Is there a route into Social Work without a degree?

Posted on May 27th, 2010

An article in the postgraduate queries section of The Independent has received some attention from the Community Care Blog this week. The article focuses on a question from a graduate interested in a career in Social Work.

The graduate asked, “I will be finishing a BA in public service management in December, and would like to go in to Social Work, but I have been told a Masters Degree is the only way. Is this right? Or does my (relevant) degree give me a shortcut?”

The Independent’s answer is quite succinct, and offers some helpful advice for anyone wanting to enter in to Social Work, but one phrase is picked up by the Community Care Blog. The Independent’s answer includes the statement, “The only way to circumvent this process is to secure a role as a trainee Social Worker, in which case you will be seconded to a relevant course and will be earning a reasonable salary.” The Community Care Blog’s concern about this statement was the suggestion that you could ‘circumvent’ the need to obtain a relevant degree in Social Work to practice as a Social Worker.

Whilst the answer is not wrong, they could have avoided any confusion by adding a little more detail to the answer. The Community Care Blog fleshes out the answer a little by suggesting that it would be possible to follow the NVQ in Health and Social Care route. Through this, you could complete the registered manager’s award, enabling you to manage a service in the Social Care sector.

The Independent does confirm that you are required to complete either an undergraduate qualification, or a Masters in Social Work to practice as a Social Worker, but perhaps should have stated that this is now a requirement to be able to register as a Social Worker with the General Social Care Council.

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