Your social care career resource
Sanctuary Social Care is committed to celebrating the best in the profession, sharing good practice and promoting
excellence in social work. Our social work careers hub is a central resource for professionals at every stage of their career. We hope you find it useful!
Highly engaging, our social care blogs have been created with one aim in mind; to provide informative social work careers insights. So, whether you need some CV pointers, want to brush-up on your interview skills or would like to know what it is like to work in a different environment, our blog is a great resource.
Social work job interview guide
The countdown is on. 48 hours until your social work interview and a mixture of nerves and excitement are starting to set in. It’s easy to let some of the seemingly obvious preparations slip through the net so we’ve prepared this blog as a reminder of some of the key things not to forget!Plan your travelYour interview may be at a location you are familiar with, but if it’s not, you’ll want to know how long it’s going to take you to get there and the sooner you check, the better. Many of our clients have guest parking, but what if those spaces are full on the day; would you know where to park and have enough change to pay for your space?Travelling by carIf you work in frontline social work, you’ll no doubt already use navigation software, but the route planning function on Google Maps is good and might give you that extra info your Sat Nav can’t. To access this, follow these steps.Step 1: Google Maps.Go to Google Maps and click the blue arrow to the right of the search bar (when you hover over it, it will say Directions).Step 2: Finding your destination.Type in your address and your destination and then Google will come up with the address' it recognises in the white area below. Click on the correct one to activate it.Step 3: Choosing your route.Google will offer you some different routes to choose from. You will see the estimated journey time and the amount of miles between the start and end point. You may notice some coloured lines on your route, these represent the different traffic conditions; the red lines show bad traffic delays and the orange lines show medium traffic delays (usually slow moving).Travelling by trainFor those travelling by train, the National Rail app gives you live travel updates, so you can check if your train is delayed or cancelled before you leave the house.Travelling by tubeThe Tube Map Planner is great if you are planning a route on the London Underground. It will give you the fastest route and tell you where you need to change over.Choose your outfitSocial work is one of the few caring professions without a universal dress code which can leave you a little unsure what to wear. Our advice is to go smartly dressed. First impressions are everything.Last minute prepOur careers hub is brimming with useful resources. We recommend downloading the following to help you prepare:Children's Services:Interview guideInterview preparation sheetsAdult Services:Interview guideInterview preparation sheetsReviewing the typical social work interview questions you think you’re likely to be asked and starting to think about how to answer them reduces your chances of being caught out. With questions fresh in your mind, you could ask somebody else to run through a mock-interview with you. Have your ‘interviewer’ give you constructive feedback – not just on what you say but on your non-verbal communication as well. Refresh your memory on your professional history and think about how it relates to the job you are seeking, especially if you have experience within a specific area of work that sets you apart from other candidates.Be prepared for behavioural interview questions. Knowing how you performed in the past will give the employer a sense of how you might do in the future; you might be asked to recall a time when you worked under pressure, an occasion when you made a mistake, or how you handle conflict.Know your legislationWe cannot stress how important it is to review relevant legislation and policy ahead of the interview. An employer will want to know if you have a full understanding of your legal obligations as a social worker. For an adult social worker role, you’ll need to be able to comfortably talk about your obligations under the Care Act 2014. Likewise, children’s social workers will need to show they are up-to-date with the Children and Families Act 2014.What to take on the dayYour dedicated Sanctuary consultant will advise you on what you must take along with you for interview, but generally you should take:A copy of your DBS certificatePhoto ID (e.g. passport or driving licence)Details of the person that you must ask for upon arrivalThe job description and person specificationExam certificates, including any CPD accredited training certificatesPen and notepadEnjoy your interviewNow you can relax. All that’s left for you to do is to enjoy the interview. Remember, you’ve made the shortlist so you have already impressed on paper! Good luck!If you have any specific queries relating to your interview, please get in touch with your consultant.
Your social work career path
Social work is often described as a “passion” and a “calling”. Our community regularly talk to us about why they chose to join the profession; with many saying it’s because they had a desire to help those at their most vulnerable.As experienced recruiters, we know that you don’t just have a passion for your job, you’re ambitious to take steps along your career path to challenge yourself. We know that you’re keen to learn new skills because you know that it will help you to become better practitioners. And this is where we thrive; we do what we can to support our social workers at every stage of their career, from the moment they graduate through to the day that they decide to retire.With that in mind, we want to shine a light on how varied a career in social work can be. It excites us that there are so many opportunities to continually push yourself, and we’re proud to be by your side as you take that journey.Newly Qualified Social Workers (NQSW)For the first few years of your social work career, you will be officially classed as an NQSW. This means that you’ll be provided with additional training and development opportunities. Within your first twelve months, you’ll be expected to participate in the Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE) - which is a twelve-month programme of support and assessment coordinated by your employer.During the year, you’ll be continually assessed against the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF). Once you’ve passed the assessments, you’ll be provided with a Fitness to Practice certificate which will confirm that you meet a national set of standards.Social WorkersOnce you’ve completed your AYSE and you have gained a few years’ experience, you can start to see new opportunities opening. You may consider whether you want to move into a more specific role, and this is where you can begin directing your professional opportunities in different directions.For instance, you may find that there are specific teams that you want to work in – examples include Integrated Neighbourhood, Learning Disabilities, Looked-After Children or Referral and Assessment Teams. There is a wealth of different teams available and each one will require a different element of social care support. You will quickly develop a specialism which will keep you motivated and professionally challenged.Experienced Social WorkerAs you become more experienced, you can start to see new duties emerge and more opportunities to develop new skills. Experienced social workers can often work more autonomously, and you may be given more complex caseloads which will really push you.At this stage of your career, you may be leaning towards gaining managerial or leadership experience. You may be interested in pursuing opportunities to chair meetings or lead multi-agency working. You may even be starting to look at opportunities to lead by example and work as a team manager.At this level, you may notice that your duties start to take you away from frontline social work into management. If you’re looking to challenge yourself yet remain working closely with families, then you may benefit from looking at principal social worker roles, which bridge the gap between frontline practice and strategic management.Advanced PractitionerAdvanced practitioners are often expected to provide leadership and promote innovation amongst their teams. It’s an ideal career path for those who are keen to participate in processes and help to develop policies and strategies.Whilst many social work job roles at this level may focus upon managerial positions, you can expand your horizons with specialist opportunities such as practice educators, independent reviewing officers or senior AMHP roles.Senior ExecutivesFor those who are keen to work in a managerial capacity, there is plenty of opportunities to progress even further thanks to Service Manager roles, Head of Service, Strategy/Commissioning Managers or even Director/Assistant Director opportunities.These high-pressured roles are about leading by example. There is little frontline work involved as you will be expected to take responsibility for entire departments and ensure that all services are able to deliver statutory care.As you can see, there are a wealth of opportunities to enjoy a fulfilling social work career and we’re proud to be able to offer a greater number of job opportunities than ever before.If you’d like to find out how we can help you achieve your dream job, then please get in touch or check out our latest social work job vacancies.
Interested in a social work career?
Do you have a strong desire to help others, to support people at their most vulnerable in making important life decisions? If this is you, social work could be a rewarding career choice for you. It’s also one that offers lots of opportunities for gaining qualifications in specialist areas of support. If you want to become a social worker, you will need the relevant undergraduate or postgraduate social work degree. Why? Because the title of ‘social worker’ is carefully protected and it requires specific knowledge and experience. Gaining your social work degreeThankfully, there are many universities in the UK where you can study. You can search for social work courses on the Health and Care Professional Council website. Each curriculum gives students the theoretical and practical skills they need to work as professional social workers. Courses are delivered in partnership with local authorities to ensure that students undertake up to 200 days of practice learning the field. Safeguarding To safeguard you and the people you support, you will also need to pass background checks by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). The DBS makes criminal record and other checks to ensure unsuitable people are not allowed to work with vulnerable adults or children.Student social workers must also register with the correct regulator for the UK country they are studying in. These are: England – Health and Care Professions Council (soon to be Social Work England)Northern Ireland – Northern Ireland Social Service Council Scotland – Scottish Social Service Council Wales – Care Council of WalesThese are also the bodies that qualified social workers must register with in order to be able to practice. Newly qualifiedAs a Newly Qualified Social Worker you are likely to need further training and guidance during your first two years of work. During this time, you will have a limited workload and be given additional feedback and supervision. Jobs with a social work degreeHaving a social work degree allows you to take on a range of specialist roles in statutory, voluntary and independent social work settings. As you gain more social work experience you will be able to specialise in areas of support, and work in either permanent or locum roles. As a register social worker, you are likely to support one or more of the following groups of people: Older people Children or adults with disabilities Children, teenagers or adults with mental health problems Young offenders Adults with learning disabilities People with alcohol, drug or other substance misuse problems Refugees and asylum seekers People who are socially excluded Children who need to live apart from their families Foster carers and adopters People, including children who are at risk of abuse or neglect, or have been abused and neglected CarersAs your career develops you can take on more responsibility in:Management and leadership roles Becoming a practice supervisor or educator Specialist activities, for example child protection chair, senior AMHP, independent reviewing officerSanctuary Social Care works with clients throughout statutory, voluntary and independent settings. Typically, most social workers will be placed at local authorities, but there are other more unusual roles such as social work jobs with the national armed forces charity SSAFA.To find out more, download our Advice and Support document for NQSWs and Students.
Consider how much easier it would be if securing your next role was simply a couple of clicks away. That once registered, you only ever hear about jobs that tick every box. Where you can relax and even enjoy the process. At Sanctuary Social Care, we pair our candidates with roles we know are a direct match to their skills, knowledge, experience and future aspirations.
Created by our most senior social work resourcing experts, our advice articles will give you a lift ahead of your next role. If you put just a few of our top tips into practice, you’ll feel empowered in your career journey with us.
Social Care Interview Preparation Sheet - Children's Services
If you're a Sanctuary Social Care candidate working in children's services, you'll already be a good match on paper. All you need to do ahead of your interview is simply order your thoughts and prepare your answers to some of the more frequently asked questions. Let our prep sheet help you...Fill in the form below to begin the download:If you haven't already, check out our Interview Guide; this document explains what you should do prior to the interview and what sort of answers the panel will be looking for.If you have any questions when preparing for your interview, contact your Sanctuary consultant.
Social Care CV Writing Guide
If finding a new role appeals to you, this guide will help you to prepare that all-important CV. It’ll help you identify the skills and keywords to include and advise you on the best structure.As health and social care recruitment experts, we love nothing more than singing your praises to employers. But we realise it’s not something that comes naturally to everyone, especially when talking about yourself! So, where do you start?Fill in the form below to begin the download.If you require further help with structuring your CV, please give our specialist team a call.
Social Care CV Template
Your CV is the perfect opportunity to showcase your skills, experience, knowledge, and qualifications. You’ll want to stand-out from other candidates and hone-in on the attributes that make you the ideal person for the role. You’ll need to be clear and concise in what you write and know the order in which to present the information.Please fill in the form below to download your free CV template.For any further help in writing your CV, please contact your Sanctuary consultant today.
Social Care Interview Preparation Sheet - Adult Services
As a Sanctuary Social Care candidate working in adult social care, you'll already be a good fit for the role you've applied for. Now all that's left for you to do is prepare your answers to some of the most likely interview questions. Download our prep sheet and order your thoughts...Fill in the form below to begin the download:If you haven't already, check out our Interview Guide; this document explains what you should do prior to the interview and what sort of answers the panel will be looking for.If you have any questions when preparing for your interview, contact your Sanctuary consultant.
Social Care Interview Guide - Children's Services
So you've landed an interview for the perfect social work role. That's great news. It means, on paper, you're just the right match. Now it's time to impress at interview. But what do you need to do ahead of the big day? Our guide will tell you everything you need to know...Fill in the form below to begin the download:To practise answering interview questions which may come up in your interview, download our printable preparation sheets.If you need further help in preparing for your interview, contact your Sanctuary consultant today.
Social Care Interview Guide - Adult Services
You've been selected for interview for a social work role you're keen to secure. So, how do you make sure you impress the employer on the day? How do you keep your answers concise, what should you ask and what practical things do you need to consider? Download our guide for some key pointers... and good luck!Fill in the form below to begin the download:To practise answering interview questions which may come up in your interview, download our printable preparation sheets.If you need help in preparing for your interview, contact your Sanctuary consultant today.