Employment as a Social Work Assistant

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What is a social work assistant?

Social work assistants are support staff members who work directly with qualified social workers to protect and advise a variety of people in their community and healthcare settings like hospitals and retirement facilities.

Social work assistants typically are the first contact for clients, and they aid these clients with resources information, care plans, home visits and more. They also maintain all records for the clients and follow up with them as appropriate.

Social work assistants need to have a thick skin and a big heart, as a lot of situations they encounter can be tough, heartbreaking and take an emotional toll.

How do I become a social services assistant?

Experience is usually more of a key than education when it comes to social work. Even if you've volunteered in a caring role, it will count toward your experience. Having a secondary education is also valuable; having a course like the BTEC National Certificate or a diploma in health and social care are very helpful.

Be prepared to have a background check performed on you through the Criminal Records Bureau as well to ensure the safety of the clients. You will also need a driving licence to make your home visits.

Once I'm trained, then what?

When you start work, your employer will provide an orientation period for you to be trained to approved national care standards. You will also pick up many valuable lessons from the hands on nature of the job.

If you wish to pursue further career opportunities in social work, you could study part-time at a local college for other qualifications such as a social care-related Foundation Degree. With this qualification you may be able to join the second year of a social work degree.

What is the register of social care workers?

The General Social Care Council (GSCC) runs a register of qualified and student social workers in England. In the future, all social care workers including assistants will need to join the register and follow the GSCC Code of Practice. See the GSCC website for more information about the register.

Fancy being the boss and not the assistant then check out our social worker job profile.

Where can I find more information?

Social Work and Care Careers

Tel: 0300 123 1100


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Connie Bryant Connie Bryant

I already have 21 years experience working for a local authority in Scotland. Glasgow City Council. My last post before I took redundancy due to downsizing of the workforce was as a Social Care Worker (previously known as Social Work Assistant) in a hospital community specialist H.I.V Team. I am finding it difficult to get back into the care industry as I have some family commitments being the mother of a severely mentally disabled adult daughter so I could only work within her day care hours Mon-Friday 9.30am till 2.30pm as I drop off and pick up my daughter from her day care centre. I could work nightshift part-time as I have a husband who can look after my daughter through the night. I am desperate to get back to work but find it difficult to get suitable hours.

I have worked in Older persons services in the past as a home carer in the community and have 7 years experience in this role. I also worked as a children's escort accompanying to and from school, all children involved had severe physical/learning disabilities, this post was for 4 years.

I briefly spent time working nightshift in a residential unit for older persons for 3 months night-shift.

All posts I have experience in have been very rewarding and I do miss that ability to assist people to achieve their goals in life , whether that be socialising with other people, personal care, helping people to become independent, I also have a qualification in Welfare Rights and Money Advice, something I felt very strongly about, having a disabled young person myself and finding the DWP quite a challenge at times.

I have extensive knowledge of the Asylum processes and dealing with the UK borders agency as many of my previous service users were from ethnic minority groups and seeking Asylum in Scotland, this particular job was highly demanding in terms of Health and Social Care Issues, also housing provision. I would be grateful for any pointers you may have to help me find suitable employment within the Portsmouth Area, as I am Glaswegian, and things are done very differently in Portsmouth from Glasgow..

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