Routes into social work

If you're considering a career in social work there are a number of ways that you can become a qualified social worker:

We're hiring Newly Qualified Social Worker's (NQSWs)

Children First Northamptonshire is proud to have established its very own Northamptonshire Social Work Academy. We are offering a highly competitive pay and benefits package with generous annual leave and bespoke learning and training opportunities.

What is the Northamptonshire Social Work Academy?

We are revolutionising the way we work within our children services and have launched the Northamptonshire Social Work Academy so that we can guide and steer NQSWs through that crucial first year of practice. Only the most promising and passionate advocates of children and young people will be selected to take part in this year-long intensive support and mentoring programme.

What to expect from the Northamptonshire Social Work Academy

The Academy will provide guidance and support as you embark on a challenging and hugely rewarding career helping to support children and families. You will be equipped and highly trained to become the best possible social worker with a phased approach to the volume and complexity of your workload. You'll have the support of a strong leadership and management team who will work with you to identify training and development opportunities.

What else to expect

  • Smaller caseloads - to help you settle into your role
  • Hands-on learning with high levels of support and mentoring
  • Extensive training and qualification opportunities
  • Strong mentors overseeing your development
  • Practise learning opportunities working closely with HR and HEIs

What are we looking for?

We want to create a workforce that we can be proud of, so to make this happen, we need brilliant NQSW's who inspire and deliver change all around them. That's why we're looking for talented, ambitious and passionate people like you to come and join us. You will need to be a social work graduate with the following attributes:

  • A passion to improve the lives of children
  • Ambition and motivation
  • Commitment to continuously developing your social work practice
  • Have pre-qualified children's social care work experience
  • Be degree qualified in Social Work
  • Be up to date with current legislation, policy and procedures around child protection
  • Able to work under pressure, excellent organisational ability
  • Have knowledge and understanding of using appropriate assessment tools and research

Why Northamptonshire?

Children's Services at Northamptonshire are in an exciting period of significant transformation, we can confirm that we will become a standalone Trust which will deliver services for two new unitary authorities across the county. We are currently recruiting energetic and passionate social workers to lead and develop high quality services.

As part of our drive to support and enable our staff we offer successful candidates the opportunity to undertake the 2-day and 5-day Signs Of Safety training within their first year of employment with us.

Candidates will need to obtain Enhanced DBS, HCPC registration.

Closing date: 10 February 2020

Please note we reserve the right to close the vacancy prior to the closing date.

This post is covered by the statutory duty under Part 7 of the Immigration Act (2016) and therefore the ability to speak fluent English is an essential requirement for the role.

Apply now

​The Social Work Academy not only works with newly qualified social workers, we also provide support for other professionals within our organisation, this includes individuals who have been out of practice for a while but would like to return to social work and need to undertake a Return to Social Work programme.

Read the HCPC guide on returning to practice for more information and to establish if this is you:

​Through the Department for Education’s (DfE) successful Step Up to Social Work training programme you’ll get intensive, hands-on experience of working in a real-life social work role. On completion, you will obtain a postgraduate diploma in Social Work, allowing you to register and practice as a social worker. The DfE can train you in 14 months, with all your course fees paid, and you’ll also receive a bursary for the duration of the course. 

The DfE are looking for strong graduates who have experience of working with children, young people and families and who can demonstrate their maturity and emotional resilience.

You are eligible if you can demonstrate you already have either:

  • A minimum 2:1 level 6 degree qualification - for example, a degree with honours
  • A minimum 2:2 honours degree plus a higher degree (level 7 or above)


  • Grade C or above GCSE in English / English Language and Maths (or approved equivalent)
  • Have experience of voluntary or paid work with children, young people or families

For more information visit the Step Up to Social Work: information for applicants webpage.