Social Work Assistant

Job Description:

Social work assistants give advice and help people with their physical, emotional and social needs.

Job Category:
Health Care & Social Assistance

What you will do:

In this role you could:

  • advise clients and families about what help is available
  • visit clients at home to check how they are
  • follow or create a social worker care plan
  • keep up to date with any changes in the law, write reports and keep records
  • go to meetings with other healthcare professionals


You’ll need:

  • counselling skills including active listening and a
  • knowledge of psychology
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

As well as:

  • non-judgemental approach
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be flexible and open to change (adaptability skills)
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • excellent verbal communication skills
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Social Work Assistant, specific GCSE (or equivalent) subjects are not typically required. However, having a strong educational foundation in certain subjects can be beneficial for developing the skills and knowledge necessary for this career. Social Work Assistants provide support to licensed social workers and help individuals and families access social services. While specific subjects are not mandatory, here are some subjects and skills that can be helpful:

  1. English Language: Effective communication skills, including written and verbal communication, are essential for documenting client interactions and communicating with colleagues and clients.
  2. Mathematics: Basic mathematical skills are important for tasks such as managing budgets and assisting clients with financial matters.
  3. Psychology (optional): Understanding psychological principles can be relevant when addressing the emotional and behavioral needs of clients.
  4. Sociology (optional): Courses in sociology can provide insights into social issues, community dynamics, and the factors affecting individuals and families.
  5. Health and Social Care (optional): Studying health and social care subjects can provide a foundational understanding of the healthcare system, social services, and the needs of vulnerable populations.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly

You can do a level 2 or 3 diploma in health and social care which may help when you look for work.

You could do an apprenticeship in care or youth work to get experience of working with vulnerable adults, children or young people.

Apprenticeships relevant to this role include:

  • level 2 adult care worker a
  • level 3 peer support
  • level 3 youth support worker
  • level 4 children, young people and families practitioner
  • level 4 early intervention practitioner

You could then do a social worker degree apprenticeship once you have experience.

You could get experience by volunteering which might help when you apply for a course or job.

Direct Application
You could apply directly if you have experience in a care role such as a care worker or healthcare assistant. It would help if you have experience working in a:

  • hospital
  • hospice
  • care home
  • children’s home

Career tips
Experience of caring for someone in your own family or community can help you get into a social work assistant role.

Working Hours and Environment:

Typically you could work 37 to 40 hours a week, occasionally including evenings, weekends, or holidays.

You could work in the community, at a children’s care home, at a client’s home, in an office, in a public or private hospital or at an adult care home.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience you could work towards qualifying as a social worker. You could do this yourself or you might be able to get support and funding from your employer.

You could also move into a related career such as a family support worker or counsellor.