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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)

£18,200 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 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.

Entry requirements

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

More Information


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

Apprenticeships relevant to this role include:

  • level 2 adult care worker a
  • level 3 peer support
  • level 3 youth support worker
  • level 4 children, young people and families practitioner
  • level 4 early intervention practitioner

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

In this role 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 any 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.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Family Worker

  • Wage: £20,812.00 Annually
  • Location: Longbeck Way, Thornaby, Stockton-on-Tees

Apprentice Adult Care Worker

  • Wage: £8,236.80 to £16,255.20 Annually
  • Location: Stockton-On-Tees

Courses In England

Health and Social Care

  • Provider: HULL COLLEGE
  • Start date: 06 September 2023
  • Location: Hull

Health and Social Care

  • Start date: 06 September 2023
  • Location: Liverpool

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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