Home In focus Do you have what it takes to ‘Step Up’ to social work?
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Do you have what it takes to ‘Step Up’ to social work?

by Laura Johnston

Social work is both a challenging and rewarding career through which you can make a real difference to the lives of vulnerable children and families.

You will need to build relationships with families facing difficult times, show a lot of patience and be a good listener. You will also need good observational skills, analytical thinking and sound judgement to make the right decisions and protect children.

Social work regularly tests resilience, stamina, and resolve – all of which you will need to succeed. Social work can be life changing for those you support.

The Step Up to Social Work programme is a unique opportunity to receive support while you are training to start a new career in social work.

On the 14-month training programme, you will receive hands-on experience of working in a real-life social work role through placements in a local authority whilst undertaking your qualification. Once you’ve successfully completed the course, you’ll be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work enabling you to apply to register and practice as a social worker.

The Department for Education covers the cost of your university tuition on the programme and provides a tax-free bursary of £19,833 paid over the duration of the programme to support you during your training.

Recruitment for the January 2024 programme is now open with assessment centres scheduled for June / July 2023.

The programme runs once every two years, dependent on government funding, so if you are interested, make sure you don’t miss out on your chance to apply.

Further information, including how to apply, can be found here.

The closing date for applications is 12 noon on Monday 3 April 2023.

Step Up to Social Work entry criteria

We are looking for dedicated individuals who have experience of working with vulnerable children, young people, families or vulnerable adults and who can demonstrate their maturity and emotional resilience. We encourage applications from a diverse range of candidates and aim to have a workforce that represents the society that we serve.

You will need to have a minimum 2:2 level 6 degree qualification, for example an Honours Degree or a Graduate Certificate (this can be in any subject) to apply to the programme.

You should also have GCSEs in English or English Language and Mathematics at grade C / 4 or above (or an approved equivalent). You will need to show all of your original certificates to us as part of the application and assessment process. If you cannot find these, you can order replacements online.