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 


Qualifications in health and social care may help you to find a job. Level 2 or 3 courses in health and social care will include work experience placements, which will help when you apply for jobs afterwards.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course

More information


You may be able to get into this job through an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship for the children and young people's workforce, youth work or care work.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), usually including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More information

Volunteering and experience

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
  • Being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

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.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Domiciliary Care Assistant

  • Wage : £248.70 Weekly
  • Location: Banham NR16 2HE

Apprentice Nursery Assistant

  • Wage : £148.00 Weekly
  • Location: Gosport PO13 8AA

Courses In England

Health and Social Care Diploma

  • Provider: Chenderit School
  • Start date: 01 September 2019
  • Location: BANBURY

Health and Social Care Diploma

  • Provider: North Oxfordshire Academy
  • Start date: 02 September 2019
  • Location: Banbury

Get help using this service

Call 08000 150 950

8am to 10pm, 7 days a week

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