Social work assistant
Social work assistants give advice, guidance and support to help people with their physical, emotional and social needs.
£12,500 Starter - £25,000 Experienced
37 to 40 a week (evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts)
Where to start
You can get into this job through
a college coursean apprenticeshipapplying directly
You can do a Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care, which may help when you look for work. You'll usually need 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a Level 2 course. You'll need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a Level 3 course.
You could do an apprenticeship
in care or youth work to get experience of working with vulnerable adults, children or young people.
Apprenticeships relevant to this role include:
With experience you may be able to progress to a social worker degree apprenticeship.
- Level 2 Adult care worker
- Level 3 Youth support worker
- Level 4 Children, young people and families practitioner
You'll usually need 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for a Level 3 apprenticeship. You'll need some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for a Level 2 apprenticeship. You'll need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A-Levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship.
You could get experience by volunteering, which will give you an advantage with course and job applications.
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 usually need a GCSE in English for this route. Experience of caring within your own family or community can help you get into this job.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
- sensitivity and understanding
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- to be flexible and open to change
- the ability to work well with others
- knowledge of psychology
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- excellent verbal communication skills
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and Requirements
You'll need to pass enhanced background checks
What you’ll do
In your day-to-day tasks you may:
- contact clients and follow up enquiries
- advise clients and their families about help that's available
- visit people at home to check how they are
- follow a social worker’s care plan, and sometimes create your own
- keep records and write reports
- keep up to date with the law
- go to meetings with your department and other agencies
- liaise with other health and care professionals
You could work in the community, at a children's care home, at a client's home, in an office, in an NHS or private hospital or at an adult care home.
Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.
Career path and progression
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.