My SEND Career: Social Worker


Social workers are an important part of the community, supporting some of the most vulnerable people and ultimately improving the outcomes in their lives. Social workers act as guides and advocates, using their professional judgement to make (sometimes difficult) decisions. Social workers will usually specialise in a particular group, including:

  • The elderly
  • People with learning and physical disabilities
  • Young offenders
  • People with mental health conditions
  • School non-attenders
  • Drug and alcohol abusers or addicts
  • The homeless

Social workers can work in homes, schools, hospitals, or the premises of other public sector and voluntary organisations, and perform many different tasks. Typically, social workers will conduct interviews with individuals and families to assess their situation, write up assessments, offer support and information, recommending or deciding on the best course of action for a particular person of family, and possibly giving evidence in court.

To be a successful social worker, you’ll need to be caring, patient, passionate about supporting individuals and families, and have excellent interpersonal skills.

What does a SEND social worker do?

As a social worker for children with special education needs and disabilities, your work will require you to understand the individual needs of the people you’re responsible for. This includes their social and physical care needs and the provisions their families and schools can make available to ensure they flourish socially and academically.

You will be working with a range of other public sector professionals, such as doctors and teachers, ensuring clear communication between everyone involved in relation to care plans and service provision.

How do I become a Social Worker?

As a graduate profession, you’ll need a degree at undergraduate level or Masters level if your undergraduate degree isn’t related to social work. You can then take a social work training programme. You can find out more about becoming a social worker at the British Association for Social Workers.

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