Different Ways to Get into Social Care

Different Ways to Get into Social Care

If you’re ever looking at social care as a possible career path, it might be hard to know how to get into it, whether you’re a newly qualified social worker or if you’re already established in another career. There is always hope, no matter how far you have committed yourself to another route. Just this week, Bradley Wiggins said he wanted  to become a social worker now that he’s retired from cycling, so if he can take that sort of career change, I’m sure you can too. There are  lots of different routes that can get you practicing in social care. In this article, we’ll look at a few of these routes, showing the more conventional path, and those other routes to get you to social care.

Most conventionally, the approach you would take is to study for an undergraduate degree in social care/work. Without this you cannot practice as a social worker in the UK. This would normally be a three year full-time course, which is offered at many higher education institutions across the UK. If you are at this stage of your academic career and considering social care, it might be worth looking at the government’s bursaries for degrees in this area.

However, a lot of people don’t have a specific career in mind when they go to university. Or, it could be the case that the career you did have in mind didn’t turn out the way you intended. If this is the case, finding an alternative route into social care might be more appealing.

Firstly, there’s the option to go back to university for a masters. If you’ve got the time/savings, a full-time route might be the best way forward, and will only take a year. However, this isn’t always a practical option, instead you may wish to spread the teaching over two years so you can also work part time. If you choose this option, then you may look for a part time job as a social care practitioner. This is someone who supports social workers and the social work team, but is not qualified to carry out the same functionality as a social worker.

When it comes to working and studying side by side, a great route to take is apprenticeships. Over the last few years, these diplomas have been alternatives not just to A levels but also undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. This means you can work four days a week in your job role related to social work, and spend a day studying. This often has a similar time frame to part-time masters, but often without the same sort of tuition fees.