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Social work assistant

Alternative titles for this job include Community support worker, home care officer, social services assistant

Social work assistants give advice and help people with their physical, emotional and social needs.

Average salary (a year)

£20,000 Starter


£28,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Social work assistant

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


You can do a college course in health and social care which may help when you look for work.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for these courses vary.

More Information


You could do an apprenticeship in care or youth work to get experience of working with vulnerable adults, children or young people, like:

  • Adult Care Worker Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship
  • Youth Support Worker Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship
  • Children, Young People and Families Practitioner Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship

You could then do a social worker degree apprenticeship once you have experience. 

Entry requirements

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
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

More Information


You could get experience by volunteering which might help when you apply for a course or job.

You can find volunteering opportunities listed on Do It.

Direct Application

You could apply directly if you have experience in a care role such as a care worker or healthcare assistant. It would help if you have experience working in a:

  • hospital
  • hospice
  • care home
  • children's home

You'll usually need a GCSE in English for this route.

More Information

Career tips

Experience of caring for someone in your own family or community can help you get into a social work assistant role.

Professional and industry bodies

You can find out more about a career in adult social care from Think Care Careers.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • 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
  • excellent verbal communication 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

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a social work assistant you could:

  • advise clients and families about what help is available
  • visit clients at home to check how they are
  • follow or create a social worker care plan
  • keep up to date with changes in the law, write reports and keep records
  • go to meetings with other healthcare professionals

Working environment

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

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience you could work towards qualifying as a social worker. You could do this yourself or you might be able to get support and funding from your employer.

You could also move into a related career such as a family support worker or counsellor.

Explore roles in child and family social work to find more information on management and specialist roles.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Care Worker

  • Wage: £12,480 a year Annually

Homecare Assistant Apprentice

  • Wage: £12,480 a year Annually
  • Location: Cambridge

Courses In England

Health and Social Care

  • Provider: HULL COLLEGE
  • Start date: 03 September 2024
  • Location: Hull

Health & Social Care

  • Start date: 01 September 2024
  • Location: Wakefield

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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