Social workers provide support to vulnerable members of society.

What does a social worker do?

Social workers work with a variety of people, providing support for those who are most vulnerable in the community. You will need to assess a client’s current situation and support them where needed.

You may be working with children, families, vulnerable adults or the elderly. You’ll usually specialise in working either with children or adults. You’ll need to have excellent communication skills and a caring personality. 

What do I need to do to become a social worker?

To become a social worker, you will need to study a three year undergraduate degree or a two year postgraduate degree in social work that is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). You will also need to pass a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. 

To get on to a relevant degree you need five GCSEs A-C, including maths, English and science, and two A levels. There are no specific subjects required but relevant ones would include psychology, sociology, and law.

A level 3 vocational qualification in health and social care would be relevant for this work. Check with universities regarding acceptability. 

Related skills

  • Teamwork
  • Problem solving
  • Patience
  • People management
  • Time management
  • Organisation
  • Numeracy
  • Communication
  • Administration
  • Customer service
  • Literacy
  • Leadership
  • IT
  • Interpersonal skills

Academic route

  • A levels, e.g. psychology, sociology, and law

Vocational route

  • Level 3 qualification in health and social care

Related subjects

  • English
  • History

Essential qualifications

  • Undergraduate degree in social work
  • Or Postgraduate degree in social work
  • DBS check

Where to find out more

Where could I be working?

Your hours may be long and you’ll often need to make home visits. 

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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