Social workers support individuals, families and groups – such as children and young people, offenders or older people – and those facing particular challenges such as homelessness, physical and mental health conditions, school refusal, drug and alcohol abuse, or family breakdown. They work closely with other health and social care professionals in interdisciplinary teams, and may specialise in a particular area of practice such as child protection or adult mental health. Settings for social work include:
- the community
- service user's homes
- the premises of a local authority or voluntary organisation.
To practice as a social worker, you need a qualifying degree. A social work degree can be useful for many other professional areas including counselling and advice work, psychotherapy, youth work, community development and probation. For some roles in these areas you may need to undertake additional education and/or training.
To get detailed information about typical jobs within these areas – including day-to-day activities, the qualifications you need and what you might expect to earn – visit the Prospects careers website, GradIreland website, or Skills Development Scotland website.