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I'm thinking about going into the field of social work. I was just wondering if anyone has any first hand experience etc about it? Also, what is the difference between a social worker and a children's aid worker? Or is it the same? I want to help people and make a difference. I'm torn between this or the police...


Also, what qualifications do I need for both? I already have a Bachelor's degree (in English.) For the police, I have seen there is a police foundations college course I can do, which would give me a diploma. Is it more beneficial to do this or a Master's degree in something like law enforcement or criminal justice? Is it vital to have a qualification like this when applying to the police?


Also, what do I need to be a social worker. Again, I'm torn between doing a college course or a Master's degree in social work. Obviously a Master's is a higher qualification, but it's more expensive and I don't know if it's necessary? Apparently a college course is more practical and hands on.


Any advice would be appreciated, thanks.

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Some areas they give you a bonus for having a degree (in the states!). I think social work because its universal in some sorts. You don't necessarily need criminal justice to enter the police force. If anything you having a social work background would help with you knowing how to communicate with families in say a domestic dispute. It would just give you a leg up if anything. You may not even need a masters unless you really want a masters.


I see that your possibly from the uk?


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There is no formal educational requirement/ The police are always looking for officer with a wide variety of backgrounds and skills.


Having masters of social work degree is something better to fall back upon as well, if worse came to worst.


Edit: I think this site is more of the legit one!


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I recommend talking to a school counselor and/or a police officer or recruit person. My way of thinking if you put all your effort into police and then what if you don't get in? Or if you get hurt on the job? There are different career paths with social work so you have something for income to "fall back on". If you like helping people then who knows maybe while taking the course you may find its something you rather do.

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As for the police, the RCMP will train, I'm not sure about different requirements for municipal forces. The RCMP might also post you to a different area, so if you aren't willing to move, it might not be the department for you.

Keep in mind there are jobs within the police force besides police officers. They are listed here.

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I work in social work in US. Here, in order to be called a 'social worker' you need to have your masters in social work, ie. MSW. But, the reality is with a BA you can do pretty much the same work, for near the same salary. The social work field has a broad spectrum of where you can work, but it's normally with non-profit agencies and at risk populations.


I worked for CPS for a few years, a rape crisis center, juvenile detention center, and now in children's mental health. I enjoyed the latter two the most. Since you have a BA in English, you could pretty much do any of those jobs, you just might want to volunteer somewhere to get some experience on your resume. I have my MA, though I will say, it has not helped me very much and I could do all those jobs with my BA (which is in psychology).


I will say social work is very draining, and I don't think I can do this forever, especially since the money is really not there. But, there are definitely some people who start out in social work, and continue on with in forever. It's the same thing with law enforcement, it's a draining job, and often people have a short shelf life. In hindsight I would not have paid all the money for my MA because it hasn't benefited me very much, but that is just for me.


I'd say to try and find a population you want to work with, and if it does not work out, you can always switch it up which is a benefit to social work. For me, I LOVE working with kids but I hated working for CPS, so mental health is working out really well for me at the time. With CPS I was working 10-15 hour days on average, where as my job now I have a lot more flexibility so it's worth it. I can't sit behind a desk all day which is also a benefit to most social service jobs (law enforcement as well) because you will mostly be out in 'the field'. Good luck in whatever you choose! With both there will be good days and bad days, and the only advice I can really give is to 'leave your pencils on your desk' ie. try not to carry the burdens home with you, because that will drain you 20x more!

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Hmmm, my big problem is that because I have a Bachelor's in English they won't let me onto the Master's program for social work because it's not a related field. They will let people do a 2 year instead of a year Master's if your Bachelor's is different in one uni I looked at, but only if you have 2 years experience in the field which I don't. And I can't afford the time or money to do another 4 year Bachelor's in social work.


There is a lot of diplomas offered in social work and child and youth worker. Are these worth doing?? I can get onto the diploma program pretty easily I think. But what if I do the diploma and then all the jobs want a BA or MA? Then the diploma would be a waste of time.. Can I still get a good job in the field with a diploma?? I have a degree as well, just in English lol. What do you think I should do?? Even if I did the diploma, I still wouldn't be eligible for a Masters because I still wouldn't have a BA in social work

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Is there any difference in salary if you work specifically as a children's aid worker?

no, same union, same job.

However you probably won't get a choice. When you hire on with the government, they will put you where they need you. There may not be openings in the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD for short, in the states they call this CPS or Child Protective Services) and as the departments shift funding your job will be moved.

I know a few social workers that have involuntarily changed departments several times.


Also, it would be helpful if you learn the Canadian terminology related to social work, it makes it a lot easier to ask and answer questions.

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