It is becoming very common for social workers to make the decision to move abroad and leave the UK. I know of a few who have made the decision to go to Australia in particular. They’ve decided they are ready for a change and also wanted to have the sun all year round. So this worked perfectly for them and their family. They have no plans to return to live, only to visit family and friends.
What should I consider before making this decision?
- You will need to do a lot or initial research when choosing a country that you want to move to. You need to know whether there will be significant language barriers, make sure that you have an understanding of the culture and also that the routes into Social Worker are similar in this country. The most common ones that the recruiters focus on are; Canada, US, New Zealand and Australia for these reasons. You need to have an understanding on the cost of living and make sure you have enough money to get you started.
- Do I have enough experience? I have found that the recruiters normally want you to have at least two years’ experience working as a Social Worker. This helps to show your competence and understanding of the role and what it involves.
- Is there demand in this country for Social Workers? Child Protection seems to have the largest demand, but there is an often adult and Mental Health roles too. You can easily check this by looking at the skills occupation list and whether it remains a selected occupation on their list. You will normally need to complete a skills assessment which is provided by the Authority which is chosen for Social Workers. This is not based on competency but checks to make sure that you have the required qualifications.
- Will my DBS be clean? As with working in the UK in depth checks will be required of you to make sure that it is safe for you to work with vulnerable people and this will play a huge part in whether you are deemed suitable to work abroad. The agencies will assist in getting this completed as part of their requirements.
What are the steps I need to take?
Now this can be quite a long process or things can move pretty quickly dependent on how soon you want to go.
- Choosing a reputable agency who offer the best package . I have found that theses tend to be based in the London area. Please research this as much as you can. They all offer different packages and this is going to be dependent on what you want. If you are not clear about this please contact me and I can support you with this.
What sort of things can a relocation package cover?As I said earlier every company offers different things. You need to keep your eyes out and you should look out for;* Shipping costs including pets too
* Flights for you and your family in some cases
* Support with temporary accommodation 3 months until shipping arrives
* Induction programme with work
* Car hire for a month and so on…
- The Interview these can be done in different ways. This can be done face to face whereby people fly out to the UK to complete a number of interviews or this can be done via conference calls. Make sure you speak to the agency and be clear of what they expect.
- Applying for the right visa. There are a number of different types of visas that you will need to consider. Speak to the Agency and clarify this as many countries have different requirements. You want to get this started as soon as possible as this can cause the delay later down the line.
Checklist before I go;
Once your appropriate visa has been approved you can get planning.
- Book your flights and confirm your induction period.
- Go to your GP and have a check-up prior to leaving and make sure there are not any unmet health needs. Whilst doing this you can also request all of your health records. Consider any prescriptions you may need and also whether you will want health insurance etc.
- Decide what you are doing with your home e.g. renting or selling and arrange this.
- If you have children inform the school of your move and ask them to prepare the reports. Research into local schools in the area you are moving too and register them is this is an option.
- Arrange for shipping and quarantine for your pets if required.
- Finalise and arrange your finances and request credit references from your banks.
- Consider whether you need to speak to a Solicitor and make changes to any wills etc.
- Secure your temporary accommodation in your chosen country.
- Try to apply for a bank account.
- Confirm your moving date with the shipping company.
- Arrange for your post to be re-directed
- Contact the companies and arrange to pay bills and cancel direct debits.
- Prepare all of your important documents and make copies of these. Include your passport, birth certificate, marriage certificate, driving licence, qualifications and diplomas, references, employment history and so on.
This will be a life changing experience and it’s important that you are as prepared as possible. Speak to your agency on a regular basis and make sure that you follow the advice they provide to ensure things are not delayed further. If you have questions ask.
The demands in certain countries come and go and sometimes it is easier dependent on the need in the country. It can sometimes be a bit of a waiting game to get this secured. Changes are being made continuously to requirements and policies and the agencies will be kept updated on this.
If you have any questions around this please contact me.