Choosing Social Work As A Career
If you love being around people, becoming a social worker could be a great career choice. People will always need support, advice and help from professional social workers whether they are children or in their twilight years.
The role of a social worker is centred around protecting vulnerable individuals and to help people to live as independent and fulfilling a life as possible. Many people choose to become a social worker because the work is so varied. You can choose to work in the NHS or you may want to work with young people in some capacity. You might choose to work within your local authority, or like many social workers today, set up your own company and form contracts with authorities and other organisations.
If you like helping others whether it's a friend in need or a stranger on the street, becoming a social worker could be a very rewarding experience. Social workers work closely with families and individuals to help improve the quality of life of those placed in their care. This work often involves liaising with other organisations or teams including education, health and even the police in certain cases.
As you can imagine, there needs to be a fair amount of regulation around the social work profession. There are four regulatory councils in the UK (one for each country) and each has been set up to protect members of the public and ensure practising social workers comply with a strict code of conduct. Social workers found to be working in breach of this regulatory code could face a conduct hearing and in the most severe cases, be struck off the social work register. It is important that vulnerable individuals can trust the professionals working so closely with them and have complete confidence in the services provided.Scotlands regulatory body is The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) and is based in Dundee.
The Route To Becoming a Social Worker
To be a social worker, you're going to need a wide range of skills, but the good news is that many of these will come naturally. Are you a good listener? Do people ask you for advice? Do you have a caring nature and tone? These are all great qualities that can go such a long way to helping those under your care.
You do however also need to have a professional qualification in social work. This will usually need to be at degree level and will need to focus on social work, but could also combine learning disability nursing and mental health. In some cases, you can train whilst on the job and many authorities offer postgraduate positions.
There is a lot of career potential in becoming a social worker and a wealth of rewarding experiences. The people placed under your care will usually have nobody else to turn to or may be at a desperate place in their lives. Whether you want to specialise in social work with children or you have an interest in working with the elderly or those with learning disabilities, your skills will mean so much to the people you help, advise and support.