Social Care Recruitment: How to Forge a Career in Children’s Services

Recently there have been reports that government changes and improvement plans for Children’s Services and the wider social care sector are galvanising social care recruitment. So how can you use the current climate to forge a career in Children’s Services?

The current government pilot programmes were launched in the UK in 2008, consisting of 11 social work remodelling schemes intended to make improvements in the social care service sector. Through these programmes, care services have been exploring areas of development, including the creation of new care positions and further investment into recruitment practices

So what does this mean for you? Well, with further investment and overall service revision come increased opportunities for social care service professionals, including those with expertise in Children’s Services.
Children’s Services is a diverse area of social care, full of potential opportunities for professionals with a range of skills and experience. If you are seeking social care recruitment in the Children’s Services sector, there are a number of routes to go down, including but not limited to:

• prevention and early intervention
• child protection
• children with mental health issues
• children with physical health issues
• children who are living in care
• children who have recently left care
• children in residential housing

It all depends upon your particular area of interest or expertise. If you are currently employed in this sector, the skills you need may well transfer from your previous or existing role.

However, if you are new to this sector or are considering a change in career, you need to consider some of the necessary personal and professional skills to become a Children’s Services social worker.

If you choose to pursue a career in Children’s Services, you should consider that you may be working with young people of all ages, from very young children to teenagers approaching the age of independence. Whichever age group you work with, you are likely to be interacting with young people who are vulnerable in some way, perhaps as a result of past experiences or because they are wholly or partly dependent upon the care system.

Working with vulnerable children requires compassion, patience, open-mindedness and dedication. Working with certain age groups or working with children who have experienced traumatic pasts, including neglect or abuse, can be challenging. The potential for harmful behaviour or complex needs in some of these children is something worth taking into consideration before you pursue a career in the Children’s Services field.

Some of those skills may be built up from experience outside of a professional setting, such as an experience caring for a loved one. However, a career in Children’s Services also requires certain qualifications. To become a social worker in the UK you must be General Social Care Council (GSCC) approved; this usually means being qualified with a degree in social care that is recognised by the GSCC. You may also be required to have certain educational qualifications, such as GCSEs, depending upon the hiring body or organisation, and an up-to-date criminal record check from the Criminal Records Bureau.

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