Skip to main content

Roles and tasks requiring social work

Social workers are uniquely educated, trained and qualified to support individuals and families in meeting some of life’s biggest challenges; for example , caring for families in meeting some of life’s biggest challenges; for example, caring for family members, rebuilding family relationships, coping with the difficulties of growing old, or finding answers to the problems of mental distress or disability.

Social workers are society’s safety net as they are professionally qualified to intervene in people’s lives for the protection of children or adults at risk of abuse or neglect who could otherwise be harmed.

Social workers work with other professionals to play a key role in helping children, adults and families improve and take control of their lives when their safety or ability to participate in the lives of their communities is restricted.

‘Social worker’ is a protected title. Social workers are educated to at least degree level, and in England must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council to practise as a social worker. The College of Social Work provides a set of professional standards (the Professional Capabilities Framework) and core values for social workers, while the HCPC provides Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics and Standards of Proficiency.

Social workers often work in multidisciplinary teams, and often work with unqualified colleagues (e.g. family aides, care assistants) who they supervise and support. To make the best use of social workers, as well as to get the appropriate balance of skills in a team, The College of Social Work (TCSW) has produced this definitive guidance for employers and commissioners.