geographical areas

You can find information on areas of the UK where we have jobs here.


Hear Fran talk about her experience of moving to the UK and working as a social worker in a variety of roles



The three sectors

The private sector             

Many children’s homes, fostering agencies, assessment centres, support services for people with disabilities, care homes for older people, for example.

Local government              

There are 150 local authorities in England, 22 in Wales and 32 in Scotland. Most qualified social workers are employed by local government. This is also known as “statutory” work. Social services are divided up into Children’s Services and Adults Services.

  • Children’s Services

  1. Referral and Assessment
  2. Children in Need
  3. Children with Disabilities
  4. Looked After Children
  5. Leaving Care


  • Adults’ Services
  1. Adults with Disabilities
  2. Older People’s Services
  3. Mental Health Services


The voluntary sector         

There are many charities providing specialist services e.g. support for adults with disabilities, children’s homes and children’s centres.


There have been a number of changes in recent years and a lot of new legislation in both Adults' and Children’s Services. There are important values and guidance for you to inform yourself about, depending on the kind of work you apply for e.g. person centred approach in Adults’ Services and Every Child Matters for working with children and young people. When you enquire with us, we'll send you some suggested reading.


"Qualified" or "unqualified" work

In the UK, we talk about “qualified” and “unqualified” work. It doesn’t mean that you are qualified or not – it refers to the kind of job.


If you have a qualification that a UK Care Council will register you can choose between “qualified” work and “unqualified” work.


If you have a qualification that a UK Care Council will not register, you can only work in “unqualified” work.

Qualified work

Qualified work must be done by people who can register with the relevant Care Council (depends on the country eg. England would be HCPC).  Often these jobs are working for local government e.g. Care Manager in Adults Social Care or Social Worker in Children’s Services.


Qualified work means you hold a certain power and responsibility, working with government legislation and frameworks. Often the work requires very good assessment skills, case management and the ability to work with a variety of agencies e.g. police, hospitals, schools etc. The work includes intervention that is backed by legal powers e.g. removing a child from its parents if the child is at risk of harm. Often the work is 60+% in the office, writing reports and keeping records. English needs to be a good level and writing skills are important.


Salaries are often (but not always) higher in qualified work. The minimum starting salary is around £22,000 and can range up to £42,000 for experienced and skilled Social Workers.

Unqualified work

Unqualified work does NOT require Care Council registration. If you have a qualification that could be registered by a UK Care Council, you can still do non-qualified work if you choose. This is especially relevant for Social Pedagogues who want to work in e.g. homes for children and young people.


In “unqualified work”, salaries are often (but not always) lower than qualified work. Salary ranges depend on the kind of work and usually how much work experience you have e.g. £15,000 - £23,000.


The work is more direct with clients and often more practical, involving less paperwork and not as much multi-agency working. Some record keeping is required. This is the delivery of care and support to clients. Often this work requires you to work shifts- these vary from employer to employer.


The British social system

The way Social Work is practiced and social care is delivered in the UK will vary from your country. It is important that you start to learn about the system here.


What do Social Workers do in the UK?

Social workers are employed in a wide variety of statutory, independent and charitable agencies, and also work independently. Their tasks may include:


  • Assessing the circumstances and needs of people who request or who are referred for personal social services.
  • Purchasing, commissioning and providing services to meet assessed needs or reduce risk.
  • Engaging in problem-solving, facilitative and supportive activities with individuals, families, groups and communities.
  • Identifying and assessing the nature and degree of risk to which vulnerable children or adults may be exposed.
  • Establishing, implementing and evaluating protection and care plans.
  • Collaborating with other professionals to assess needs and provide services.
  • Exercising legal powers and duties.

Jacaranda has its offices in South London, but we have jobs all over England, Wales and Scotland.

Each job vacancy gives you the location of jobs and when you request more information on jobs, we provide you with some facts about the place e.g. population, distance to nearest big town, nearest international airport and special points of interest.

Check our latest vacancies here. To read about the types of social work jobs we can offer, please see type of work.


We have placed social workers and social care professionals in jobs in cities like London, Edinburgh and Cardiff as well as smaller cities and towns.




Anywhere in the UK, you are never more than 72 miles from the coast and we have placed social workers in jobs right by the seaside - and some people have found new watersport hobbies like kite-surfing.


You could be unwinding after work by taking a walk along golden, sandy beaches or enjoying time with new friends at the water's edge.








You could work in areas around London, but not directly in the city. One such area is Kent, known as the Garden of England. The area has many benefits, including close proximity to London and a 1.5 hour train journey to Paris! The population is 1,466,500  of a region that covers 3,500 sq kilometres. It is one of the warmest areas of Great Britain and has a diverse landscape, including beautiful coastal towns, small market towns and larger conurbations.





London is an amazing, exciting and fun place to live and work. Approximately 8.308 million people live in the Greater London area, which makes it hard to believe that quiet moments like this are possible...







Get to know one of the world's most exciting and diverse capital cities at first hand. Soon you'll know that we call the underground "the tube", you'll know what an A-Z is, but you won't always need one to get from A to B.





One thing is for sure, when your friends and family know that you have a job in the UK, they will be booking their holiday and shopping trips to come and see you.

Take friends and family to see the sights and share with them your new favourite places and treat them to the special experience of a full English breakfast!




We also have jobs in cities near Birmingham, more rural areas, coastal Wales, Scotland, the south coast and much more. Just ask us for details and please let us know your location preferences!











Jacaranda is based in London Bridge and we have jobs in the capital, close to London and closer to the seaside, as well as other towns and cities all around England, Scotland and Wales.


Find out more about some of the places you can work in the UK.. We have jobs in rural and countryside settings if you prefer peace and quiet to the hustle and bustle of city life.


It is an advantage in your job search if can read up on and find out about the British social system. We provide an outline of the sectors, indicative salaries and what to consider when choosing which jobis right for you.

Type of work

Jacaranda helps social care professionals find jobs in the United Kingdom. Those we help include:

  • Social workers
  • (Social) educators
  • Social pedagogues
  • Pedagogues

Have a look at some of our current jobs.



How Jacaranda will help you get a job

Remember, we do not not charge you for our service to you in helping you find a job.

Register with us!

Send us your CV and you will be registered on our mailing list. We will send you job updates. You can also follow us on twitter (@JobJacaranda) and on Facebook (Jacaranda - like our page). We post and tweet news items, hints and tips on finding a social work job and our latest vacancies.

When you apply for a job you like, we make an appointment to talk about it. We will give you extra information on the job, explain the application process, assess your English and suitability for the job.This is nothing to be nervous about and there is no need to prepare for it. It takes about 30 minutes.

Applying for a specific job & Feedback on application form

We email job details frequently. When you see a job you like, follow the instructions on the advert. Usually this involves informing yourself about the job and completing a specific application form. We will give you feedback and you may want to make some changes. We have placed hundreds of European social workers and social pedagogues in the UK and know what information employers need to see.

Invitation to interview & preparation

Sometimes we make the decision if you are invited to interview, sometimes the employer makes this decision. Sometimes you need to apply for several jobs before you are invited to interview.

Once invited, we will tell you where you need to be and at what time, give you links on how to get there and tips for finding somewhere to stay.

We will also tell you what documents to bring to interview, about the dress code and how you can prepare. We offer group or individual preparation sessions in advance of your interview.


Attending the interview

Interviews take place in the UK – you cover the cost of flight, travel and accommodation, unless you are informed any different (some employers make a contribution, but rarely). Usually the Jacaranda consultant you have been working with will be at the interviews. Often interviews are in groups because employers ask us to find them e.g. 5 social workers in one go. Interviews usually include an opportunity to spend some time looking around, meeting people and asking questions.

Job offer  and recruitment checking

If all goes well, you will be made a job offer. Jacaranda informs you about this and guides you through the next steps. We start talking about the specific salary you will be offered and when you can start work. We also need to collect certain documents from you and get contact information from your past employers. You will usually work with your future employer directly on this.

Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service checks (DBS, previously Criminal Record Bureau)

Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service checks (DBS, previously Criminal Record Bureau) is a more detailed police-check. Everyone who works with vulnerable people needs to have this check done. The requirements are very specific (e.g. you provide your address details for the last 5 years and you have to provide specific documents to prove your identity and address). We will advise you about this later.

You can only start work when you are HCPC registered (if the job requires it, not all jobs do), you have your DBS check and all other reference and recruitment checks are back and signed off by your future employer. This can take some time, and it helps to be organised!

Starting work

A new job in a new country! Congratulations! It is a wonderful feeling, maybe mixed with nerves and apprehensions, but hundreds of people before you have done it – if you want to read some experience stories, just ask us.



First published in 2003, © Jacaranda Recruitment Ltd. 2019. All rights reserved.