What is a Social Worker?
As a Social Worker, the aim is to help improve people’s lives and to assist individuals in overcoming challenges in their lives. Social Work is an extremely varied role with supporting many departments; Mental Health, Children & Families, Emotional and Behavioural Disorders, and more. Typically, a day as a Social Worker would involve working with individuals and families, assessing people’s needs, arranging further support, or keeping detailed records. As of September 2022, there were around 17,300 social workers employed by the local authority adult social service departments across England, and an additional 2,000 in the independent sector and around 3,300 in the NHS.
#1- Make a Change!
Through being a Social Worker, you will be actively helping to make an improvement in individuals’ lives. Although the job role may be challenging at times, being a Social Worker requires you to be patient and resilient, which can be rewarding as the months pass and the change is recognised. It is important, as a social worker, that you present these skills throughout our role, to familiarise yourself with further skills with being a social worker, take a look at our blog regarding this. Within the year 2022, there were recorded to be 31,600 Children and Family Social Workers in post, (gov.uk) all of whom helped to impact someone’s life. Although the job role may be challenging at times, as you see the impact you have on someone, this may encourage you to feel a sense of fulfilment and purpose in your job role.
#2- Gain Transferable Skills
With being a Social Worker, typically you are required to be organised, empathetic, a good listener, patient, and many other vital qualities. However, as you put these skills to practice, you will find that you gain further transferable skills. By working alongside those who are faced with challenges each day, as an individual, you may become more aware of difficulties in day-to-day life, thus increasing your ability to empathise with others. Within Social Work, there are different routes to venture down:
The list goes on! For example, as a Children & Families Social Worker, you will become more experienced in working closely with children, which is a valuable skill. On a whole, for each Social-Worker role, skills such as critical thinking, understanding, patience, and communication skills should all develop further.
#3- Flexible Working
As of 2022, ‘three-quarters of councils allow flexible working for all children social workers’, this is 78% of children’s services in the U.K. (Communitycare.co.uk) Through working flexible hours, allows you to gain a further work-life balance. According to the 2021 Community Care for jobseeker survey, flexible working is the most important benefit Social Workers look for in a job, followed by the ability to work from home. Not only Social Workers, but many other industries have also implemented flexible working policies; prior to the pandemic, only 8% of companies had this implemented, in comparison to 62% of employers with at least some degree of flexible working. (Yaroome)
#4- No Day is The Same!
Additionally, another benefit of working as a Social Worker is that each day varies from one another. If you’re someone who gets bored of a repetitive lifestyle, rest assured being a Social Worker is far from that! Depending on what sector of Social Work you work within, your day will differ, however, as a Children & Families Social Worker, you may find you divide your time between a range of roles,
Arranging Services for those in foster care
Identify children who may need protection
Managing a Social-Work caseload relating to children, young people, and families
Arranging or making referrals to services such as food assistance and housing programs
Assessing clients needs
Evaluating and monitoring improvement
Provide guidance and therapy
All these fit hand-in-hand with #1 ‘Making a change’, as each day you’re working towards the positive development of someone’s life.
#5- Pay and Progression
During your first year as a Social Worker, your employer may offer you to go down the route of further professional development, for example, ASYE. Within the completion of this, you’ll receive regular supervision and a structured training plan to meet your needs. After you have gained this experience, the opportunities within the Social Work industry are ever-growing, if you choose, you can work further to study for a PhD, move into a management position, or train and mentor students. Typically, as a starting Social Worker, the salary begins at £27,000, however, as you gain experience, you can earn up to £42,000. Moreover, through gaining the vital skills of being a Social Worker, you can also progress within the Social Work industry to become a more crucial role, such as a Head of Service. The roles within the Social Work industry are all measured next to grades from 9-15, which showcases the ladder of success. Listed below are jobs you can typically find within each grade:
Grade 9- Newly- Qualified Social Worker
Grade 10- Consultant Social Worker
Grade 11- Social Worker
Grade 12- Practice Supervisor
Grade 13- Team Manager
Grade 14- Principle Social Worker
Grade 15- Head of Service
The Next Steps-
Why not familiarise yourself with our Social Work Recruitment Specialists over on our website.
If you’re reading this and thinking that a job as a Social Worker is suited for you, why not check out our Social Work jobs available?