Routes into social services

Find out more about routes into the social services by using the links below.

You can browse the skills, interests and qualities you need to work in a range of related roles, including community development worker, learning mentor, social worker, nursery manager or youth and community worker.

For example, as a social worker you will need:

  • excellent communication and people skills
  • the ability to relate to people of all ages and backgrounds and gain their trust
  • a practical and flexible approach to work
  • tact, patience and empathy
  • an understanding of the needs of different client groups
  • a non-judgemental attitude
  • the ability to work in a team and also use your own initiative
  • the ability to assess situations and take appropriate action
  • resilience – for coping with difficult situations and challenging cases
  • good time management and organisational skills
  • computer literacy and administrative skills.

(Source: National Careers Service, 2012b)

Read a social worker’s job description [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

The careers website Prospects describes different kinds of jobs in social care and provides details of the qualifications you might need to become a social or youth worker. While this website is aimed at graduates, many of the jobs it describes do not need degree-level qualifications.

The National Careers Services job profiles website can tell you about jobs in the social services sector.

The Scottish careers website Planitplus provides information about the experience of being a social worker in Scotland:

Finding out about social work

Finding out about IT