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It’s been a while since you’ve left social work. Maybe you had a career break. Maybe you left to care for your own family.

Whatever the reason you left, we want you to know that social work has changed.

We’ve made changes designed to make things better for people like you, who are passionate about helping the most vulnerable children and adults in our communities. Changes designed to let you focus on the job you always wanted to do.

If you’ve been out of social work for between two and five years and you’re thinking about giving it a second chance, we’re offering training to qualify you to re-register with HCPC, a personal development programme and access to a social care job pool, all for free.

You’ve changed. We’ve changed. Let’s get back together.


The role that social workers play in society is crucial. Lives are changed every day through the care, support and advice given by dedicated social workers across the UK.

The compassion, dedication and empathy that make great social workers are often ingrained in them, rooted deep in their personalities. This is why so many are drawn back into social work after pursuing careers elsewhere.

The experience and skills that those returning to social work can bring make them incredibly valuable assets, not only to the most vulnerable people in society but also to their colleagues. We know that social work is a tough ride, but that those who return are finding that we’ve strived to make practical changes to better support you, such as providing opportunities to work more closely with partners like the NHS, personal development training and improved IT to allow more flexible working.

For those interested in returning to social work, we wanted to create a central hub to provide you with everything you need to get back to making a real difference, as soon as possible. This initial phase, will fund 30 social workers to get all the training they need to prepare to re-register with HCPC.


Returners Say…

Don’t just take it from us. Hear from social work professionals who returned to the sector they love.

I was a hospital based social worker working towards a Masters and PhD. I left the profession to have my children but it was always my intention to return to Social Work. During my career break however, my Social Work registration lapsed.

When I returned to work, I took a job with a voluntary sector organisation and when the project ended, I heard about the Wiltshire Council Return to Social Work scheme. The scheme gave me 30 days of training, a placement and a supervisor to help me update skills, knowledge and practice.

I have since been employed within the team I was placed with. The return to social work scheme gave me the confidence to practice again, and underpinned for me that all of the knowledge and skills I have accumulated during my career were still there.


Following a career break to raise a family I was looking to return to full time employment when I saw an advert for return to social work placements. I’d been considering re-entering the profession as I felt I had developed experience and resilience that I could bring to the role.

The social work skills I had acquired over twenty years stood me in good stead and I found my confidence and ability to practice professionally returned quickly. I feel that as a professional I am now far more certain of my role and responsibilities than I was in the past.

I re-registered with HCPC in June and have recently been offered a full-time role in the team where I spent my placement. It has been an amazingly positive experience for me and I look forward to progressing in my career and achieving my ambitions within the social work profession.



In no time at all, you could find yourself back making a genuine difference to people’s lives. This is the process.

1. Talent Pool This form will take you only a few minutes to complete and will assess your eligibility for the programme.

Talent Pool closes on 30th September.

2. Application Form a. If you are eligible you will be invited to complete a more detailed form to help us assess your experience and abilities.

b. If you are not eligible you will receive guidance on possible routes back into social work.

Interviews will be held in October.

3. Assessment Stage a. Your application will be assessed by a panel. Depending on the assessment of your application you will be invited for an interview.

b. If you are unsuccessful at this stage you will be given details of how to access extra support to take that final step back into social work.

4. Final Stage If you are one of the 30 successful candidates you will be invited to join the programme where you will work through a portfolio of quality training to prepare you to re-register with HCPC.

Programme commences approximately 7th November.