Social Workers have responsibility for the welfare and protection of vulnerable groups such as, people with disabilities, elderly people and people who are mentally or physically ill. They also support children and families. They need to work closely with organisations such as the police, health services, schools, probation services and the voluntary sector.
A Social Worker works out what type of care and support is needed and visits people to assess their needs over a period of time. They may have to support individuals with counselling and advocacy services for individuals and families, and intervene when vulnerable people need safeguarding.
They provide information, advice and emotional support to those who are socially excluded or are experiencing crisis or changes in their lives. This may have been caused by illness, age related problems, disability, bereavement; or mental health illnesses such as anxiety, depression, personality disorders and schizophrenia.
Social Workers usually work as part of a team but will have responsibility for their own caseload, and need to adapt their approach depending on the needs of the person they are supporting. Within Leeds we operate under a strengths-based and person-centred model (Adults) and in relation to Children & Families, Leeds is a Child Friendly City.
To become a Social Worker you need a degree or Masters qualification in Social Work. If you join Adult Social Care Providers of Leeds City Council as a newly qualified social worker (NQSW), you will be required to complete the 12 months ASYE (Assessed and Supported year of employment programme) as recommended and sponsored by Skills for Care (SfC). Some Social Workers might choose to specialise in specific areas of work such as Mental Health, Forensics or Learning Disability Services, Hospital Teams and Community Teams.
Key aspects of the role include:
- Working with individuals to identify their care and support needs
- Having a good working knowledge and understanding of relevant case law such as the Care Act, Mental Capacity Act and Human Rights Act
- Carrying out assessments to make sure people receive the right care and support
- Intervening when people need support or safeguarding
- Offering information and counselling as required, or signposting to other services
- Keeping up-to-date and accurate records, and writing reports
- Attending case conferences
- Maintaining social work registration
- Continuous professional development