Do You Have What it Takes to Become a Social Worker?

Sep 3, 2018 by

Want to work a job that really means something? If you’re sick of giving the best years of your life earning lots of money for a big corporation, why not make a change? Social workers can help children and families out of the worst situations and put them on a much better path. You can go home each day knowing you made a difference, and putting your hard work of study and education to its best use. But do you have what it takes? Here’s what you need to do to become a social worker.

Personality

Being a social worker can be incredibly tough. You come into contact with cases that can be highly emotional- children being rescued from extreme poverty or abuse so terrible it hurts your heart. It’s not a role for everyone, and often a certain kind of person is needed. You should be an attentive listener, and be able to work professionally and empathetically while being able to maintain boundaries to prevent becoming emotionally invested. You need excellent interpersonal skills, since you’ll be dealing with children, parents and caregivers, local authorities, the police and more. One of the most important skills to have is resilience. Social work is incredibly rewarding, and you can go home each day knowing you made a genuine difference in the world. But you’re always going to have bad days, and sometimes things will affect you regardless of how well you are at maintaining boundaries. You need to be able to get up and keep on going.

Education

Social work is a postgraduate career, meaning you will need a degree to even get a foot in the door. If you have an unrelated or semi- related degree (such as psychology, criminology or law) you’re able to specialise by taking relevant further education. This could be a master of social work online or at your local university. From there, you’ll need to embark on a program such as Step Up to Social Work who are able to educate and train you so you can begin working. In some cases, you may be able to secure yourself an apprenticeship- the idea of gaining a social work degree through an apprenticeship has been put forward by Skills for Care to the government.

Experience

Experience is incredibly important when it comes to social work. You can gain experience through voluntary work, charities such as Mind, Barnardos and Age UK are always in need of volunteers. You could work a helpline such as Samaritans, Childline or Nightline. Not only are you gaining the experience you need, but you’re also helping a charity in the great work that they do. You can also gain experience through any paid positions you’ve previously had that involved working with vulnerable people, or even through life experience. You’ll need some form of experience under your belt when you apply to study. Further experience will be gained during your education; social work courses are generally made up of fifty percent work placements, meaning you can learn academically while getting on-the-job training and experience.

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1 Comment

  1. Avatar
    claire .boylan

    My.Own life ecperince . Is whsts pushed me to.Want to.Work.With.Children so they can have a voice . And know that they are been listend to

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