Social work assistant

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

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

Average salary (a year)

£12,500 Starter


£25,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts

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 intermediate or advanced apprenticeship for the children and young people's workforce, or in youth work or care work.

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

More information

Volunteering and experience

You could get experience by volunteering, which will give you an advantage with course and job applications.

Direct application

You could apply directly after getting experience in a care role, like a care worker or a healthcare assistant 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 within your own family or community can help you get into this job.

Further information

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

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
  • active listening 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

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • contacting clients and following up enquiries
  • advising clients and their families about help that's available
  • visiting people at home to check how they are
  • following a social worker’s care plan, and sometimes creating your own
  • keeping records and writing reports
  • keeping up to date with the law
  • going to meetings with your department and other agencies
  • liaising with other health and care 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

With experience you could work towards qualifying as a social worker. You could do this yourself, or with support and funding from your employer.

You could also move into related careers like family support work or counselling.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Care Assistant Apprentice

  • Wage : £325.50 Weekly
  • Location: North Walsham NR28 9HD

Apprentice Care Support Worker (Domiciliary)

  • Wage : £258.00 - £348.80 Weekly
  • Location: Northampton NN1 5DQ

Courses In England

Diploma in H&SC and C&YP services Level 5

  • Start date: 01 December 2020

Health and Social Care

  • Start date: 01 September 2020
  • Location: Bury St Edmunds

JobsIn the United Kingdom

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