Career In Social Work
Social Work Career
workers support many kinds of people who need help or protection.
Many qualified social workers in local authorities, Trusts or Boards
concentrate either on work with children and their families, or on work with
adults who require care in the community. There
are social work jobs which cover a wide range of different aspects, whilst
others specialise in particular issues such as older people, mental health
problems, physical or learning disabilities, homelessness, HIV/AIDS, drugs,
alcohol, adoption or youth and criminal justice.
you hold the social work qualification (DipSW), it is possible to move between
jobs and gain a wide range of experience during your career.
Promotion usually means leaving direct work with people and becoming a
job involves a lot of community living assessment and liaison with other
boroughs. If you are thorough you
can achieve real change for and with people.’
Kosack - Social Worker with adults
qualification do I need to be a social worker?
in Social Work (DipSW)
DipSW is the professional qualification for all social workers in the UK and for
probation officers in Northern Ireland. DipSW
programmes are based at universities and college of higher education and last
for a minimum of two years. DipSW
programmes are available on full-time, part-time and distance leaning routes and
involve a combination of academic learning and practice placement in social work
DipSW award offers a wide and exciting range of career opportunities in local
authority social services and social work departments, education departments,
hospitals, GP practices, schools, residential homes and day centres, national
and local voluntary organisations and in criminal justice services.
qualified two years ago with the DipSW, I loved the course and think it was a
very important foundation on which to build.
It gave all of us the space to develop and learn more about ourselves and
each other. Knowing about yourself
is very important before you start trying to work with other people.
get satisfaction from the small instant successes like find emergency housing,
even if it is temporary for a parent and their child.
I love the relationship and trust that you can build up with children
over a long period.’
Joseph - Social Work with children in need
choose the DipSW?
workers who hold the DipSW award are in demand.
survey showed that up to 90% of newly qualified social workers found employment
within the first 6 months of qualifying.
diversity of jobs in social work can also allow for rapid career progression
range for qualified social workers is between £13,500 to £23,000 per annum.
and non-graduate DipSW students may be eligible for a means-tested contribution
towards all or part of their annual fees and maintenance.
Contact the local education authorities in England and Wales, local
education and library boards in Northern Ireland or Student Awards Agency in
Scotland for precise arrangements that will apply.
resident in England, Scotland or Wales undertaking postgraduate DipSW training
may be eligible for a grant from the Central Council for Education and Training
in Social Work (CCETSW). Graduates
resident in N. Ireland applying for postgraduate programmes may be eligible for
a bursary from the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS).
qualified four years ago with the DipSW. The
practice placement on my DipSW programme was very helpful in my decision to work
within a hospital setting.
did the DipSW after the Community Care Act which was very helpful as I was up to
date in a time of change. I love
working in a multi-disciplinary team, the teamwork and meeting people.’
Steadman - Social Worker with adults: general medicine/orthopaedic
are the admission requirements?
who are over 21 do not always need formal academic qualifications, but the
selection panels for the DipSW programmes will expect you to demonstrate your
ability to study at higher education level, probably by evidence of recent study
or a written test. It is suggested
that you do a part-time or evening course such as an `A’ Level, advanced GNVQ/GSVQ
or NVQ/SVQ Level 3 in care, the Open University Foundation module or an access
to social work course to improve your skills and confidence before you apply.
Your local Further Education College will advise you about possibilities.
you have a degree
or hold a qualification which is considered to be equivalent to a degree, you
will be eligible to apply to a postgraduate route.
you are under 21
on the date a DipSW programme starts, you must hold either:
Levels and 3 GCSEs; or
for the Scottish Certificate in Education including 3 at Higher Level; or
educational, professional or vocational qualifications (e.g. NVQ/SVQ Level 3,
GNVQ/GSVQ Level 3) considered by CCETSW to be equivalent.
addition to life experience and academic qualification, I studied Counselling
and practised by undertaking voluntary work.
Studying for the DipSW has enabled me to use my experience, skills and
knowledge towards a professional qualification.
The highlight of the programme, so far, has been the practice placement
at a Pensioners Day Centre and networking with other allied professions.
The programme is demanding but is very satisfying and rewarding.’
Edigin - 1st year DipSW student
qualities and experience do I need?
DipSW programmes require applicants to have some relevant work experience in
social work experience in social work or social care. This work can be either paid or voluntary.
Selection panels will consider applicant’s suitability for and
commitment to social work.
order to be a social worker, you will need to be open minded and prepared to
examine and even change your attitudes and possible prejudices. You may need to
support service users to deal with racism and other forms of discrimination.
Social workers require personal qualities such as patience, determination
and the ability to help people face painful and distressing problems.
work can be both physically and emotionally stressful so you need to be able to
take care of yourself and have a sense of humour.
practice placement that I have just been allocated to is children in need. Having previously worked as a teacher I have a better
understanding of the processes involved in dealing with children and I get much
more satisfaction doing social work.’
Ali - 2nd year postgraduate DipSW student
Council for Education & Training in Social Work (CCETSW) is responsible for
ensuring that social workers and other care workers receive the education,
training and qualification that enable them to provide quality social care
services in the UK.
in employment, social workers need to continue learning and extending their
skills. CCETSW has introduced a
post qualifying framework which allows the continuing professional development
of social workers to be structured and formally recognised.
The framework leads to the Post Qualifying Award in Social Work (PQSW)
and the Advanced Award in Social Work (AASW).
PQSW builds on the standards of the DipSW and is designed to recognise the
developing skills and expertise of social work. The AASW recognises high skills of practice, policy making,
leadership and management.
personal family experience with the NHS motivated my entry into the social work
most satisfying part of my job is successfully acting in the role of advocate to
ensure vulnerable service users are allowed to remain in hospital for the
maximum time they need or are discharged appropriately with a satisfactory
package of care.’
Cook - Hospital social work manager
information about registering for the Diploma in Social Work (DipSW), please
refer to the enclosed List of DipSW programmes and apply as directed.
recruiting via Social Work Admission System (SWAS) Tel: 01242 223707 for a
Handbook and application form or via the Internet on www.ucas.ac.uk/getting/packreq/index.html
recruiting via UCAS Tel: 01242 222444 or via the Internet on www.ucas.ac.uk/getting/packreq/index.html
other programmes contact the institutions directly on the telephone numbers
obtain detailed information about social work and social care training contact
your local CCETSW Information Service
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