Social Work Application Forms | What you need to know

[vc_row bg_type=”” dima_canvas_style=”” translate_x=”0″ dima_z_index=”0″ delay=”” animate_item=”” delay_duration=”” delay_offset=””][vc_column bg_type=”” dima_canvas_style=”” min_height=”” translate_x=”0″ dima_z_index=”0″ delay=”” delay_duration=”” delay_offset=””][text delay=”” delay_duration=”” delay_offset=”” id=”” class=””]When completing application forms, how do you feel about them? For most, it can be an anxious and somewhat daunting experience, which often includes a combination of dread and boredom. However, what do you need to know in order to make it through? Well, below we have offered some excellent pointers and examples to help demystify the experience!

Make it easy for the short-Lister

Notice what the organisation or service is asking for within the essential and desirable job description. You will often have clues that you can use, such as using the headings:

  • Relevant experience
  • Achievements
  • Relevant competencies from the person specification
  • Essential experiences
  • Skills

Analyse the person specification and BE CLEAR

“Go through the job and worker descriptions and extract the key criteria they are looking for. When filling in the application form, place each criterion as a heading and use examples from practice to demonstrate how you have met those criteria. It may seem simplistic but if you are explicit that you are suitable for the job role, then an interview is guaranteed.” Source: Guardian.

General Competency questions in Application Forms 

  • Describe a situation when you lead a team/worked in a team
  • Give an example of a time when you dealt with confrontation
  • Describe a situation when you influenced or motivated others
  • Describe a situation when you used initiative
  • Give an example of when you solved a problem
  • Give an example of how you have applied knowledge of legislation in a social work setting.
  • How you would you seek to promote independence for service users
  • Give an example of a time when you acted in an anti-oppressive way.
  • What factors do you consider when making an assessment?
  • What factors do you consider when assessing risk?

If you are completing several application forms at once, as is often the case, you can use the above headings to create a ‘bulk answer’ crib sheet. This will help you evidence your work consistently whilst also reducing chances of you becoming complacent.

Use the STAR approach to help evidence examples

  • S – SITUATION – When, where, with whom (contextualise)
  • T – TASK – Describe the situation or task you want to offer as evidence
  • A – ACTION – What did you do? What was your contribution?  How did you make things happen?
  • R – RESULT – What was the result/outcome? (preferably positive) What did you learn?

Using the above formula will assist in offering structure to your answers, whilst also keeping them SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic & Timely. Be concise and to the point. Have a go: Pick a question and share a STAR example

Personal Statement strategies

Completing the personal statements/specifications section is by far the most difficult task to undertake in any application form. As such, develop strategies to help guide you through this processes. For example:

  • First sentence -make a short STATEMENT summarising how you meet the individual specification from job details.
  • Then provide an EXAMPLE of the claim you have just made.
  • Final sentence – show REFLECTION on the above – what you realise.

Example – Specification requirement – about commitment to promoting Equal Opportunities:

‘I have always tried to ensure in my personal and work life that I am sensitive to and inclusive of the cultures and circumstances of other people. In 2006, I worked as a mentor/facilitator to a group of students on the Aim Higher project to encourage pupils from non-traditional backgrounds to consider university. I designed projects and activities that recognised and focused on the diverse experience within the group to ensure participation. The programme was successful for the pupils and a rewarding learning experience for me. The experience showed me that working together with mutual respect is more productive and rewarding.’

We hope this has offered you with some useful guidance in relation to application form completion. Please feel free to download or save a copy of this. The above information has been used and delivered to Social Work Students, Social Workers and Return Social Workers as well as Care Professionals so as to help increase employment opportunities.[/text][callout type=”style_one” delay=”” delay_duration=”” delay_offset=”” title=”We have also completed the following guidance” message=”Further resources to help you land that perfect job” title_color=”” text_color=”” bg_image=”” href=”” id=”” class=”” style=””][button text=”10 Steps from Job Application to Job Interview” type=”” color_class=”” lightbox=”” delay=”” delay_duration=”” delay_offset=”” href=”” title=”” popup_content=”” id=”” class=”” style=””][clear by=”10px” id=”” class=””][button text=”Social Work Interview Questions: What you need to know” type=”” color_class=”” lightbox=”” delay=”” delay_duration=”” delay_offset=”” href=”” title=”” popup_content=”” id=”” class=”” style=”” tutorials=””][/callout][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Personal Budgets for Care – One Stop Social


We need to talk about money for care.

Now, before you’re taken over by a stereotypically British reluctance to discuss finances in public or just an exhaustion from feeling like all we do lately is think about the financial state of the social care sector; bear with us on this one. We all know the service providers within care are massively underfunded and the quality or quantity of service that care workers can provide is at risk. However, this time we need to think about a different aspect of things: personal budgets and what they entail.

A personal budget is an amount of money that the council provide you if they decide you’re eligible for this level of monetary support. The amount is dependent on how much the care needed costs in your local area, tailoring each personal budget on the situation. This money will be under the individuals control and must now legally be incorporated into every care and support plan. The “local authority must provide personal budgets to whoever meets the regulations in the Act”, showing a new level of legal support for the personalisation of care in the UK.

Personal budgets have been pushed forward in recent years by the Care Act of 2014 declaring that “everyone with an eligible need for social care should be given one”. While personal budgets have been available to some lucky eligible people for a few years, the Care Act sets the precedent that all people who need support, get it. The fact that the control of the money is kept by the person needing care or support helps maintain a level of control over their own lives – something that can feel very important when your body or mind needs external support.

So, what is the process to get a personal budget? The way it works is if you appear to need care and support, regardless of your finances, your local authority have to complete a ‘needs assessment’ so that they can understand the whole story of your needs and outcomes. Your eligibility will then be compared against a national minimum threshold, and if you’re found to be eligible then your personal budget will be calculated.

This may all be sounding like a step in the right direction – helping families and communities support those who need care but can’t afford it themselves – but we must be cautious. As the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman recently noticed, Wiltshire Council were placing people into bands, capping the personal budget certain people received irrelevant of the level of care needed. This thereby restricted the care people could access, which seems counterproductive to the whole idea of a personal budget. Additionally, a Community Care survey found that the personalisation promised is not something that is happening in real life. Councils were found to be stopping people from spending their personal budgets (which they should have full control over) how they wanted, especially in cases of building quality of life through activities such as university courses, trips, holidays, gardening and more.

We’d love to say we’re surprised that administrative changes haven’t had the impact promised within the care sector, but let’s be honest here – we all know more drastic approaches are needed to truly help both sides of social care. Personal budgets are a great idea in theory, but in order to make them work better in practice, the government as a collective needs to make a conscious effort to provide legal structural support for those in care, while enforcing those who find loopholes in regulations or bend the rules at the cost of patients.


Work & Care Together 2018 – A Social Work and Care Professionals Convention – 11th June

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We are organising a convention, “Work & Care Together: Recruitment, Development and Innovation in 2018”, to bring together the key players in the social work and care industry for a day of networking and training.

The event will take place on Monday 11th June 2018 at the Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel, and will have 3 elements to it: a series of training sessions, presentations from new innovative front-line services in social work/care and an exhibition of resource companies, training providers and key services. “Work & Care Together” will be targeted directly at those working in social work and care – as well as students and businesses – to focus on the current issues of recruitment, retention and employee development in the industry, while also showcasing innovative businesses.

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Employer Spotlight – Eden Brown Synergy

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Eden Brown Synergy have confirmed their attendance at Work and Care Together on Monday 11th June!

As one of the longest established public sector recruitment suppliers in the UK, we know they’ll bring some fantastic experience to One Stop Social’s first convention! Make sure you’ve registered for a free ticket to attend and speak with one of their specialist professionals to help you find your next role.[/vc_column_text][vc_cta h2=”Work & Care Together” txt_align=”center” add_button=”bottom” btn_title=”Book Now” btn_color=”warning” btn_align=”center” btn_link=”||target:%20_blank|rel:nofollow”]Book your free general admission ticket at our eventbrite page now[/vc_cta][vc_column_text]With a client base that spans social services departments as well as private, non-statutory and voluntary organisations throughout the UK, Eden Brown Synergy has a long track record of placing qualified social workers and care professionals into a range of locum and permanent roles.

Their national network of highly specialist social care consultants have developed a network of candidates and clients across the country resulting in a partnership with over 180 Local Authorities, organisations such as CAFCASS and Action for Children , as well as a large range of private fostering agencies, hospitals and care providers.

Whether you are a social care professional looking for your next role or an employer looking to secure the best talent, you will find Eden Brown Synergy to be a trusted partner not just today – but for the long term.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”1845″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]


At Eden Brown Synergy, we never forget that you are an individual – and as a professional with as demanding and challenging a career as social care – they know that the right fit is vital.


Eden Brown Synergy has a long track record of recruiting within the social care sector and has worked in active partnership with a large number of Local Authorities, NHS Trusts, charities and non-statutory government bodies.[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title=”See Eden Brown Synergy Latest Jobs” color=”warning” size=”lg” align=”center” button_block=”true” link=”||target:%20_blank|rel:nofollow”][vc_cta h2=”What we do” txt_align=”center”]

One Stop Social is the fastest growing specialist social work and care professionals hub in the UK.

It’s the place to search, find and refer to the latest training, events, resources and jobs.

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Greater Manchester Social Work Academy Collaboration


As One Stop Social are driven by our commitment to the highest quality of support and development for social work and care professionals across the UK, we know we do things a little bit differently. Our ‘customers’, social media followers and everyone invested in our success are an extended One Stop Social community. And, like any good community, we like to celebrate good news with you when it comes our way. Our recent collaboration is most definitely good news.

We’re so excited to announce that we’ve partnered with the Greater Manchester Social Work Academy (GMSWA)! Don’t know what GMSWA are? That’s what we’re setting about to fix! We’ll be showcasing their Teaching Partnership and helping promote the positive change within the sector.

The GMSWA is a grouping of 3 Higher Education Institutions (Salford University, Manchester Metropolitan and Manchester University) and 10 Local Authorities (Salford, Manchester, Rochdale, Oldham, Bolton, Bury, Tameside, Stockport, Wigan and Trafford) and some private and voluntary sector representatives (PVI’s).

The Academy hopes to offer an integrated, co-ordinated and high-quality response to Social Work training, practice and continuous professional development across Greater Manchester. Our collaboration will be to raise their profile to social work practitioners across the region and nationally, so that more people in the sector know how the GMSWA can facilitate professional development and the fantastic work they’re currently undertaking.

We know this collaboration will help us stay true to our goal of putting you, the social work and care professionals, first – keep an eye out for more news soon!

Are you a final year social work student based in either Salford University, Manchester Metropolitan and Manchester University? Then make sure to register for the Greater Manchester Social Work Academy Careers Fair on 27th April! It’s free to attend and is a chance to network with NQSWs and get some interview advice!

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Are you a final year social work student based in either Salford University, Manchester Metropolitan and Manchester University? Then make sure to register for the Greater Manchester Social Work Academy Careers Fair on 27th April! It’s free to attend and is a chance to network with NQSWs and get some interview advice!


Social Personnel – Recruiting with a difference


Social Personnel first opened its doors in 2014 with the aim of delivering high-quality recruitment solutions to our clients, and in doing so, ensuring also we find our candidates the right role for them.

Since our inception, we have gone from strength to strength and become one of the fastest growing recruitment agencies in the UK, supplying specialist social care staff at all levels across the UK.

Social Personnel offer a variety of recruitment solutions for our clients:

  • Temporary/Interim Recruitment Temporary/Interim Recruitment

  • Qualified and Unqualified Social Work Recruitment (Locum)

  • Permanent Recruitment – Including Fixed-Term Contract

  • Pilot and Improvement Teams – OFSTED Readiness and Backlog/Case Management

  • Quality Assurance/Improvement Reviews

We believe we are different because of the emphasis we put on our level of service for all. We have two guiding principles that we ensure are put into practice every day. The first is the right person for the right job. We aim to match candidates to jobs not only in skills and expertise, but also into a team that is an all-round fit. We have built excellent relationships with our clients, and that gives us a great understanding of the environment they work in, so we know that you’ll fit right in.

Our second is the start of your job is the start of our relationship. To ensure that this is always the case, we have dedicated Customer Relations Team, purely for candidate’s use to make sure their experience is nothing but excellent.

Current vacancies

Principal Manager – Conference and Review – West Sussex

Qualified Social Worker – Referral and Assessment – South London

Advanced Practitioner – Permanence – North London

Social Work – Various Permanent Positions – South London

Social Work – Various Permanent Positions – North London

Social Work – Various Permanent Positions – East London

Social Worker – Looked after Children – South West England[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]…..[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Join Coventry Council’s Social Work Academy


Coventry City Council are seeking enthusiastic and dynamic Newly Qualified Social Workers to be part of our Social Work Academy. Coventry’s Social Work Academy will upskill Newly Qualified Social Workers from the start of their professional careers to be confident in the work they deliver, with the reassurance that within the high levels of challenge, there is a highly supportive network and framework around them to enable them to do their job well!

What is the Social Work Academy (SWA)?

In Coventry we know it is absolutely crucial for our social workers to have continuous professional development – so we have developed the Coventry Social Work Academy. Its main function is supporting social worker progression and development for professionals at every stage of social workers’ careers. The Academy offer is therefore available to all those who work within Coventry Children’s Services from Newly Qualified Social Workers, Children’s Social Workers, Practice Educators, Advanced Practitioners, Senior Practitioners and Managers. There is specifically tailored support provided to social work students who come into the profession from various routes including the traditional university route, Frontline and Step Up to Social Work. This support is strengthened through our link with the West Midlands Teaching Partnerships promoting links between theory, research and practice.

For Newly Qualified Social Workers (NQSW)

The Academy offers social workers who are newly qualified a positive and strong induction into statutory children’s social work, promoting the development in the quality, consistency and effectiveness of social work practice to ensure that children’s outcomes are positive. We want NQSWs to become confident in the work they deliver through a combination of the high levels of challenge and a highly supportive network around them to enable them to do their job well! NQSWs will feel valued and part of Coventry Children’s Services, with 6 months based within the Academy while spending time with host teams, shadowing practice and developing a good understanding of the practice realities in Coventry. The learning environment of the Academy will afford NQSWs high levels of supervision, particularly at the early stages, and an individual development plan during their Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE). Newly Qualified Social Workers will also be able to connect with the West Midlands Teaching Partnership, Research in Practice, and receive coaching, mentoring and support through the Social Work Academy Team in order to assist them in their transition from student to professional practice. On our ASYE programme there are 24 academy places available with two entry points during the year. NQSWs will be supported over their ASYE with dedicated time in the Academy with the experienced team, joint working with other social workers and outreach from the Academy’s Professional Practice Educators when NQSWs transition into their teams. NQSWs will be able to express an interest in the team that they would like to transition into. The year will be exciting with a new and revolutionary approach to learning and development which includes ‘walk through scenarios’, simulation exercises and virtual reality headsets so that NQSW will be able to connect better with the experiences of the children and families that they work with.

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See the full details of Coventry’s Social Work Academy, social work jobs and benefits.

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The Fight for LGBT Social Care

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_cta h2=”The LGBT community and care homes.” add_button=”bottom” btn_title=”The Drive for Better Care for Older LGBT People” btn_color=”warning” btn_align=”center” btn_button_block=”true” btn_link=”||target:%20_blank|”]Check out this article from The Guardian about the prejudice LGBT people are facing in care homes.[/vc_cta][vc_cta h2=”Whilst you’re here…” add_button=”right” btn_title=”Upload your CV” btn_color=”warning” btn_link=”||target:%20_blank|rel:nofollow”]Did you know you can find a job and upload your CV? You can also search, find and refer to the latest social work and care courses and events.[/vc_cta][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Social pedagogy leadership course first of its kind in the UK


The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has created a Social pedagogy leadership course, which is the first of its kind here in the UK. It has been developed due to the growing interest in social pedagogy.  The course links to the successful BA Hons in Social Pedagogy, Advocacy and Participation which is run here at UCLan and has excellent student feedback.

It has been co-produced and will be co-taught by ThemPra, the leading organisation supporting development of social pedagogical practice in the UK.  It meets the professional standards of practice as set out by the Social Pedagogue Professional Association.

Links with European partner organisations that use social pedagogy in practice as well as universities that run social pedagogy programmes of study.

The course is taught using experiential teaching techniques and is taught in a fun and creative way.  All activities are transferrable into practice and students are encouraged to develop creative practice in their direct work.

It offers a social pedagogical perspective to leadership, enabling managers and senior practitioners in leadership roles to apply its principles, theories and philosophy to assist people to develop a culture of care and support within organisations and communities. Social pedagogical leadership also enables professionals to influence decisions and develop, support and sustain positive change using inclusive and empowering practice in working with disadvantaged groups.

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Upcoming UCLan CPD Courses

21st March 18 – Exploring the Offence Process and Treatment of Sexual Offending

18th April 18 – Identifying and Managing the Risk of Sexual Offending

16th May 18 – Practitioner Skills for Working with Sexual Offending

4th June 18 – Return to Social Work

20th June 18 – Parental Substance Misuse: Impact on the Child

[/vc_column_text][vc_cta h2=”Whilst you’re here…” add_button=”right” btn_title=”Upload your CV” btn_color=”warning” btn_link=”||target:%20_blank|rel:nofollow”]Did you know you can find a job and upload your CV? You can also search, find and refer to the latest social work and care courses and events.[/vc_cta][/vc_column][/vc_row]

The Crisis of Male Care Workers

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Challenging gender inequality is not just about actively campaigning against negative incidents, through movements like Times Up or #MeToo; in the UK we face a different type of challenge: redefining stereotypical roles in the care industry.

Currently, a quarter of young men claim that they wouldn’t think of becoming a care worker, but the industry desperately needs them to rethink. It’s no secret that there’s a vast shortage of care workers across the UK with vacancy rates of 5.1% and a dependency of at-risk migrant staff post-Brexit; however the lack of men specifically is becoming more and more noticeable. Men make up only 16% of the current care workforce, despite their natural strength being suited to the physical aspects of the job.

Residents in care homes are more likely to prefer a care worker of the same sex to them, which traditionally was less of an issue as women lived longer and more women tended to work in the care industry. A marriage of convenience, but successful nonetheless. However, male life expectancy is going up and consequently there’s been an increase of 15.2% in the number of male residents in care homes aged 65 or more. Now more than ever, we need male care workers across the board. Elderly men have stated that they feel more comfortable and less embarrassed when they are washed by a man; so shouldn’t we be actively working to save our fathers, grandfathers, uncles and friends whatever shame we can?

While the Department of Health is not trying to encourage women not to become carers, there’s an undeniable push for men to consider the profession. Hesitation stems from the prehistoric perception of care as “a woman’s job”; that men are not supposed to be in positions of care and nurture. This notion perpetuates the current crisis of toxic masculinity, where the narrow descriptions of what it means to be a man are harmful to men themselves and the wider society. Men have all the same emotional, physical and psychological capabilities for the job as women; and yet they face an unspoken stigma in this industry. Once they defy this perception though and enter the industry, men immediately feel such satisfaction in their jobs and feel a sense of inclusion and community not often felt in the modern workplace.

Working with older people in care homes or helping young people through times of crisis can be one of the most rewarding experiences a person can undertake, and as a nation it needs to be recognised that these benefits are exactly the same for both men and women. Policies for change need to be instigated from the top down, with the government encouraging men to enter this profession through training programmes or work experience opportunities for school leavers. By teaching our young men the joy they can feel as a care worker or the fun they can have as a part of this community, slowly we can work to redefine what a care worker looks like to be a list of characteristics, not a gender.[/vc_column_text][vc_cta h2=”Whilst you’re here…”]

Did you know you can find a job and upload your CV? You can also search, find and refer to the latest social work and care courses and events.


Social Care Jobs: Application and Interview Guidance and Tips

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Social Care Jobs: Application and Interview Guidance and Tips has been created to help you gain employment within the Social Work and Social Care Sector. As ever, if you would like to contact us for further guidance, advice or support, please feel free to get in touch.[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title=”Contact Us” color=”warning” align=”center” link=”||target:%20_blank|rel:nofollow”][vc_column_text]When applying for jobs, do you find the application form and potential interview daunting? Or, do you seem to pass the application process with ease but then struggle through the interview process? The below information should help you in your preparation and interview stage. By following these simple strategies will help you in how you approach application forms and interviews.

Personal Specification/Statement and Interview Preparation Strategies. 

There are three parts to answering application/interview questions:

Part 1) What is your understanding of the question?

Part 2) Give a case example of how you have demonstrated this in practice?

Part 3) Reflection.

You can achieve all three by following the STAR Approach:

S – Situation: When, where, with whom (contextualise)

T – Task: Describe the situation or task you want to offer as evidence

A – Action: What did you do?  What was your contribution?  How did you make things happen?

R – Result: What was the result/outcome? (preferably positive) What did you learn?

Related guidance, documents and resources

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