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10 things you probably didn’t know about a career in social work

Social work is a job that plays an essential role in changing children’s and families’ lives by empowering and supporting them to make positive changes. Here are some things that you probably didn’t know:

  1. What exactly does it entail? Social workers help children, young people and their families when they are going through difficult times. They build relationships and work with parents to bring greater safety and stability to family life; or in rare circumstances help find another home for the child.
  2. At least half a million children in England don’t have a safe or stable home. These are the children social workers have been given the responsibility to help and support, leading change for some of the most marginalised families.
  3. Only 6% of care leavers go to university compared to approximately 50% of all young people. Social workers play a vital role in ensuring that these children have access to the support they need to achieve their goals.
  4. Almost a third of the homeless population were in care at some point in their lives (Barnardo’s 2016). The guidance that social workers offer to vulnerable families can make a world of difference in terms of contributing to a more equal society where the circumstances people are born into don’t determine their life chances.
  5. Social work is an incredibly challenging but rewarding profession. Skills such as relationship-building, conflict resolution and leadership are essential in helping to transform the lives of vulnerable children. Social workers are often faced with difficult situations and decisions, all of which help to build resilience.
  6. No single day as a social worker is the same. They work on a variety of cases that can change from day to day, so you can always expect something different. Therefore, if you are interested in a fast paced job where you can give back to society then social work could be for you.
  7. It is an incredibly diverse career. As a social worker you are trained in a variety of areas, ranging from safeguarding, mental health and child protection. There is the opportunity to specialise as well as move between different aspects of the profession.
  8. As of 30 September 2017, 85% of children and family social workers were female, and 15% were male. Despite this gender imbalance there is a massive demand for male social workers, in order to even out this ratio.
  9. You don’t need a degree in social work to be social worker! As long as you have a 2:1 in your discipline, you are eligible to apply for graduate schemes such as Frontline’s Leadership Development Programme.
  10. What is the Leadership Development Programme? Over two years you will be supported in acquiring the skills you need to begin your career in social work. In the first year you will be on a bursary funded student placement in a local authority and will receive 46 taught study days. By the second year you’ll be a newly qualified social worker and will begin working towards your master’s degree in advanced relationship based social work practice (which you will have by the end of the programme).

Does the Leadership Development Programme sound like an opportunity you are interested in? If so, click here to fill in your details and Frontline will contact you with more information!

I am a third year English Lit student at The University of Exeter.
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