What makes a thirtysomething company director sell her shares to pay her way through a second degree in social work? Or a complaints manager in an investment management company take a year out to volunteer full time with vulnerable adults before signing up as a trainee social worker? Even at a time when the profession is under intense media scrutiny, up to 25 per cent of social workers are career changers, often attracted to the work by a desire to make a difference. According to Keith Brumfitt, director of strategy at the Children's Workforce Development Council, the current economic climate has led people to reassess what they want out of a job."Social work is a highly qualified profession, crucial to the protection of vulnerable children," he says. "Social workers do their jobs with skill and determination while drawing from a wide range of skills, including observation, investigation and knowledge of relevant legislation.
Change that makes a difference ; Up to a quarter of social workers come into the profession from other careers. Sarah Richardson meets some of them
"Social workers come into the profession from various backgrounds -- university, the children's sector and other careers. We know career changers bring different experiences that complement those who come up through the profession."Deborah Mangan, a child social worker with Sutton Borough Council, is...