Social workers understand the impact of social problems, and can help people take control of their lives and reach their potential. They hold many important duties, including safeguarding vulnerable people from harm.
They deal with many different issues arising, for example, from poverty and deprivation, or relationship problems in families, or drug use. They arrange care for vulnerable children and young people, adults with disabilities, work with health workers in hospitals and the community, and assist the Courts in dealing with people who commit offences.
Many social workers are based in offices and see service users in the office or visit them in their homes. Some work in day centres for children, older people or people with disabilities, while others work in children's homes, care homes for older people or special accommodation for people with mental health problems. Social workers are employed by local authorities or in a wide range of large and small voluntary organisations. Some social workers specialise in community work, social education or social reform rather than direct service to individuals.
For a quick guide to the sorts of work carried out by social workers, have a look at this social work careers publication from the Scottish Social Services Council.
Depending on the specialism they opt for, Social Workers can work as:
Jobs where a Social Work degree would be useful include: