With experience you could look after clients in their homes. You could work in a care home or a day centre.

If you have a Level 3 qualification, you could be a supervisor or team leader in a nursery or care home. You may decide to work with a particular client group such as young or adult offenders, young people, disabled people or people with substance misuse problems.

Example jobs

Home care worker
Providing care services to residents in their homes, including bathing, feeding and dressing.

Social work assistant
Supporting teenagers and foster families, working with qualified social workers.

Approved premises support officer
Working with offenders, keeping good order in the hostel, monitoring curfews.

Substance misuse worker
Supporting substance misusers, running programmes to change behaviour.

Supported housing worker
Supporting young people in temporary accommodation, helping them to progress to work, college, etc.

Case study

I get real satisfaction from knowing that I have helped the young person and their family get the support they need...

Adam Slavin, social worker

Things you need to know

Typical working conditions

  • You will work mainly indoors, perhaps in a prison, hostel, etc. Or your job may involve travelling to clients’ homes.
  • Your job role may include night working.
  • Clients may have very challenging behaviour.

Qualifications needed

You will need some previous experience in care work. This could be voluntary work. For some jobs, you will need qualifications such as Level 3 in childcare (or be willing to study towards them). You need to be resilient enough to work with people in difficulty without judging them.

Career path

You could become a specialist in your area of social care and train other workers. You could become a manager in a housing project, a care home or a drug and alcohol service. To become a manager or specialist in your field, you may need to do further training (at Level 4) or you could study in your own time, for example with the Open University. Alternatively, you could apply to train as a social worker or probation officer.

Useful links

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Care Quality Commission

Public Health England