A social worker is someone who works with people who have been socially excluded, or who are experiencing crisis. As a social worker, you could be working with any number of different groups of people, including young offenders, people with mental health conditions, drug and alcohol abusers and the elderly. You will support people in a variety of settings, such as schools, hospitals and voluntary organisations and maintain professional relationships with service users. If you're looking to make a positive difference to many people's lives, a career as a social worker is a great idea.
Around half of all social workers work with children, and you will usually be required to specialise either with families or with adult service users. In either case, you will take on a number of different jobs, building relationships, assessing needs and giving practical and emotional support.
Being a social worker is a very varied job, and your time will often be split between office work and visiting clients in their homes. Responsibilities include assessing and reviewing a service user's situation, organising and managing support practices and responding to requests for assistance from individuals and families. You may also be required to give evidence at court hearings, and work closely with other health and social care professionals.
Being a 'people person' is essential for this role, and you'll need to be someone who gets a buzz from helping others. There are many additional facets to a role as a social worker, and you may also find that your expertise is needed by the media, including film and TV executives, who need a consultant. You'll also need to be calm, organised and empathic, as many of the people you'll work with will have complex needs.