Available route into social work for School Leavers
If you are 16 or 17 and are interested in this area of work, you should consider looking for work in social care first. Talk to your school careers service for further advice. You could also visit the website www.socialworkandcare.co.uk for links to national training organisations that give advice about what to do next or you can go to university after you’ve studied 2 years at college.
The professional qualification to practise as a social worker is currently an honours degree in social work that involves course work and a minimum of 200 days spent in practice settings. You can set your sights on a career in social work as a prospective student, as a graduate or as a social care worker seeking new challenges. You can also embark on this profession if you wish to change careers altogether. There are various ways of achieving the qualification depending on your educational achievements and work experience. These are the options:
A typical university grade requirement offer would be: A levels: BBB. All A level subjects are accepted (including General Studies). BTEC National Diploma: DDM
The average social worker's pay for middle-ranking posts is just over £29,000, according to the preliminary findings of a survey by Unison.
Midwife role and responsibilities
Midwives provide advice, care and support for women and their partners and families before, during and after childbirth. They help women make their own decisions about the care and services they access. They care for newborn children, providing health education and parenting support for the first 28 days, after which care transfers to a health visitor. Midwives are personally responsible for the health of both mother and child and only refer to obstetricians if there are medical complications. They work in multidisciplinary teams in both hospital and, increasingly, community healthcare settings.
A midwife has a range of responsibilities, including the care of mother and baby, adhering to hospital policy and maintaining an awareness of issues such as health and safety. Typical work activities include:
- diagnosing, monitoring and examining women during pregnancy;
- developing, assessing and evaluating individual programmes of care;
- providing full antenatal care, including screening tests in the hospital, community and the home;
- identifying high risk pregnancies and making referrals to doctors and other medical specialists;
- arranging and providing parenting and health education for the woman, her partner and family members;
- encouraging participation of family members in the birth to support the mother and enhance both mother/baby bonding and family relationships;
- providing counselling and advice before and after screening;
- offering support and advice following events such as miscarriage, termination, stillbirth, neonatal abnormality and neonatal death;
- supervising and assisting mothers in labour, monitoring the condition of the foetus and using knowledge of drugs and pain management;
- giving support and advice on the daily care of the baby, including breast feeding, bathing and making up feeds;
Available route into midwifery
If you’re not already a qualified nurse, you have to apply to a university to study a three year degree course in Midwifery. Many UK universities offer a course in midwifery, most of which result in the BSc (Hons) Midwifery qualification. However there are some universities that offer the Bachelor of Midwifery course, but both courses contain approximately 50% theoretical and 50% practical work.
Alternative qualifications such as an approved access to midwifery course, BTEC National Diploma may be acceptable, but you must check with each university directly before making an application.
Each university sets its own entry requirements to get onto a full-time degree in midwifery, but as a general guide you’ll need at least 5 A-C grade GCSEs (including English and a science subject) and at least 2 (preferably 3) A’ levels.
The minimum starting salary for newly qualified midwives in the NHS is £21,176 at Band 5.
- Probation officer
Probation officer role and responsibilities
Working with offenders or ex-offenders who have emotional, behavioural or psychological problems can make the job stressful and demanding. However, helping people better themselves can be a particularly rewarding role. Responsibilities of the job include:
- providing advice and information about offenders to assist with court sentencing
- writing/presenting pre-sentence and pre-release reports
- helping offenders come to terms with custodial sentences
- undertaking one-to-one and group work activities
- organising and overseeing community service work
- ‘befriending' and counselling offenders and their families
- supervising junior staff
- helping with the rehabilitation of ex-offenders into the community
- visiting offenders at home, in court, prison, hostels or other penal institutions
- supporting the victims of some violent or sexual crimes
- Liaising with the police, social services etc.
Available routes to become a probation officer
To date the qualification to become a Probation Officer has been the Diploma in Probation Studies. This qualification route is no longer available.
In order to join the probation service you will need to gain a degree in community justice. With that qualification you could apply to join the probation service as a probation services officer. Within a year of securing that position you would then need to take a vocational qualification level 5 diploma in probation practice. The National Probation Service encourages on-the-job training with a view to either gaining a specialism or moving into management. Given the amount of travelling associated with the role, a driving licence may be necessary.
If you are under 21 years old you need to have at least 2 A-level passes as well as three GCSEs. Alternatively, you could have three A-levels and one GCSE.
Probation services officers earn between £19,000 and £26,000 a year, while qualified probation officers earn around £26,000 to £35,000.