Social worker: Social workers form relationships with people and assist them to live more successfully within their local communities by helping them find solutions to their problems. Social work involves engaging not only with clients themselves but their families and friends as well as working closely with other organisations including the police, local authority departments, schools and the probation service.
Social work can be a stressful career, you need to be well organised as there is a significant level of administrative work - and time management skills are crucial. A social worker is expected to assess, review and maintain records of specific cases, all within certain timeframes whilst achieving set standards of care and providing service users and their families with the help they need.
The role and duties of a social worker are broad and varied, but generally they include the provision of guidance and support, with a main focus on allowing the service user to eventually support themselves as much as possible. A social worker has a specific role and must register with the Social Care Council in order to work as a social worker. Social workers also have to show that they have undertaken the required training and development. There are some tasks that only a registered social worker employed by a local authority may undertake. These include:
• Undertaking child protection investigations.
• Undertaking initial, core, foster and adoption assessments.
• Developing and driving the Child Protection (or CIN) plan.
• Initiating legal proceedings to apply for a range of orders including admitting children to the care system and placing them for adoption.
There are various routes to becoming a social worker, but you will need to gain a professional qualification in social work (usually at degree level) either on a full-time or part-time basis.