Social work assistants support qualified social workers in their work with clients in the community, hospitals and other settings including residential care homes. Other job titles covering this post include community support worker, social services assistant and home care worker. To be a social worker assistant, you will need to be patient, understanding, and flexible when it comes to work. Your job will ultimately be to make a positive difference in people’s lives by supporting them and contributing to their health and happiness.
When it comes to getting social worker assistant jobs, experience is usually considered more important by potential employers than formal qualifications. You can increase your chance when applying for social worker assistant jobs by gaining paid or voluntary work experience in a caring role. The volunteering charity website Do-it hosts many suitable opportunities in this field.
There are also a number of formal qualifications that will help you get started in your social work career, by complimenting your work experience. You could study for a Level 2 Certificate in Preparing to Work in Adult Social Care, a Level 2 Diploma Health and Social Care, or Level 2 Award in Employment Responsibilities and Rights in Health, Social Care and Children and Young People’s Settings, depending on the area of social work you may wish to specialise in.
As with any job or voluntary position working with children or vulnerable adults, you must pass background checks carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), although previous cautions or convictions may not necessarily prevent you from taking up social work assistant jobs. Holding a driving licence may also be a bonus when looking for social work jobs in the community and outside of large cities.
Training will take place as part of your job, including common induction training that is nationally approved and learning from more experienced staff. You are encouraged to complete short courses in-house related to the group of clients you work with, such as people with learning disabilities, people with substance abuse issues, or children and young people in care.
As you progress, you can also gain higher level qualifications, including a Diploma for the Children and Young People’s Workforce at level 3 (Social Care or Learning and Development Support Services pathways), Health and Social Care Diploma levels 2 and 3, and eventually a foundation degree or degree if you want to become a fully-fledged social worker.
Check out the Skills for Care Career Matrix , which can give you some direction as to what training you can do based on the level and area of work you are involved in.
Until Next Time… Charlotte x