A social workers job is to protect, help and support people who are facing difficulties in their lives. A qualified social worker help others overcome problems and improve their lives and at the same time be prepared to work with a wide range of social services users, including: ChildrenOlder people People with some kind of disability, physical or mentalYoung adultsHomeless peopleDrug addictsSocial workers tend to specialise in working with single adults or with children and families. In both cases he or she should prepared to:Assess and Review a service user’ situationBuild relationships with service usersMake decisions when necessary, common in child protection cases.Offer information, counselling and advocacyTake part in team meetings, supervision and case conferencesWork together with other professionals, such as Health, Law and other social care professionalsKeep an accurate record of events.Contact and make referrals to other agenciesProvide evidence of court hearingsIt is crucial for the social worker to have excellent communications skills, the ability to relate to people of all ages, social classes and races and gain their trust as well as have a non-judgemental attitude.To become a social worker you will need to study for an honours degree or a postgraduate degree in social work, the course must be approved by the General Social Care Council (GSCC).To get on an honours degree you will need at least five GCSEs (A-C) including English and Math and at least two A levels or equivalent such as a BTEC National Diploma or NVQ Level 3 in Health and Social Care.Some colleges and universities may also grant access to students with a Higher Education qualification or relevant work experience, so it is best to check with them what qualifications are required.When you apply for a course you’ll also need to pass a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) background check.Honours degrees in social work are 3 year full time courses, there are some part-time and distance learning courses but you can only do these courses if you are already working in the social area and have with the support of your employer.For the full time courses, your time will be divided between classes and supervised work placements that will train you to work with a wide range of service user groups as well as prepare you to offer a comprehensive range of experience to employers when you start work.In case you already have a degree, you may only do a two-year postgraduate degree in social work instead of three years. After completing your honours degree or postgraduate degree you must register with the GSCC, visit their site for detailed information about how to register.GSCC is also the commission that approves all full-time, part-time and distance learning courses in the UK, with the exception of the Northern Ireland that has its own Social Care Commission, the NISCC (Northern Ireland Social Care Community).
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