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Social worker

Provide assessments, interventions and support to ensure the well-being and safety of children and families
Other names
Social work practitioner, frontline social worker

What you'll do

As a social worker you’ll:

  • work with children and families to identify their needs and positively impact their lives 
  • develop plans that address the needs of children and families and promote their well-being
  • organise and chair key meetings such as case reviews and core group meetings
  • provide emotional and practical support to children and families
  • keep up-to-date records of care plans and assessments
  • reflect on your work and take on feedback to improve your practice
  • work with multi-agency partners such as health professionals, schools and community organisations
  • take part in training and development to enhance your skills and knowledge

Support you'll receive

As a social worker you’ll receive support including:

  • regular supervision
  • peer support
  • access to emotional support resources

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of the complex social, emotional and environmental issues affecting children and families
  • interpersonal skills to build positive relationships with colleagues, service users and multi-agency partners
  • analytical skills and a questioning mindset to assess information and identify actions
  • communication skills to articulate and deliver your views to varied audiences
  • time management and prioritisation skills to handle multiple cases at the same time
  • self-care strategies to maintain your well-being when dealing with difficult cases and situations
  • self-awareness and be open to feedback to ensure your continued development

How to become one

To become a social worker you should have completed the assessed and supported year in social work (ASYE) programme.

The ASYE is not compulsory, but almost all employers require you to enrol on it when you join as a newly qualified social worker.

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.