Category: Community

Those employed in social work jobs work with those who have been socially excluded, or experiencing a crisis in their lives.  Rather than providing long term support, social services jobs are designed to enable service users to help themselves.  They would ,for example, act as guides, advocates or critical friends in order to achieve this aim.  Those considering social worker jobs will need strong social skills, but also the ability to remain calm and keep an open mind in difficult situations.

Social workers may be required to be involved in a variety of settings, depending on the needs of individual service users.  Typical settings might be the service user’s house, schools, hospitals, and other public sector organisations.  Social workers must be able to work alone but should not expect to be unsupported.  Once qualified, social work professionals are often supported by social work assistants.  Health and social care professionals are also likely to work closely with those in social worker jobs.  Recent government health legislation focusing on the integration of these areas means that people in these sectors often work in multidisciplinary teams.

Over half of social work jobs will involve working with children and their families, so a willingness to work with this group is important in this sector.  Social workers may also work with young offenders, those with mental health conditions, school non-attenders, drug and alcohol abusers, people with learning and physical disabilities, and the elderly.

Tasks can vary widely, from practical one-to-one help to seeing to the wider organisation of the lives of vulnerable people.  As with many jobs, paperwork is unavoidable in social services jobs.  Social workers will have to spend a fair amount of time undertaking and writing up assessments, often in conjunction with with medical and other professionals.  A lot of their time will be spent conducting interviews with service users and their families, to ensure they keep on top of their situation.  This will often lead to a need for social workers providing information and counselling support.  There is an active decision making element to social work jobs, as social workers organise and manage packages of support to enable service users to lead the fullest lives possible.  Coordinating with other agencies is an important part of the job, and recommendations will sometimes have to be made.  Social worker jobs also demand that professionals keen meticulous records of their work, and are sometimes called upon to give evidence in court.

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Social work jobs are all about developing relationships with people.  By being on hand to listen, understand and advise, professionals in social services jobs help others live as part of their local communities and help them work through any problems they might have.  But social workers need not only engage with one client at a time.  Rather, the demands of social worker jobs are many; as part of a single case they may need to liaise with the families and friends of the client in question, and other organisations such as the probation service, the NHS, housing authorities and schools.

Those employed in social worker jobs occupy a fairly specific status.  According to a government website, they are professionally qualified staff who research the needs of service users and construct the individual packages of care and support that best help them.  As such, somebody who is keen to become a social worker will need to take an honours degree in social work and register with the General Social Care Council.  Most social workers will start their careers with some experience in social care.  By convention, social workers will specialise in either adult or children’s services.

People who work in adult services might find themselves working with a variety of different people.  They could work with elderly people at home and helping them with problems regarding their health, housing or benefits.  Alternatively, their role might be to help adults with mental health problems or learning disabilities, working with offenders by supervising them in the community and helping them to find employment, or working with those in residential care.

The demands of young people’s services differ to some extent.  These social work jobs might involve giving help and advice to keep families together, supporting young people who are in trouble with the police, spending time with children who have problems at school or illness within their families, and overseeing adoption and foster care processes.

In sum,  it is clear that, although social work jobs are conveniently grouped together, a job in this sector can mean one of many different things.  Social services jobs can bring you into contact with a variety of different people, but in any case the challenge will be the same, to develop a relationship with the person in question.  As a result, social worker jobs are most suited to those who are by nature friendly and have a strong sense of empathy and natural ability to speak to people from all walks of life.

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