Community support worker, home care officer, social services assistant
Social work assistants give advice, guidance and support to help people with their physical, emotional and social needs.
Salary range: £12,500 to £25,000
How to become a social work assistant
You can get into this job through:
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- applying directly
You can do a Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care, which may help when you look for work.
You’ll usually need:
- 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
You could do an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship for the children and young people’s workforce, or in youth work or care work.
You’ll usually need:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
- some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
Volunteering and experience
You could get experience by volunteering, which will give you an advantage with course and job applications.
You could apply directly after getting experience in a care role, like a care worker or a healthcare assistant in a:
- care home
- children’s home
You’ll usually need a GCSE in English for this route.
Experience of caring within your own family or community can help you get into this job.
You can find out more about careers in adult social care from Think Care Careers.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
- sensitivity and understanding
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- to be flexible and open to change
- the ability to work well with others
- knowledge of psychology
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- active listening skills
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day tasks may include:
- contacting clients and following up enquiries
- advising clients and their families about help that’s available
- visiting people at home to check how they are
- following a social worker’s care plan, and sometimes creating your own
- keeping records and writing reports
- keeping up to date with the law
- going to meetings with your department and other agencies
- liaising with other health and care professionals
You could work in the community, at a children’s care home, at a client’s home, in an office, in an NHS or private hospital or at an adult care home.
Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.
Career path and progression
With experience you could work towards qualifying as a social worker. You could do this yourself, or with support and funding from your employer.
You could also move into related careers like family support work or counselling.