The Student Room Group

5 careers for Social Work Graduates

A degree in social work can open up opportunities for you to change the lives of others. Here are some of the rewarding roles you could find yourself in.

People trained in social work support individuals and families as they face life's challenges. They can work across areas as varied as:
mental health services
probation services

You may need to study further to gain a qualification in some of the related professions.

Social Worker
Social workers work with schools, hospitals, the public sector, voluntary agencies and many other social care organisations.

They also work with colleagues in health and social care.

Responsibilities can include:
▪️ offering support to people where risk is a significant factor
▪️ enabling people to access advice, care and relevant support services
▪️ commissioning care and support packages for people that need them
▪️ attending team meetings
▪️ conducting interviews and assessments
▪️ giving evidence in court

To become a social worker, you need a degree in social work that's approved by Social Work England. You'll also need to register with Social Work England once you have qualified.

There are also degree apprenticeships in social work that give you work-based training alongside studying at a Higher Education Institute.

Homelessness Officer
A career working with the homeless offers a wide range of employment options and includes:

▪️ charity fundraising
▪️ housing and policy making
▪️ social research and advisory roles
▪️ employment advice
▪️ rehousing services
▪️ youth homelessness

You could work in homelessness research and analysis for government departments including:
▪️ The Department for Levelling Up
▪️ Housing and Communities

Local councils and housing associations also have administrative support as well as care and support roles. Volunteering can also provide the experience needed for paid work in this, and other, charity sectors.

Care Manager
Care managers are front-line leaders in residential care settings.

They manage staff and budgets to national care standards. Care managers can work in:

▪️ elderly care
▪️ supported housing with adults and children where risk is a significant factor
▪️ children's homes
▪️ hospice care

Their responsibilities include:

▪️ leadership
▪️ safeguarding adults and children
▪️ person-centred care
▪️ compliance with legislation

A social work degree and additional nursing and/or management qualifications may help you find a care manager role.

Occupational Therapist
Occupational Therapists provide support.

They help people to overcome barriers caused by illness, trauma, ageing and accident.

Assisting people where there are barriers that are either physical or due to a mental health diagnosis, to help both young and older people.

A degree in social work and some experience in occupational therapy can lead to an MSc in Occupational Therapy.

Occupational therapists work with doctors and equipment suppliers from:

▪️ hospitals
▪️ community facilities
▪️ schools
▪️ businesses
▪️ prisons
▪️ the person's own home

Besides providing practical support, the occupational therapist writes referrals and manages caseloads. They also offer teaching, mentoring and coaching support to colleagues.

Mental Health Nurse
The aim of the mental health nurse is to support recovery by encouraging and supporting people to feel valued and part of their wider community.

Giving advice on therapies, they can also administer medication and identify risks. They care for people with illnesses including:

▪️ eating and personality disorders
▪️ drug and alcohol dependence
▪️ depression
▪️ obsessive-compulsive disorder

The nursing and support role can be based in a residential unit, and they can also work in hospitals and in people's own homes.

Mental health nurses help the person manage their emotions in liaison with their relatives and carers. They also help to identify when there is risk of harm either to the person themselves or others.

A degree in Social Work, along with voluntary work experience, will be helpful in securing a role.

Are you interested in a career in Social Work? :smile:

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