Applying social work skills in practice
Applying social work skills in practice

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Applying social work skills in practice

2.2 Becoming a social worker

Many people enter social work because their own experiences motivate them to want to help and support others. It is useful to be aware of this and to be careful not to assume that others experiencing similar situations will react in the same way as you. Personal experience can be a useful foundation for developing empathy and sensitivity so long as it is not used to impose solutions on others.

It is very easy for social workers to bring stereotypes to practice using their own experiences and what they have always considered the right way to do things. Part of the task of training for a qualification is to examine your own assumptions and to make assessments based on the knowledge and understanding gained from your training.

When you looked back at your own experiences of growing up, did you note anything that might influence your choice of social work as a career? What influences your perceptions and expectations of the people you work with or are in contact with?


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has nearly 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus