Returning to social work: what you need to know

Posted: Feb 04 2020

Do you want to rediscover your passion for social work? Restarting your social work career can seem daunting, no matter whether you’ve taken a few months off or several years. But thanks to the UK government, getting back into social work has never been easier. That’s because free training is being offered to help former social workers regain their confidence and skills. This scheme is in response to the alarming shortage of social workers and healthcare professionals in the UK which reached 136,000 in 2019. 

We’ve put together some advice below that will help you with your decision to re-register as a social worker and the steps you’ll need to take.

Do you need to evidence your CPD days?

If your break from social work was between 2-5 years you’ll need to do 30 days of continual professional development (CPD) in order to re-register. Anything longer than five years and you’ll have to complete 30 days of CPD. Find out here the three methods for evidencing your CPD days. If you took less than two years off from your social work career you’re not required to re-register, but you may still face some decisions.

Finding the right role

The changing role of a social worker cannot be ignored. What was expected of those in the profession several decades ago has altered significantly and continues to do so. It’s important to ask yourself whether you’re in the right specialism and there’s no better time than when you’re restarting your career.

There is currently a high vacancy rate for children’s social workers and while this is an extremely challenging field the scope of the role is so varied, making it a rewarding career path. Similarly, the call for adult social workers is one largely heard across the UK as our ageing population requires increased support for long-lasting physical and mental health conditions.

Are you interested in finding out about other specialisms? Here are the top 10 social work jobs.

Now is the best time to re-enter the workforce 

Our government and local councils have kicked off promotional campaigns to encourage social workers to return to the profession. Return to Social Work is a national UK programme with a limited number of spaces available to social workers who wish to re-join the industry in the local government sector. Applications are now open and those selected will be guided through interview training and placements, all of which will be covered in mentoring sessions.

Meanwhile, many local authorities are hosting drop-in events where you can get information on re-registering and hear great advice from professionals about the opportunities and challenges you will face when making this decision. To find out more search “return to social work events 2020” in Google.

Learn more about social work opportunities with Tradewind Recruitment Social Care

Are you a social work professional looking for a new job? Tradewind Recruitment Social Care will provide the support you need to meet your career objectives. View our latest jobs here and choose between various sectors, such as children services, housing and project management.


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