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Social work assistant career guide

A beacon of support to others, social work assistants work with a range of people within the community.

Safeera Sarjoo
22nd April 2016
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What is a social work assistant?

It’s always good to give back to the community and one way is through a career as a social work assistant. Believe it or not, people within this profession don’t just work with the elderly. Their client range includes people with physical or learning disabilities, people with mental health issues, children at risk, families at risk of breaking down and foster carers and adopters. People looking to forge a career within this area will need a practical and flexible approach to their work and be patient and understanding when it comes to working with clients. If you like the sound of helping and supporting people within your community and then a job as a social work assistant could be the answer.

Where are social work assistants needed?

Social work assistants operate and work with clients who could be living within the community, in hospitals and in residential care homes.

What are their responsibilities?

Social work assistants take on a number of tasks which includes

  • Contacting clients and following up with enquiries
  • Obtain checks, references as required
  • Making appointments
  • Putting together a social care plan for clients
  • Visiting clients at home to see how they’re doing
  • Maintaining an awareness of changes within the law and industry
  • Administrative duties such as running checks
  • Participating in training and team meetings

What are some charactertistics that suit this role?

Being patient and understanding are huge factors when becoming a social work assistant. After all, you’ll be working with vulnerable people and it is your responsibility to provide the hep and care they need. Other important characteristics that would be best suited to this job are,

  • Demonstrating an understanding of the needs of different clients
  • A non-judgmental mindset
  • The ability to relate to people from different backgrounds
  • Being able to work as part of a team as well as using your own initiative
  • Being able to assess different situations and take the right course of action
  • Excellent time management and organisational skills
  • Being able to communicate sensitively to clients of different age groups
  • Being able to communicate effectively to other members of staff and other professionals

Entry requirements and Training

This is a career area where experience actually trumps qualifications. You have an increased chance of getting work is you have some experience working or caring for people. Although it’s not mandatory, there are qualifications you can work towards that will stand you in good stead. Some of these include

You will be required to take background checks if you’re interested in working with children and training is provided on the job. Whilst working you will take nationally approved inductions and you’ll also be encouraged to take short courses relating to the specific client group you’re working with. 

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