social work, locum social work

How to develop a career in social work

By Luke Aldred

​Regardless of whether you work in adult or children’s services, you can continue to learn new skills and develop your social work career. And as new patterns of working emerge, there’s ample opportunity to diversify into new ways of supporting vulnerable people and communities.

What is ASYE?

Some newly qualified social workers (NQSWs) choose to complete an Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE) to develop on-the-job skills; this can be used towards continued professional development (CPD). Although ASYE is not essential, some employers may make it compulsory for NQSWs wishing wish to work with them.

At the end of the programme, you will be awarded a fitness to practice certificate, allowing you to progress into a more senior permanent social work role.

Register with Sanctuary and browse our NQSW jobs.

What is the typical social work career path?

We have previously outlined a typical social work career path, however this does not mean that you must follow this. Social work is diverse and we regularly work with professionals who have used their experience in different ways to enjoy an extremely satisfying career.

If you are looking for advice or are keen to develop your career in a certain area, get in touch with your Sanctuary consultant.

Why is social work training important?

In the UK, there are four separate regulatory bodies for social work; Social Work England (SWE), Social Care Wales (SCW), Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) and Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC). Each clearly outlines their requirements for social workers to maintain continual learning and professional development.

If you know the area(s) you are keen to progress in or the service you want to move into, you can focus your learning. There is a number of courses available which focus on specific social work themes, such as domestic abuse or mental health, or you could choose to update your general skills in areas such as food hygiene, fire safety or sign language. Training is also a good way of ensuring that your knowledge of social work legislation is up-to-date.

Of course, training is not just about workshops and courses; anything which enhances your knowledge of social work is worthwhile and can be included in your CPD activity log. We recommend reading sector-relevant articles and magazines, such as Social Work News.

Your Sanctuary consultant will be able to advise you on what training opportunities could help you to move into your preferred social work job.

What are the benefits of becoming a locum social worker?

Agency social work jobs give more flexibility; through a strategic choice of short-term roles, you can quickly gain experience in a variety of different social care settings.

Browse our locum social work jobs.