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A graduate's guide to researching social care employers

A graduate's guide to researching social care employers

A little bit of research will go a long way. Make sure you've got all the information you need to make the right decision about where to work after you graduate.

Social care jobs include the work of qualified social workers as well as care work and administrative and management roles that support these front-line staff.

Qualified social workers can find jobs with local authorities, the NHS, the voluntary sector and private social care providers. Roles include operational, policy and management jobs.

How to qualify as a graduate social worker.

If you’re not a qualified social worker, you can still work in this sector, in roles providing personal care and social support. Either way, it’s important to do some research when you’re thinking about where you’d like to work.

Do

  • Read organisations’ websites to see what they say about themselves and why you should think about working for them.
  • Get hold of recent reports, independent evaluations or reviews undertaken of the work the organisation carries out.
  • Use them to see how they are performing.
  • Ask if you could speak to a new recruit and find out how effective the organisation’s induction, supervision and support arrangements are. Your university careers service may also be able to put you in touch with recent social work graduates..
  • Shop around and ask questions – social care employers are all different. The most important thing is to find the right fit for you.

Don’t

  • Be afraid to do temporary or agency work – it’s all good experience.
  • Be too influenced by inspection reports (such as those carried out by the Care Quality Commission (for adult care services) and Ofsted (for children’s care providers). Organisations with negative feedback will still excel in some areas. Instead, look for a good match for your skills and career goals.
  • Without first checking out why, be tempted by an organisation that has lots of vacancies. High staff turnover may mean that an employer is failing to support its people.
  • Be afraid to ask searching questions at interview.
  • Feel you have to take the first job you’re offered.
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