There is demand for a wide range of care professionals in the broad field of development work in many Third World and East European countries. These opportunities are mainly provided by large organisations with charitable status. You could consider carrying out gap year or voluntary work in these countries to build up experience.
Other possibilities include:
UK social work qualifications are accepted in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the European Community, usually as long as you also have three years of work experience. Careers advice qualifications are often recognised on a full or partial basis. A key requirement is knowledge of the language used in the country in which you wish to work. UK professional qualifications and experience will increase your chances of being able to practise overseas, especially in the case of aid and development work opportunities.
There are opportunities for employment as a social worker in the EU; the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) can be used as a starting point. Sweden and Denmark employ the largest number of social workers in Europe.
Opportunities also exist in the Third world and East Europe in aid and development work. These include positions working in the community, occupational therapy and personal care. Many of these posts require a professional qualification and relevant experience. To find out about opportunities in this area see organisations such as:
In these settings, you are required to live and work very much as part of the community and are often required to pass on your specialist skills by training local people.
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