The aging population means that the human health and social work activities sector will experience the most growth over the coming years, with almost 320,000 or 23% of all new jobs that will be created by 2022.
Community support worker, home care officer, social services assistant
Social work assistants give advice, guidance and support to help people with their physical, emotional and social needs.
How to become
You can get into this job through:
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- applying directly if you have relevant experience
Qualifications in health and social care may help you to find a job. Level 2 or 3 courses in health and social care will include work experience placements, which will help when you apply for a job afterwards.
You’ll usually need:
- 2 or more GCSEs at grade 9 to 3 (A* to D) for a level 2 course
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course
You may be able to get into this job through an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship for the children and young people’s workforce, or youth work.
You’ll usually need:
- some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, for an intermediate apprenticeship
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), usually including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
Volunteering and experience
You could also get experience by volunteering.
Starter: £12,500 to £16,000
Experienced: £17,000 to £22,000
Highly Experienced: £25,000 (manager)
You may work for a specialist recruitment agency. Hourly rates for agency work can be between £7 and £11.
These figures are a guide.
You could apply directly after getting experience in a care role, like a care worker or a healthcare assistant in a:
- care home
- children’s home
You’ll usually need a GCSE in English for this route.
Experience of caring within your own family or community can help you get into this job.
Think Care Careers has more information and advice about careers in adult social care.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
- sensitivity and understanding
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- to be flexible and open to change
- the ability to work well with others
- knowledge of psychology
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- active listening skills
- basic digital skills for communicating and recording information
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day tasks may include:
- contacting clients and following up enquiries
- advising clients and their families about help that’s available
- visiting people at home to check how they are
- following a social worker’s care plan, and sometimes creating your own
- keeping records and writing reports
- keeping up to date with the law
- going to meetings with your department and other agencies
- liaising with other health and care professionals
You could work in the community, at a children’s care home, at a client’s home, in an office, in an NHS or private hospital or at an adult care home.
Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.
Career path and progression
With experience you could work towards qualifying as a social worker. You could do this yourself, or with support and funding from your employer.
You could also move into related careers like family support work or counselling.