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    I'm a qualified Social Worker currently working in a generic adults team in the Midlands. I completed my MA Social Work in 2014 and have worked in a number of statutory teams with my local authority since then. I have also completed the ASYE (Assessed and Supported Year in Employment) and am now a Level 2, working towards Level 3.

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    Hi, i really cant decide between studying social work and nursing so i was hoping u can give me some advise on social work. I have always wanted to be a social worker growing up but as ive gotten older and read d news about social worker/social services and people also having bad things to say about social workers i changed my mind and decided i might study nursing instead but my heart isnt really into it. I just wanted to find out what is ur typical day like? Do u have a heavy caseload? Are you supported by your manager? Is it a very stressfull job like everyone says? Was it difficult to find a job after u qualified as i have been told it can be quite difficult? Can u balance a work life and family life as a social worker? After qualifying do i have to work as a children SW first before i can work as an adults SW or i can go into any straight after qualifying?, is there any career progression expectially if i want to move away from front line SW. Sorry about all d questions, just really important i know all this before going into the degree.
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    (Original post by Zainab96)
    Hi, i really cant decide between studying social work and nursing so i was hoping u can give me some advise on social work. I have always wanted to be a social worker growing up but as ive gotten older and read d news about social worker/social services and people also having bad things to say about social workers i changed my mind and decided i might study nursing instead but my heart isnt really into it. I just wanted to find out what is ur typical day like? Do u have a heavy caseload? Are you supported by your manager? Is it a very stressfull job like everyone says? Was it difficult to find a job after u qualified as i have been told it can be quite difficult? Can u balance a work life and family life as a social worker? After qualifying do i have to work as a children SW first before i can work as an adults SW or i can go into any straight after qualifying?, is there any career progression expectially if i want to move away from front line SW. Sorry about all d questions, just really important i know all this before going into the degree.
    A typical day…?
    I usually have one visit a day, or that’s how I prefer to plan my diary as I like to get out and about. I have to visit people to complete assessments, and then have to spend time writing them up and arranging services or packages of care for people, doing referrals, liaising with different professionals. Sometimes I have to drop everything I’m doing and deal with an urgent situation like having to assess someone about to be discharged from hospital or dealing with a safeguarding or crisis situation, which might be someone who has been burgled and liaising with the police to make them safe or arranging emergency respite for a carer who is struggling. It’s very varied really and it’s one of the things I love about my job.

    Heavy caseload…?
    When I used to work in long term teams I carried a case load of around 20. Different teams vary and complexity of cases might mean that you spend much more time dealing with one case than others. Some people have separate safeguarding cases which are allocated depending on experience, you wouldn’t get any safeguardings until you are experienced, 2/3 years into work. I find that my case load is manageable for me because I’m very organised and I like things to be constantly on the move. That’s just me personally though, other people find 20 too much to manage.

    Supported by manager?
    On the whole, yes. Obviously some managers are better than others but I think if you can develop a good relationship with managers then it makes the whole job easier. I get regular supervision, my managers are all very fair and understanding – they are social workers at the end of the day so they know what I have to deal with. I’ve never felt that my managers dump on me and if I find things are getting too much at any point then I feel like I am able to go and tell them and they will do their best to help me with whatever they can.

    Stressful job?
    I’m not going to lie to you, there have been days when I have to go and hide away in the toilet because things are getting on top of me and I’m struggling. Other days I go home with a smile on my face because I’m so pleased that I’ve done a good job. It really depends on how things are on any given day. There are ups and downs to every job and a lot of it is down to individual’s perspective. I love my work and the stress is part of it, yes, but I think if you didn’t stress out a little bit then you probably don’t care, and that means you’re in the wrong job. I find that the things I love about my job far outweigh the stressors.

    Difficult to find a job?
    Not at all. I applied for a social work job before I even completed my course, they took me on straight away and let me work as an unqualified worker (Care Management Officer) until I got my qualification and then renewed my contract so I was a Social Worker after that. It was only a temp contract but it meant that as soon as the permanent job came up I had been doing it for a while and so was the best candidate. I have moved into different teams in the same local authority as well after making a bit of a reputation for myself. Once you get your feet under the table and show them what you are capable of you are onto a winner. Even if you can’t find a newly qualified post, there are always agency jobs going which is great experience if you can’t decide what area you want to be in and you can move around as much as you like. You can get paid up to £30 an hour as an experienced agency worker, even £20-£25/hour as a newly qualified.

    Balance work and family life?
    Yes, I have a lovely husband and we are looking to have children in the next few years. I am very disciplined in myself in that I don’t stay at work after 5 unless there is an emergency. A lot of social workers don’t do this though but in reality, the more hours you do and the more work you get done, the more they will give you. I think you make the most of your time if you just put in the hours that you’re paid for and you’re less likely to burn out. It’s all about finding your groove and what works for you.

    Do you have to work in children’s first, then adults?
    No. Usually in your final year at uni you are able to make a decision to specialise in adults or childrens, but your qualification will still be generic so you can work in either area. All of my experience is in adults and I worked in adults from day 1, because I prefer this area of work, but lots of people I know do move between the two and do both. You can chose your own speciality, there are no rules about this.

    Career progression to move away from front line social work?
    In terms of career progression, usually within a local authority they will have different grades of social workers, as a newly qualified you will need to complete another year of study (Assessed and Supported Year in Employment, or ASYE) and you will be considered level 1. Then after that you can move up to level 2 or 3 (which is when you’d get safeguardings and more complex case work). After this you can study further to become an AMHP (to section people under the mental health act) or be a BIA (Best Interests Assessor). Other people become team leaders, there are lots of levels of management. Other people go into academia or teaching. You can do theoretical social work, rather than practical if you don’t want to do front line work. You can also do a course in practice education so you can teach and supervise a social work student. I haven’t even talked about opportunities in charity and voluntary sector. There are lots of options.

    Hope that helps! Feel free to ask more questions. They are relevant and show insight into social work. If your heart is taking you that way then go with it
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    (Original post by SocialWorker)
    Feel free to ask more questions. They are relevant and show insight into social work. If your heart is taking you that way then go with it
    Hello! Thank you for doing this, it's really helpful to hear from a qualified Social Worker, I'm thinking about applying for a SW degree starting 2017, as I'm going to college for Social Services first to see how I get on (I studied French at uni for a couple years but hated it). I just wondered when and how you realised you wanted to go for SW? Also did you have much work/voluntary experience before going to university? Thanks!!
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    Whats ur opinion in working in adult services vs children services, do u think its slightly easier?


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    (Original post by hattiemcbinky)
    Hello! Thank you for doing this, it's really helpful to hear from a qualified Social Worker, I'm thinking about applying for a SW degree starting 2017, as I'm going to college for Social Services first to see how I get on (I studied French at uni for a couple years but hated it). I just wondered when and how you realised you wanted to go for SW? Also did you have much work/voluntary experience before going to university? Thanks!!
    I worked in a care home for elderly and people with dementia. Then I had some experience working with adults with learning disabilities. It was then I realised that I didn't want to be doing hands on caring but making a difference in other ways. I moved to doing admin work in a social services team and worked my way up doing unqualified work and realised that the logical next step was into social work. I loved the work and wanted to make a difference in people's lives. It sounds like such a cliche but I feel like I make a difference every day and I love it x

    Ps. I know a lot of people that managed to get onto a course having only done a short stint in care work, obviously experience is important but also try to keep informed of social work issues etc and keep yourself in the loop, that'll help with interviews etc.
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    (Original post by Zainab96)
    Whats ur opinion in working in adult services vs children services, do u think its slightly easier?


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    To be honest as all of my SW experience is in adults it's difficult for me to compare but I can answer based on what I know having worked in admin in children's and as a social worker in adults. Both are chaotic and stressful in their own ways. Both are rewarding and fulfilling too. I think children's gets a lot more scrutiny just because of the nature of the client group. Depending on the area you go into you will have different types of work to deal with, for example, child protection work could see you going to court to remove children whereas adults you could be doing a safeguarding investigation to put someone in an emergency placement. In children's services you have a protected case load of 20 (I think) and in adults there's no limit. The turnover of staff in children's is much higher and I think the type of cases you deal with tend to be more emotionally challenging - but that also depends on what type of person you are. I couldn't manage it, personally, because I love kids too much, it would hurt too much to deal with child abuse cases on a day to day basis. I also prefer the variety of client groups in adults eg. Mental health, learning disability, physical disability etc. They are all so different and need totally different things.

    I'm not sure if I've answered your question but it'll give you something to think about
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    What is statutory placement and why is it so important? Im so scared that i wont be able to get a job as a qualified social worker after finishing my degree. What other jobs can i do (relating to social work) after finishing my degree if i have no jobs offer in social work.
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    Hi!

    I'm a final year SW student (2.2 pending due to the gradual hate for the degree) but had to intermittent last year (also my final year) due to many reasons. One was due to being placed on a child protection team, with no support or guidance and then suddenly it all went wrong. Since then I have despised the thought of being a social worker and want nothing to do with it. Looking back I basically just chose the degree as I had no idea what to do and I just fell upon it..

    Not sure what I'm asking but I just wanted to post my experience I guess?! 😂😢

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    (Original post by Zainab96)
    What is statutory placement and why is it so important? Im so scared that i wont be able to get a job as a qualified social worker after finishing my degree. What other jobs can i do (relating to social work) after finishing my degree if i have no jobs offer in social work.
    A statutory placement is a placement within a local authority where you are fulfilling the legal duties of the local authority. So, for example, if you are carry out community care assessments using the Care Act, that is a statutory placement. Whereas if you are working for a charity and doing therapeutic social work then that is not a legal requirement of the local authority and not a statutory placement. I'm not sure if it is still a requirement, but when I did my MA the university arranged at least one of our placements in a statutory team and that was a requirement. It is important to get the experience in this team because you will be using the legislation in your working practice and you will have legal duties and responsibilities. I know that sounds scary but it also means that you will be seeing the people who are the most vulnerable and most in need of help.

    Within most social work teams there are qualified social workers and unqualified workers, obviously the expectations of the unqualified workers are a little different and they tend to take the less complicated cases and the ones where there aren't any safeguarding concerns. Usually they are called care managers or care management officers, so that's an option if you can't find a qualified post.

    To be honest, I believe that there is a national shortage of social workers and there are so many local authorities that struggle with staff retention and turnover and so they are always advertising. I don't think you will struggle to find work. I got my first post as a social worker even before I had finished my degree and got my qualification, they took me on as an unqualified worker and then changed my contract when I got my registration. I'm not saying that will happen to everyone but the nature of the work is that there are always posts there and not enough people to fill them.
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    (Original post by kwalsfaa)
    Hi!

    I'm a final year SW student (2.2 pending due to the gradual hate for the degree) but had to intermittent last year (also my final year) due to many reasons. One was due to being placed on a child protection team, with no support or guidance and then suddenly it all went wrong. Since then I have despised the thought of being a social worker and want nothing to do with it. Looking back I basically just chose the degree as I had no idea what to do and I just fell upon it..

    Not sure what I'm asking but I just wanted to post my experience I guess?! 😂😢

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    Wow, I'm so sorry you have had such a terrible experience in social work. Have you finished the placement now? Did you try to bring up issues and confront your supervisor or practice educator or university tutors about the difficulties on your placement?

    It's such a shame that your bad experience on placement has caused you to want nothing to do with the profession over all but if your heart isn't in it then you won't be doing the best job you could and that wouldn't be fair to you or service users. I hope you have better luck in whatever you decide to go onto next.
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    Hi
    Yes spoken with my tutor and all my university lecturers involved and they state that the placement didn't deal with me as a student right, I wasn't supervised at all and I was just left, they did make me feel a bit better about my time there. I got diagnosed with depression and my placement couldn't hack it!

    I finished my placement from this year but I was placed within a charity again, so I have, in theory, had two non statutory placements which would put me to a disadvantage with jobs either way!

    Thank you for your reply!
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    (Original post by SocialWorker)
    I'm a qualified Social Worker currently working in a generic adults team in the Midlands. I completed my MA Social Work in 2014 and have worked in a number of statutory teams with my local authority since then. I have also completed the ASYE (Assessed and Supported Year in Employment) and am now a Level 2, working towards Level 3.

    Any questions you want to ask? I'll see what I can do to help
    I have an interview with Cafcass as a newly qualified social work role Has anyone had an interview with them? If so , What questions were asked. I would appreciate the feedback. My interview is soon.
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    (Original post by Chizor88)
    I have an interview with Cafcass as a newly qualified social work role Has anyone had an interview with them? If so , What questions were asked. I would appreciate the feedback. My interview is soon.
    Hi, hope you don't mind me replying. What is the job title you have applied for?? Was it advertised as a Social Worker role or a family court advisor?
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    (Original post by tbm)
    Hi, hope you don't mind me replying. What is the job title you have applied for?? Was it advertised as a Social Worker role or a family court advisor?
    It was for the newly qualified social worker role.
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    I would ensure that you looked up the relevant sections of the Children's Act and and had knowledge about the public law outline process, including the role of CAFCASS within this. Also private law proceedings, section 7 and 37 reports - they won't expect you to know everything, but to have an awareness of how the family court system works will definitely go in your favour. They may also ask you about report writing and analysis skills, what experience you've had of assessments, how you've worked with other agencies etc.
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    Hi, I completed my MA in Psychology in 2006 in Poland and have been working ever since in the UK as a carer. I want to be a social worker, what's the best way to become one? Hopefully I'm posting in the right place.
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    (Original post by cheshire_dog)
    Hi, I completed my MA in Psychology in 2006 in Poland and have been working ever since in the UK as a carer. I want to be a social worker, what's the best way to become one? Hopefully I'm posting in the right place.
    You can either do an undergraduate degree e.g. BA or MA which is the Postgraduate course, which is what I did. The BA takes 3 years where MA takes 2 and can only applied for if you have an existing undergraduate degree. You would need to make sure the course was a 'qualifying' course on the list of approved courses which enables you to register with HCPC.

    I'm not sure about funding as when I did mine (6 years ago) I was sponsored by my workplace to train but a lot of the other people on my course got a bursary which did not need to be paid back.
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    Thank you for taking your free time to answer peoples varying questions. I have a place for september. I am looking forward to it but like so many others i'm keen to know how to prepare for my first year and what to expect (if you can remember)? As an access student i've worked intensively for a year to get to this point but im slighly worried of burning out to be honest so any advice greatly appreciated. Thankyou, matt
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    Thank you for taking your free time to answer peoples varying questions. I have a place for september. I am looking forward to it but like so many others i'm keen to know how to prepare for my first year and what to expect (if you can remember)? As an access student i've worked intensively for a year to get to this point but im slighly worried of burning out to be honest so any advice greatly appreciated. Thankyou, matt
 
 
 
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