Do you want to train to be a social worker? If you do, you can utilise the following guide to learn all about the academic accreditations that you will need to earn and where you can receive this essential training. My ex boyfriend’s mum was a social worker and its not a career to be taken lightly, so its important to do your research and see if its the right path for you.
University and college courses
As the National Careers Service states: “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 background checks by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)”.
As matters stand, there is a wide range of college courses, university degrees and Open University courses that you can utilise to receive these academic accreditations. It is strongly advised that you research the HCPC website, UCAS and the NHS bursaries service in order to find the course which will be most appropriate for your individual circumstances and career aspirations. By utilising these online resources (in addition to discussing your options with your parents, guardians and teachers), you can identify the ideal course and find out whether you are eligible to receive any tuition support, bursaries or scholarships.
In addition to receiving these academic accreditations and undergoing background checks, it can also prove extremely beneficial to seek out voluntary work within your local community. By helping out at local educational institutions, hospice centres, healthcare facilities or alternative council-run organisations, you can earn vital on-the-job experience that will boost your confidence in your own abilities and substantially improve your employment prospects.
Areas of specialism
Once you have qualified as a social worker, you will have the opportunity to pursue your ideal area of specialism. As reported on the Learn How To Become website, the National Association of Social Workers lists the following specialities as part of a social work career:
• Administration or supervision
• Alcohol, tobacco and other drugs
• Children, adolescents and young adults
• Child welfare
• Mental health
• Private practice
• School social work
• Social and economic justice and peace
• Social work and the courts
Each of these chosen areas of specialism will require you to provide a different range of services, from offering group therapy or one-to-one counselling to parents and children who are dealing with domestic, financial or social issues, to providing support to the staff and patients at drug addiction clinics.
Depending upon your particular social work career aspirations, you may need to undertake additional training courses in order to work within these specialist areas of social care. Fortunately, there are many national organisations, such as the British Association of Social Workers, as well as the local council or organisation with which you will be affiliated, that can offer you targeted support and information regarding your desired specialism.