Social care jobs can be immensely rewarding, particularly social work positions, with the sector offering a variety of opportunities. It can be difficult for people find their niche in a profession where there are lots of career possibilities.

Types of social work jobs.

Therefore we examined some of the most common types of roles in the social work sector, including:

  • working with adolescents
  • working with adults
  • substance misuse jobs
  • care manager jobs
  • working with people with challenging behaviour

What does a social worker do?

Social workers are professional people who dedicate themselves to helping individuals, families and communities. Basing their actions in academic theory, they manage cases, provide counselling and support and seek to help clients develop their personal skills. They provide advocacy for the vulnerable, work in community development and undertake policy analysis with a view to improving quality of life.

Social work jobs usually include on-site training, so there is a lot of flexibility for those just starting out and those considering moving to different positions in the field.

Adolescents jobs.

This typically involves helping young people through a critical period of establishing identity and setting goals, managing conflicts around family and education and building confidence.

Adults jobs.

Engaging with troubled or vulnerable adults to improve their organisational skills and the control they have over their lives is amongst the main responsibilities for this job,as is providing client-centred support and advocacy.

Alcohol/substance misuse jobs.

For these jobs, understanding addiction, providing help to quit and managing addiction-related problems such as family conflicts and homelessness is necessary. Substance misuse jobs can also involve post-prison rehabilitation work.

Care managers jobs.

Applying broad knowledge and insight to manage care packages for individuals with complex needs. This is a challenging role that often requires extensive liaison with other agencies.

Challenging behaviour jobs.

These jobs would involve using conflict resolution and personal engagement skills to help resolve behavioural difficulties. Helping people to manage their emotions and negotiate social situations more effectively.

Children and families jobs.

Working to prioritise child well-being, resolve family difficulties and provide support as required. These jobs need particular sensitivity and the ability to work well with other agencies.

Fostering and adoption jobs.

Matching up vulnerable children with appropriate caregivers on a temporary or permanent basis. Identifying and resolving problems in fostering situations and managing any approved contact between children and birth parents.

Mental health jobs.

Helping people with mental health problems to manage their conditions, live as independently as possible and develop their potential.

Older adults jobs.

Working with older people to help them adapt to the difficulties caused by the ageing process, live independently where possible and receive the care they need.

Physical disabilities jobs.

Assisting independent living where possible, providing practical assistance and arranging access to support services potentially including welfare benefits and assisted living.

Social housing jobs.

Managing social housing provision and helping individuals and families to access the housing they need as well as resolving conflicts related to housing.

Supported housing jobs.

Working on the provision of supported housing for elderly or disabled people or working directly within such housing to deliver services as required.