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    (Original post by natjenko)
    hi are you a qualified social worker? I really want to study my degree in social work. when it comes to experience required to gain a place on the course will 4 years in early years be enough I am also a special education co-ordinator. I have worked with lots of multi agencies and have a NVQ level 3 in children and young peoples work force.
    Yes, you have bags of experience working with children, definitely more than enough if you want to go into social work. You need to show that you've considered what makes children vulnerable, how they are unique, what things social workers need to be aware of, i.e. Identifying signs of abuse or neglect, what a 'child in need' is compared to a child who needs protection. Sounds to me like you'd be an asset to the social work profession
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    (Original post by TitanicTeutonicPhil)
    How do you feel about the fact that you'll never make more than 50k a year in your life?
    That's not a fact. I love my job and I live within my means. I don't need or want more than £50k a year.
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    (Original post by Troytheboy)
    50k is an abudancy of money.
    Also your statement is false. Her Majesty's Inspectors can earn 64k plus benefits.

    Most importantly although its essential to be paid fairly for the labour an individual does. Social work isn't meant to be for the money, its helping others.

    My question is: which unis are the best for SW, Bath?
    Which uni is best?! Such a subjective question which I can't answer I'm afraid. Things you should look out for... statutory placements, links with local authorities, placements finishing on time, support from tutors, the academic world vs the working world - where do you want your focus to be?
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    (Original post by Troytheboy)
    Can you speak more about career progression to? Im interested in the theoretic aspect, i lobe academia. Also, can you explain the role of a chief aocial worker and how you earn it?

    Is there any career paths heavily based on social change ans/or law with social work?
    I'm afraid I'm quite limited in terms of my academic side in social work... when you do your course, have a think about practical experience and what you'd like to study within academia. It's difficult to find a speciality and a role within academic study without the hands on experience first.

    Chief social worker... is a political role in my opinion and is more about climbing a ladder to implement policy change and legislation rather than about doing the hands on work and contact with vulnerable people that drives social worker.

    It sounds to me like sociology is more your field than social work, to be completely honest.
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    (Original post by mollyx)
    Hi, I'm looking to start applying for a MA in social work in September / October time. I was just wondering can you be a social worker if you suffer from severe dizziness?
    Yes you can! You can do and be anything you want to! I know social workers who have bipolar disorder, those who are totally deaf and those who are totally blind. Dizziness won't stop you from doing your job and being amazing at it! Make sure you tell as many people as possible and ask for help, don't be shy about telling people if you can't do things but come up with some practical helpful suggestions of how you can be supported. Think about whether your dizziness is disabling to you and whether you consider it as a disability, you may even be protected with disability legislation. Own it! And talk about obstacles and difficulties you've had to overcome, how you've managed to do things despite your dizziness, use your stories to help you and inspire people. Good luck! X
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    (Original post by chantellem)
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    Hello, thank you for starting this thread! I am starting my degree next month. I'm super nervous and excited at the same time. The past nine months I've gained a diploma in social science and humanities and my level 2 English and maths. It's been intense but I've finally got there! I'm just curious what to expect in my first year. I am studying at Birmingham City university. I also have 3 children ages 3,4,9 and I'm going to miss them like crazy haha. I know it will be worth it. It's the not knowing what to expect that is particularly daunting x
    Sorry for the late response. I hope your degree is going well. How are you finding juggling the kids and the course?


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    (Original post by Chizor88)
    Hello,

    I am a recently graduated MA Social Worker and I recently got offered a 3 month temp job with the Early Help team. Although not a Social Worker role per se I work closely with children centres and social workers. Furthermore, I got an interview for a permanent role with the Local Authority for their paralegal role with. Children Services. But I am a bit confused as to what to do. Quite different roles. I have a Law Degree at undergraduate level. My ultimate goal is to be a Family Court Advisor OR a Social Worker within a Fostering Team. I am not sure which job to take if I am offered the paralegal role.

    Any thoughts?
    Hi Chizor, sorry for the very late response. Which role did you go for in the end? Any closer to your ultimate goals?


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    (Original post by Gem2015)
    Hi
    I am after some advice really...
    I am a mature student starting a social welfare degree in September this year but am hoping to do a postgraduate in Social Work afterwards..
    Can someone advise me the way forward???
    I've come across a company called Front Line who offer Social Work postgraduate programmes but is there any other way?
    I'm currently studying at Staffordshire University and dont want to travel too far.
    Hi Gem,
    Front Line social work is one option for you although I get the impression that the course is quite rushed in terms of teaching skills as well as knowledge in a short time.

    Personally, I completed a masters degree and felt that it was quite a lot to fit into two years. For example when you are on placement you will be working full time and then having to do essays and go to lectures on any days off you have in between.

    The rules are changing all the time though in terms of what qualification you need. 'Social worker' is a protected title which means that you need a specific qualification before you can call yourself that. If you have a look at the HCPC, health care professionals council, they are the regulators and you have to be on a public register in order to practice. They have more information about what the requirements are. The government has said that they plan to become regulators again so the way that they organise things over the next few years is likely to change again.

    Hope that helps 😊


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    (Original post by Hayleybobs)
    Hi All

    Firstly thank you for starting this thread. I am also after advice. I am 44 work full time as a Pupil Support Manager and have worked with children for fifteen years. My job involves very close working with childrens social care. I have recently completed a flexible degree that took four years but gave me a first in Teaching Learning and Mentoring. I would love to become a social worker but my only problem is at 44 time is ticking and I have a huge mortgage that I have to meet the payments (along with other debt). Does anybody know any way of continuing to work in whatever job where you can also study to become a social worker. I do not mind finding a job that will suit but I have been surfing the net for months and the only opportunity appears to be Step Up. Does anybody know of anything else. I know its a bit ask as everybody would want to be paid whilst also studying!!
    Hi Hayley
    Often local authorities will sponsor employees who want to go into social work and then ask that you stay with them for a number of years after qualifying. Social work is a protected title though so you have to have the appropriate qualifications before you can do the job. The struggle is often trying to do placements whilst working as well so if your employer could give you some leave or flexibility to work around lectures etc then you might be able to do both...
    Good luck!



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    Hi, any interview tips at all? I've got 4 interviews in the next 2 weeks at hull, York, Sheffield and Huddersfield so really wanting to do well Social work is all I want to do. I've been preparing, looking at the PCF, HCPC, ethics, empowerment and social justice as well as little bits like current issues and news articles and the book by Neil Thompson, all the interview questions as well etc. Just hope to get at least one offer back is there any tips you could give at all??? Thank you!! X


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    (Original post by SocialWorker)
    Hi Hayley
    Often local authorities will sponsor employees who want to go into social work and then ask that you stay with them for a number of years after qualifying. Social work is a protected title though so you have to have the appropriate qualifications before you can do the job. The struggle is often trying to do placements whilst working as well so if your employer could give you some leave or flexibility to work around lectures etc then you might be able to do both...
    Good luck!



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    Thanks for replying. Yesterday I got an email that Step up to Social Work is opening for applications in March 2017 ready to start January 2018. My dilemma now is do I want to do it?! Since my post to you I approached my headteacher and discussed what I wanted from my role within school. My role has since been adapted to take in the SENDCo role so I am loving the job. I have never not loved the job I have done from being a Teaching Assistant all the way to Pupil Support Manager and I am worried now that I will give something up that I love just for the 'status' of being a social worker. I work daily with social workers and find them off sick a lot and under a lot of stress. My own job is stressful with deadlines, meetings and writing reports but still manageable. Argghhhh what to do?!?
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    Hi there,

    I have gotten into 3 universities so far. How do I know which one to pick? I live in Colchester and applied to University of Essex because their main campus is in Colchester but the social work programme is in Southend which takes even longer to get to then Stratford where University of East London is. Also, got into Anglia Ruskin University as well which is in Chelmsford. I know I probably should pick the closest to me which at this point is Anglia Ruskin in Chelmsford but it's my least favourite. How do you choose? Do you go by what your heart is telling you or do you go more by logic which should be the closer to home options. Both Anglia Ruskin and Essex would probably give me placements in Colchester or at least in Chelmsford Essex...but then Stratford would be in London which I believe would be a more diverse population. This is harder than choosing my midwifery course I just left in November because it wasn't for me..only had 2 choices then. Help!!

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    Hi

    I am really after a bit of advice about Step up to Social Care. If (and its a big if!) I get accepted on the course and I complete the course successfully am I then allowed to apply for any social worker vacancy or do I have to work within young peoples sector first? I only ask as it is possible my own place of work (a secondary school) may allow me to take a secondment for the period of time I am training on the understanding I come back to school and work as a social worker.
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    I recently graduated from uni a few months ago with a masters in Social Work. Currently I am working in social services but not as a social worker though. Just waiting for the right job to come along. Anyway I decided to throw my CV out to Local Authorities/government agencies in Canada. I thought nothing would come out of it. Lo and behold I have been invited to a phone interview for a social services in a particular province in Canada. I can't believe it. I am now scared lol... But I've accepted the invite for the job interview. Any tips? Any interview tips? From both Qualified and non social workers please? I've had 2 interviews for social work here in the U.K. but no luck. I wouldn't know where to start with international interviews... HELP PLEASE
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    (Original post by kwalsfaa)
    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!
    I had no stat placement over the 3 years and still managed to secure a job in the local authority so try not to worry too much
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    Literally, what is life?
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    (Original post by SocialWorker)
    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

    This post was unbelievably helpful - thank you so much!
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    Hi,

    Could you elaborate on your experiences? I'm about to start a SW course in September and I have heard several shocking stories about the placements. What do you mean when you say "suddenly it all went wrong"?
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    Academically I’m a bit worried.* Leaving school with some Intermediates and a couple of low graded Highers, I went into an engineering apprenticeship which I achieved various certificates and a HND in Mechanical Engineering.* Anyway, grades aside, the following may be more of an issue for being accepted into university.

    With mild dyslexia writing skills are not my strong point, my spelling and grammar aren’t great.* I usually get by with the computers proof checking.* With very little need for any kind of report writing over the years, I’m out of touch to say the least.* Hopefully through practice this will improve.*

    How much of a barrier is this to ultimately working as a social worker?
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    Hi could I ask Do you know where I could get a copy of an example assessment thing that a social worker does when attending a case please with actions on? Just so I can see what one looks like. I have traveled the internet but can't find one.
 
 
 
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