Trainee social worker
Job role: community, support and outreach work
Jobs include: Community development worker, Community outreach worker, Mental health outreach worker, Mental health support worker, Occupational therapy assistant, Social work assistant, Trainee social worker, Substance misuse worker, Support time recovery worker, Trainee social worker, Rehabilitation worker
The role of these workers is to help people overcome difficulties, cope with many aspects of everyday living (apart from education, employment and welfare rights), develop socially and personally and live as independently as possible.
Their work is predominantly support and enabling, rather than predominantly personal care, and involves providing advice and guidance as part of a range of support activities rather than a specialist service.
They work in teams with other professionals, including managers, social workers, other outreach and community support workers, drug action groups, youth offending services, and with the police, education authority and schools, health authorities, housing departments etc.
They provide support and guidance in various ways, including individual support and counselling via such activities as shopping with service users taking them to appointments, teaching Braille or how to use a long cane to get about, developing everyday skills such as how to make a cup of tea or prepare and cook a meal safely, or simply being with them in their home environment. Other ways of providing support and guidance include organising activities such as sports, drama and educational activities; group discussions; compiling and disseminating information.
These workers usually have a number of service users that they get to know very well. Some work in residential homes with long or short-term care residents, others provide support within the local community for service users who are in supported housing or living independently.
For some roles no formal entry level qualifications, but a GNVQ in Health and Social Care is an advantage and entrants need to be literate and numerate. Previous experience of working with people in a social care/support setting can be very useful.
For others it is necessary to have at least one year's experience of working/caring for people with problems, and be willing to undertake further training. A Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care (HSC) is desirable, or be working towards a qualification relevant to this area of work.
For other roles it is essential to have a particular qualification, such as level 3 Health and Social Care Diploma, or a relevant professional qualification. For example, for Rehabilitation Workers the entry-level qualification is the Diploma of Higher Education in Rehabilitation Studies.