Social worker | Selby College
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Social worker

Social workers help to protect vulnerable children and adults from harm or abuse, and support people to live independently.

Potential salary

£24,000 to £40,000

Employment by 2024


Working hours

37 to 40 a week

  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • knowledge of sociology and an understanding of society and culture
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • active listening skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Your duties will vary, depending on whether you work with children, families or adults. You could:

  • offer information and counselling
  • put together support plans for clients
  • keep records and write reports
  • discuss your cases with your supervisors
  • support clients' safety and take appropriate action to protect them when necessary
  • work closely with communities, health professionals and other agencies
  • help clients to develop and maintain independent living skills
  • hold meetings and assessments with individuals and families to review their situation

You could work in an office, in an NHS or private hospital, at an adult care home, at a children's care home or in the community.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

During your first year in work your employer may offer you professional development, for example the Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (AYSE). This includes extra support like:regular supervision; a training and development plan; time to meet your training and development needs

Each local authority will have a career pathway, with some offering the chance to study for a postgraduate MA in Advanced Professional Practice.

With experience, you'll find opportunities to move into management, research or study for a PhD. You could also become a practice educator and train and mentor students from your partner university.

You can get more advice about becoming a social worker from the British Association of Social Workers and Think Care Careers.

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