. The focus, separating social work from other helping professions, is on the person-in-environment model, and its emphasis on social justice.
Social worker’s work with all age groups, identifying those who need help, assessing their situations and developing plans to address their needs. A social worker builds upon a person or communities own skills and support systems.
How can you become a social worker?
- School and college – You will need five GCSE’s with A*-C grades, including English and Maths and Science. You will need two A-levels – they can be in any subjects yet certain subjects are deemed relevant and advantageous such as psychology, sociology and law.
You may be eligible with the equivalent certification such as a BTEC, HND, HNC, or relevant NVQ.
- Volunteering – The best way to learn about social care if you are interested but not sure, is to volunteer. Volunteering allows you to meet social workers and learn what they do, whilst providing you with direct experience working with individuals, families and groups advocating change.
If you’re applying for an undergraduate or postgraduate course, you may need to demonstrate you do have experience under your belt, and it proves that you are committed and enthusiastic towards the field.
- University – Your next step is to earn a bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW), approved by the HCPC, which is usually a three year course. Topics include: law, mental health and disability, ethics, practical work.
If you have a degree already, you may be eligible to alternatively undergo a postgraduate two year course in social care.
- Register and apply for jobs – You need to register with the HCPC, and make sure to monitor any changes in the law, as further training may be necessary. You have completed your BSW, and are now eligible to begin working as a social worker, so it is time to look for a job!
- Problem solving
- Observant and analytical
- Can remain calm in a crisis
- Literacy skills
- Leadership skills
- IT skills
Does this sound like you? For a confidential chat with one of our friendly Healthcare Consultants at Integra People, please call 01925 839 820 today.
David Lewis, managing director, integra people, warrington