5 Steps to Social Work Success
Posted 01 February 2018
Social Work Changes Lives
So, you're considering social work? First of all, that's great news. Social work is an important career and the UK is in need of more great social workers. At CCfE, we know that making a career change can be daunting, and figuring our your next steps can be complicated. This is why we have put together a simple guide to help you on your way to social work success. It doesn't matter if you have no previous social care experience. You do not even need A-levels to apply. All you need is enthusiasm and drive, and our Access to HE Diploma in Social Work will do the rest. So, let's get started. Here are the five things you need to do to unlock your new career.
1. Ask yourself why?
Social work is more than just a career. It’s a calling. Before you embark on your journey you must first ask yourself why you want to do this job. At times, the profession can be hard and upsetting, but if you really want to do it, you shouldn’t let this put you off. As long as you like working with people of all different ages and backgrounds then the rest should come naturally to you. We would advise doing some serious research and volunteering with your local authority before you complete a course. This will help you to check if this career is right for you.
2. Enrol on an Access to HE Diploma
Everyone has the opportunity to find a career they enjoy, with our Access to Higher Education Diplomas. This qualification allows you to enrol on the university course you want, even if you don’t have A-levels. You can study from the comfort of your own home, create your own timetable and keep working whilst you study. Keep earning and develop the skills you need to complete university assignments and start a new career as a social worker.
3. Go to University
To be a social worker in the UK, you need to register with the HCPC and you are not allowed to register unless you have an undergraduate or MA degree in social work. Some individuals may feel as if university isn’t an option, because they didn’t excel at school or they never went to college. However, Access to HE Diplomas are making it increasingly possible for these people to reconsider university. Degrees can be hard going but there is plenty of support in place to help students get through them. Once you have achieved your degree, you should feel confident enough to start working as a social worker.
4. Choose a pathway
Once you have qualified, you need to choose an area that interests you. There are many different roads you can go down, depending on your own personal preferences and experience. Once you begin working in one area, there is no reason why you cannot switch to another speciality later n your career. Your options include but are not limited to:
- · Child protection
- · Asylum seeker services
- · Youth justice
- · Mental health
- · Substance misuse
5. Register with the HCPC and start practicing
Once you qualify, you should register with the HCPC and begin your job search. You may find yourself working for a local council, the NHS, or in the private sector. Initially as a freshly qualified social worker, you can expect to earn £22,000 a year. With experience you may go on to earn up to £40,000. Many social workers move up the career ladder and become senior supervising social workers, family court advisers, strategy managers, team leaders, or commissioning managers for local authorities.