Routes into social care
If you're interested in exploring a challenging career in social care; either as a social worker or in one of the many other care roles that make a positive difference to people's lives, there are many options open to you:
Social Care Worker
Trainee Social Worker
Your first job in social care could be immediately after leaving school, when your children are older or have grown up, or following a career break. There are many ways of becoming involved in social care work and there are hundreds of social care jobs available throughout the County.
Social work requires a professional qualification which is the Degree in Social Work and once qualified, social workers must also be registered with the General Social Care Council (GSCC) which is the regulatory body.
There are a variety of ways to enter the social work profession, according to age and previous experience.
If you leave school at 16 or 17 and are interested in becoming a social worker you can start a preliminary further education college course in social care or pursue a modern apprenticeship in Health and Social care. Both of these options will include placements and you may also be able to combine this with voluntary work. Through job experience and NVQ assessments, you could become eligible to enter the degree course and if employed within the sector, your employer may provide funding for you to do this.
If you're under 21 and have - or soon will have - at least 2 A levels, you can apply to universities and colleges that offer the 3-year degree course. Application is through UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service). Universities and colleges throughout the country offer the programme.
If you already have a degree in another subject, some universities offer a shorter postgraduate course which will enable you to practise as a social worker.
A high proportion of social workers come to the job as a second or third career. Your previous experience will be valued and may be considered in place of formal academic qualifications when considering your eligibility to join a degree course.
Working as a volunteer, whether in your local community or further afield, is tremendously fulfilling and can be an excellent way to find out whether you would like a career in social care.
If you are interested in volunteering, you can contact the specific volunteer organisations directly.
You can find contact details in telephone directories and Yellow Pages, in libraries and through your local council and Citizens Advice Bureau.
To find out more about working in social care:
Visit the FAQs and the Related Links pages on this site (see left)
Visit the County Council jobs bulletin (link) or look in your local newspaper for jobs in your area.
Call Jobseeker Direct on 0845 60 60 234 or visit www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk and choose Health/Care from the Job Group listed to view details of care jobs which are available now.
Visit the jobs site created especially to support the Social Care Careers campaign at www.jobsgopublic.com/socialcarecareers
For advice and information about jobs in adults social care please contact our Staff Recruitment, Retention and Training Team on 01785 213684 or in writing to 1A North Avenue, Stafford, ST16 1NP.
For advice about jobs in children's social care please contact us in the Directorate for Children, Young People and Families.