I hope you are all well. As students come into the sixth form, I'm sure that many of you are still unsure of what you want to do Post 18, and that's okay. If you're thinking about social work or you haven't even heard of the profession before, this blog is hopefully here to help you make those big decisions.
First off, a key thing to think about is the difference between social care and social work. Indeed, this is a topic that many will ask about during interviews. So, what is the difference?
Social workers will tend to oversee a case, working in a multi-agency setting, working within systems to explore the possible options available to their client. On the other hand, social care is usually recognised as more personal and individual care, working alongside users to assist them with everyday tasks. A key thing to note is that you can start a social care job at any time, but you must undertake a 3-year degree to practice social work.
There are many characteristics that may make you a competent social worker if that is something you are thinking about. Usually, social work students, much like myself, often speak about why they applied in relation to any experience that they have had with social workers and the social sector. This experience, good or bad, can help to inspire you to make a difference, make a change and make lives better. After all, that is what everybody hopes for...isn't it?
Social work as a profession is suited for you if you are a good listener, patient and determined, but most importantly if you are passionate about helping others. To be a social worker is to take control and be in charge of multiple cases at any given time, with a huge amount of responsibility. You need to be able to manage this (but fear not, these skills will be developed throughout the degree).
A major draw of deciding to become a social worker rather than a social carer is that social workers have the ability to implement psychological and sociological theory within their practice, using the knowledge, skills and interventions they have learned to truly help others.
Most importantly, social workers have the ability to intervene in those critical moments, slowing working to improve the lives of all involved. Social workers are the superheroes to the social side of society. But, social workers must also make those hard nail-biting decisions.
Hopefully, from this, you now know more about the social work profession and the difference between the social care sector. This blog should have also helped you see whether a social work degree is the right choice for you. If you would like to know more about preparation for a social work degree please read this blog post.
So whether you wish to try out social care, social work or something completely different, I wish you well with your journey ahead!
Until next time,
Stay safe and keep smiling,