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#Yes2SocialWork campaign launches to attract the next generation of social workers

15 November 2023

A campaign to encourage people to be part of the next generation of social workers launches today, focussing on attracting people to study a Degree in Social Work in Northern Ireland who wish to make a real and positive difference in peoples’ lives.

The annual #Yes2SocialWork awareness campaign encourages those deciding on what to put down on their UCAS application this year to choose social work as their first choice. This includes school leavers, those finishing a related course or degree, and those looking for a career change to a profession where they can make a positive difference, advocate for change and support their local community.

The Northern Ireland Social Care Council (Social Care Council) delivers this campaign annually on behalf of the Department of Health (DoH) to promote the benefits of studying social work in Northern Ireland to teachers, parents and potential social work students.

Patricia Higgins, Chief Executive, Social Care Council Chief believes a Degree in Social Work gives people a range of options.

I would pose this question ‘Do you want a career where you care for your community?’ If ‘yes’, I would encourage you to consider a career in social work. It suits anyone who wants to help make a difference in people’s lives; children, young people, their families or vulnerable adults who need additional support.

She continued: Social workers have a strong sense of social justice, a passion for human rights and work to improve people’s wellbeing. There are lots of different jobs in social work, from child and family social work across all ages to criminal justice depending on which groups of people you want to work with. It is also a profession where no two days are ever the same. My advice is choose social work as your first choice for UCAS – in my opinion nothing else comes close.

There are also many other reasons to apply. Students who study the Degree in Social Work in Northern Ireland receive a payment as an incentive for each year of study, the starting salary for most social work jobs is between £25-30K, and there are good opportunities for promotion early-on in your career.

The Degree is currently offered at five Universities’ and colleges’ in Northern Ireland, all of which are approved by the Social Care Council to deliver social work training and are quality checked annually:

Queen’s University Belfast
Ulster University 
(Magee Campus)
Belfast Metropolitan College (Millfield Campus)
South West College (Dungannon Campus)
Open University (this an employer sponsored route)

This is an ongoing campaign to encourage people to consider a career in social work across a mix of communications and media platforms (digital and broadcast media) that started in 2019.

Want to know more? To train to be a social worker in Northern Ireland (NI) you need to complete the Honours Degree in Social Work. Check out our Interested in becoming a social worker? page for more information or to be inspired check out the newly launched film –  ‘Changing Lives – the Vital Role of Social Workers in Children’s Services in Northern Ireland’.

For more information:
Rita McCullagh, Head of Strategic Communications and Engagement