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Newly Qualified Social Workers

Congratulations on becoming a social worker and thank you for your interest in Sanctuary. We specialise in placing social workers in contract (locum) social work roles with employers across the UK.

It is important to realise that it is difficult for newly qualified social workers to become locums straight away. This is because employers need to provide extra support to newly qualified social workers which is not something that would normally be required when employing locums as they have more experience.

In most parts of the UK, you will need at least 12-18 months’ post qualifying local authority experience as a social worker upon completing any period of protected workload and support as a newly qualified social worker, such as the Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE).

We would advise seeking a permanent position, which offers the support and training you need when starting out. This will increase your experience and boost your chances of obtaining a locum position further down the line.

It is essential that you keep up-to-date with your continuing professional development (CPD) requirements and retain a record of your CPD activities to ensure that you maintain your social work registration. If you wish to take a break from social work to go travelling (or any other period out of practice), then you should keep hold of records to evidence this period in case you wish to register with us at a later date. Candidates must provide evidence of any career breaks of one month or more.

Once you have gained experience in a social work position, Sanctuary will help you to secure your first locum post and will guide you through the entire process.

We have an interactive online Careers Hub which is home to a collection of useful information to assist you at every stage in your social work career. You will find useful downloads, blogs, tips on writing your CV and preparing for interview and much more. We have also produced a leaflet with more information and guidance for NQSW's, which can be found here.



If you would be interested in working as a locum in the future, we may able to advise you on the type of experience and training you would need. We also provide professional development education through our specialist training division, Sanctuary Training.