Social work requires a range of skills that see practitioners acting as advisers, advocates, counsellors and listeners. The work is carried out in a number of organisations; primarily local authorities, independent organisations and charities plus NHS hospitals and mental health trusts.
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Social workers engage with clients and their families and friends to help find solutions to problems. They work closely with other organisations including the police, local authority departments, schools and the probation service to provide a network of care.
They tend to specialise in either adult or children's services. The adult sector involves working with people with mental health problems or learning difficulties in residential care; supervising offenders in the community; assisting people with HIV/AIDS and working with older people at home to help address problems with their health, housing or benefits.
Social care services for children and young people offer support both in and outside the family unit. Providing a range of assistance, social workers:
Applicants should have 280 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of three A-Levels and GCSEs in English and Maths grade 'C' or equivalent. They must also have the equivalent of GCSE grade C or above in English and Maths or a relevant Access to Social Work Certificate may be accepted. They must have evidence of an interest in and knowledge of social work and/or social care including at least three months/420 hours of relevant experience.
Any offer of a place is conditional on a satisfactory police check and self-declaration of fitness to train and practice.
Social Workers work for a range of organisations. They are primarily in local authorities, independent organisations and charities, but some also work for the NHS in hospitals, mental health trusts and other community-based settings. There is a huge range of employment opportunities for qualified social workers across all sectors and within many different service user groups and settings.
Qualified social workers can anticipate a starting salary of around £18 an hour.