A Case Worker is somebody who helps people deal with a range of issues, from substance abuse to disability.
Case work, or social work, is typically a graduate profession and your honours or postgraduate degree will need to be Health and Care Professionals Council approved. There is also a Diploma in Social Work, and the ‘Step up to Social Work’ course which combines study with practical experience. Details of this can be found on the website www.gov.uk under the Policies section.
You will need to have as much experience as possible in order to enter this profession; volunteering is a good way and it will need to be in a community care setting. Community or refuge centres in your area may have volunteering opportunities.
It’s a very transferable career because a Case Worker could be working for a government agency, a school or a social service agency. Child Case Workers could be working with families to advise them on the child’s well being, or they may help place foster children and work with people wanting to adopt a child. Family Case Workers may work with Senior Citizens looking after the well being of Senior Citizens, or a Case Worker may work on Employee Assistance Programmes helping people with problems at work.
Related: Case Worker Cover Letter
Case Workers typically work with clients in their offices or visiting clients in their own homes or at other meeting points. You may be asked if you have a driving license as you will be out and about a lot. Working hours will be anything from 35 hours per week upwards, and you may be expected to take on some weekend hours or some more unsociable hours depending on your clients.
Skills and Training Development
A Case Worker will typically be someone of a caring nature able to empathise with people of all ages and backgrounds. You will need to be someone who can handle difficult or sensitive conversations with confidence but also with a caring style. You will need to understand the importance of confidentiality as you may be working with the police, courts and schools as well as vulnerable people.
You will need to have a genuine desire to improve the lives of others, and the resilience to cope emotionally with difficult situations.
Related: Case Worker CV Example
A newly qualified Case Worker can expect to earn around £19,000 with salaries increasing to around £28,000 – £32,000 as more experience is gained. A Team Manager can expect to earn around £38,000 a year, rising to significantly more at Director Level.