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Newly qualified social worker

Provide assessments, interventions and support to ensure the well-being and safety of children and families

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a newly qualified social worker you’ll:

  • build and maintain effective relationships with children and families
  • provide evidence-based support that has a positive impact on the lives of children and families
  • carry out assessments to identify needs and risks
  • develop care plans that promote the well-being and safety of children and families
  • work with other social workers and multi-agency teams
  • seek support and advice from colleagues and other sources, such as clinical practitioners

You'll need to:

  • write clear, evidence-based assessments, care plans and progress reports
  • practice in accordance with legal, regulatory and policy requirements
  • attend regular meetings with your supervisor
  • take part in development activities such as training, research and critical reflection
  • stay up to date with legislation and statutory guidance to inform your practice

Support you'll receive

In your first year of practice you’ll typically do the assessed and supported year in employment (ASYE) programme.

It’s designed to help you develop your skills, knowledge and professional confidence through:

  • regular supervision
  • a protected caseload
  • protected time for critical reflection

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • communication skills to build and maintain relationships with children and families, colleagues and multi-agency partners
  • knowledge of evidence-based practice
  • the ability to manage relationships between parents, carers and family members
  • an understanding of the impact of social and cultural factors on child development
  • professional judgement skills to identify potential risks to children
  • knowledge of the law and regulatory and statutory guidance to inform practice decisions

How to become one

There are several ways to become a child and family social worker:


You can do a degree in social work approved by Social Work England.

You could also do a postgraduate degree in social work, if you have a degree in another subject. This postgraduate degree takes 2 years.

You might be able to get a social work bursary.


You can do a Social Worker Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship where you work and earn while you qualify as a social worker.

Fast-track programme

If you have a degree in a subject other than social work, you can apply to do a fast-track programme. These are intensive work-based training programmes where you get your qualification while on the job. Frontline and Step Up to Social Work both offer training programmes for child and family social work.

Career paths and progression

With experience you could:

  • use your knowledge and expertise to supervise students during their placements
  • become a senior practitioner, taking on more complex cases and mentoring newly qualified social workers
  • specialise in specific areas of child and family social work such as child protection or adoption and fostering
  • move into a research or policy development role within a government agency, charity or other organisation

Current opportunities

The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.