Social work is a demanding and yet extremely rewarding career. Every day brings new challenges, allowing social workers to help improve people’s lives. Social work involves being an advocate and support for vulnerable people. Social workers are there for children, the elderly, people with disabilities, and others who need their help. Their role is to support not just these people but also those who care for them. Social workers are passion (passionate) and caring people who try their best to help those who need them. A shortage of social workers in the UK makes it a wise profession to consider if you want to work in a caring career.
Anyone who wants to become a social worker needs to start with a degree in social work. The top universities in the UK to study social work include (the) two Scottish universities of Stirling and Edinburgh. Other recommended institutions include Bath, Birmingham, and West of England, Bristol. The degree course needs to be approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). If you already have a degree in another subject, taking a master’s in social work is also an option. You could also opt for a fast-tracked training programme, such as Frontline or Step Up to Social Work. You could be a practicing social worker by the time you are 21 and registered with the HCPC.
Types of Social Worker
Many people think of social workers as people who help abused or neglected children. However, there are many other roles a social worker might take on with a range of people. They work with the elderly, young offenders, people with mental health problems, refugees and asylum seekers, and many other people. Social work is a varied path that can lead to providing support, information, and counselling to people from all walks of life.
Where do Social Workers Work?
A social worker can find themselves working in a variety of places. While they might work in an office, they will also spend their time visiting their clients, speaking to other professionals, and perhaps sometimes attending court. A social worker might visit a client at home, at work, in a hospital, or at a police station. Social workers should be prepared to experience a range of environments and see a lot of different circumstances across their career.
The Job Market for Social Workers.
Regions with Highest Paying Average Salary
North East: £45,188
North West: £39,224
South East: £39,723
South West: £40,546
East Midlands: £40,800
West Midlands: £40,165
Social work has suffered from a shortage of workers for a long time. Social workers often have their time stretched thinly. However, local authorities across the UK have open positions for social workers. There is also the possibility of working for an NHS Trust or seeking an employer in the voluntary or private sector. These can include private nursing homes, GP practices, and hospices.
There are many specialisms social workers can qualify in, and they can also choose to progress in their career to go into management or research. A newly qualified social worker can begin on a salary of around £22,000 and expect to earn £40,000 with development and experience. Some regions have higher average salaries, such as the North East of England, where the average salary of £45,188 is 10.7% higher than the national average.