- Give advice, guidance and support to help people
- You'll need excellent communication skills and the ability to cope in difficult situations
- With experience you could work towards qualifying as a social worker
As a social work assistant you'll work with social workers and other professionals to support a range of clients including children at risk and people with physical or learning disabilities. You might also work with families under stress, older people or people with mental health problems.
- Contacting clients and following up enquiries
- Advising clients and their families about help that's available
- Visiting people at home to check how they are
- Following a social worker's care plan, and sometimes creating your own
- Keeping records and writing reports
- Keeping up to date with the law
- Going to meetings with your department and other agencies
- Liaising with other health and care professionals
You could work fixed hours or in shifts, including evenings, weekends and public holidays. You could work in residential homes and hospitals. You might also work in the community where you'd be visiting clients in their homes. Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.
This role would be ideal for someone with excellent communication skills, tact, patience and the ability to cope in difficult situations, the ability to build good working relationships, the ability to work in teams with other professionals, problem-solving skills, and organisational skills.
You could apply directly after getting experience in a care role, like a care worker or a healthcare assistant in a hospital, hospice, care home or children's home. You'll also usually need a GCSE in English for this route and you'll need to pass enhanced background checks.
Experience of caring within your own family or community can also help you get into this job.
You can do a Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care, which may help when you look for work.
Alternatively you could do an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship for the children and young people's workforce, or in youth work or care work.
With experience you could work towards qualifying as a social worker. You could do this yourself, or with support and funding from your employer. You could also move into related careers like family support work or counselling.