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Is anyone a Social Worker?

(8 Posts)
chancer2014 Thu 11-Dec-14 16:41:35

Please come and tell me what it's like.
Would you do the same career if you had your time over again?
What's the starting salary like for a NQSW with a MA in SW?
Is it easy or difficult to get a job (will be in North of England)?
What are the best and worst things about being a Social Worker?
Is it compatible with having children? (young teenager and a 10 year old)?

Inthedarkaboutfashion Thu 11-Dec-14 16:48:06

I am qualified but not currently practising.
Whether the job is compatible with having children depends on your area of work. Older people's team and children with disabilities teams are not too bad but child safeguarding can be very un family friendly. It's not uncommon to get held up for several hours trying to find an emergency placement or dealing with a crisis.
I don't know what job vacancies are like in the NE but job vacancies for social workers generally have had a bit of a lull but seem to be increasing in recent months.
Getting good placements can be key to getting a job offer as a NQSW.
Starting salary is the same whether you have a BA or MA in social work as the qualification is the same level regardless of what route you take (just one year less study for the MA option). Exocet around £28k depending on your chosen area of practice.
Would I choose it again? No and neither would a good chunk of the people who I studied with.

3BloodyKids Thu 11-Dec-14 17:13:06

I qualified in 2011 (adults/learning disabilities/mental health) and quit after one year. Horrible job.

The role seems to have changed over the past few years from helping people to effect positive change, to gatekeeping LA finances. 'No you can't have any social care and what is more, we'll take care away from you.'

I was earning £13.33 per hour as a NQSW doing casual work. Permanent roles pay between £21K and £27 per annum (North West).

I was looking for adult roles and it felt like there were a lot more children's roles advertised. In my area, teams were letting SWs go more than taking on. Lots of restructuring to save money.

Best thing - the time spent with people, making a real connection, helping them see a way forward, building relationships with families.

Worst thing - that there is so little client contact. In my roles, one hour contact with a client generated approx 4 hours paper work and often more. Dreary.

Yes it's compatible with having children, but you are usually required to have some flexibility (eg, if someone has a crisis and you need to sort stuff out for them after 5pm). I only had to do this a couple of times, but it will vary by role/team.

The training I had on the MA was absolutely second to none - really excellent, and I'm so glad I've learnt everything that I have, but no, I wouldn't choose it again.

I have nothing but admiration and respect for those practicing SWs doing a complex, important job under increasing pressure to reduce spending.

chancer2014 Thu 11-Dec-14 21:49:36

So if you're not now doing SW, what are you working as and did the training help you secure your current job?

Inthedarkaboutfashion Thu 11-Dec-14 22:03:52

I'm not currently working. I am a carer and only get carers allowance so nothing to do with my social work qualification.

Stars66 Thu 11-Dec-14 23:02:05

I am in a LAC team in London and wage is £30k. My daughter is 2, so it's a struggle as I have to see children after school time. I can collect DD up to 6pm so can usually get there, our situation is oK asPH gets her but I find mornings a struggle.
It's rewarding helping children and knowing that you are trying to make changes for the better, BUT. There is little money, there is no support workers, no foster placements...
Would I do it again, no. Probably midwifery or something creative!!
Good luck with whatever you choose!

3BloodyKids Fri 12-Dec-14 10:18:50

I'm doing further training to be a therapist - kind of like the best bit about social work for me. I loved that I could apply psychological theory in SW and realised that psychology (therapy) is where I need to be.

There are some therapy jobs that require a SW (or nursing/OT) qual, so it could help in that way.

LikeSilver Fri 12-Dec-14 10:26:24

Just want to pick up on an earlier point that Children with Disabilities teams may be more family-friendly due to not involving child protection procedures - this varies from area to area. In my CwD team we cover everything from Children in Need cases up to court work so are quite often out after hours searching for placements etc. However in the nearest city the CwD team do no child protection work passing it over to their safeguarding teams. It's a bit of a lottery!

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