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A levels needed to be a Social Worker? - June 4th 2012, 04:49 PM

I chose my A level subjects a while ago, but now what I want to do for a career has changed. I was looking to be something like a graphic designer before, so I chose; Fine art, graphic design, ICT and business studies.
Now I want to be a social worker specialising in children. So I was thinking of swapping ICT for psychology.
The sixth form also offers Health & Social, law and Sociology, which I'm told are good for social work. I don't like the looks of sociology, but I'll take it if it's absolutely necessary, and would swap business studies for it.

I've been looking into the entry requirements for the degrees for it, but they aren't clear on A levels that they favour. Can anyone suggest which ones I should take?

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Re: A levels needed to be a Social Worker? - June 4th 2012, 06:11 PM

I'm unsure of how different schooling is from the UK versus here but for the most part for a career path in Social Worker, the most important classes I personally would think would be Psychology and Sociology as they set the basis for what you wish to do. Also try to see if your university has classes that helps to deal issues around the community (we call it service learning) through those classes you can see problems that seem to affect the people around you and use that information to better your self.

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Re: A levels needed to be a Social Worker? - June 6th 2012, 01:34 PM

Well it depends on what level of sociology that you are planning to pursue.

Most social work diplomas (college level) will take you straight from high school and a lot of them only require English and other core required classes at a certain grade. At least in Canada. And then the 1st year or just the 1st semester will give you the foundation, which some people will be lucky enough to know some of, but others will be in the basics still. This is because some high schools are not big enough to provide all the classes such as grade 12 sociology, so it would be a bit unfair to assume everyone has access to things like that and deny them.

For just a BSW (bachelor of social work) I think it depends on the school. Some of them expect you to have a year or 2 of university already AND some work experience (like 100 hours of social work related experience... and clerical/secretary work doesn't count)

MSW (masters of social work programs) require a honours degree with at least a B+ average, some of them are partial to students having a BSW, others will accept a BA in sociology or BA/BSc in psychology or even like a BBe in ecomonics, its just that if you don't have a BSW you usually have to take a foundation year. And most MSW degrees require a minimum of 2 years of relevant work experience before admission. And you will need several references too (academic and ones from social work related employers).

In the actual work field, you should have a MINIMUM of a BSW. You can usually get lots of jobs there given that you have that and some prior experience. I think it would be pretty much impossible to work in the health field though AND I don't think that they teach you clinical social work in the BSW program but you can definitely do child protective services/family and children services stuff with it, so you could be like a case worker or a foster child supervisor, you'll just have to be patient getting the experience . It's just important to remember that the higher the degree the easier things are these days, seriously, you practically need a Ph.D to mop the floors at a university nowadays.
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