Next steps

    Hannah, 21, works with an independent provider of assessment and
    treatment services for adults with learning difficulties and
    challenging behaviour who have been detained under the Mental
    Health Act 1983.

    What is your job?

    Assistant psychologist.

    What are your responsibilities?

    Assisting in the psychological assessment of patients.

    What is your salary?

    £15,000 a year.

    What are your career aspirations?

    I have a psychology degree but I am interested in social work
    and possibly using my skills within that field.

    Here are three possible career options:

    1. How about becoming a social worker at your present place of
      work? You would need to work towards a recognised social work
      qualification but your experience of working with people with
      mental health problems would be invaluable. You would be working in
      a multi-disciplinary team assessing and treating people with
      learning difficulties and challenging behaviour. Knowledge of
      legislation that affects this sector would be helpful. Your salary
      would be £25,000 a year.
    2. You could find work as a forensic social worker, again with a
      recognised social work qualification behind you. You could work as
      part of a multi-disciplinary team holding caseloads of clients who
      are subject to Home Office restrictions. You would help to monitor
      and rehabilitate individuals in the community or find them suitable
      “step down” facilities. You will be expected to have a personal
      development plan and undertake approved social worker training. The
      salary would be £29,000.
    3. You could extend your skills and become an education welfare
      officer leading to a role as an educational psychologist. As a
      welfare officer you would work with families and deal with the
      issues that may prevent children attending schools. As an
      educational psychologist you would assess young people’s learning
      and emotional needs by working directly with them and consulting
      others close to them. You would develop and support therapeutic and
      behaviour management programmes. The salary would be
      £35,000.

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