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Job Description

Family Support Workers will work closely with social workers to give practical help and advice to families that are having short term difficulties, this could be due to drug or alcohol addiction, a relationship breakdown, a parent in hospital or prison, child or parent disabilities or a language barrier.

Entry Requirements

You can get into this job through:

College

You could do a Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care or Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People's Workforce.

You'll usually need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course.

The following local colleges offer courses in Health and Social Care:

Or your local 6th form may offer a relevant course. 

Apprenticeship

You could complete a children, young people and families practitioner higher apprenticeship.

You'll usually need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship.

Click here to search for an apprenticeship.

Direct application

Employers will expect you to have:

  • experience in working with children, young people and their families
  • a minimum of a level 3 qualification in childcare, social work, social care, counselling, youth work or education

Career Tips

Most employers will also want you to have some practical experience. You could get this through paid or voluntary work with children, young people and their families in places like:

  • children's homes
  • nurseries
  • family refuge centres
  • probation services
  • family community centres
  • mental health services
  • youth projects

You’ll need to pass background checks by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

You can find out more about careers in support work from Think Care Careers.

Career Path and Progression

With experience and qualifications you could focus on a particular area, like working with people with disabilities.

You could also become a team leader, managing a group of support workers, or apply to be an assistant manager of a family centre or refuge.

Experience in family support may help if you want to move into social work.

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • Accommodation warden
  • Foster carer
  • Nanny
  • Education welfare officer

Required Skills

  • The ability to build a good relationship and gain trust with the families you are working with
  • Able to communicate effectively with both children and adults from all backgrounds
  • A non-judgmental approach
  • The patience to help parents develop the skills to look after their own family and run their own home
  • An understanding and caring nature
  • The ability to stay calm under pressure and in difficult situations
  • A flexible approach
  • Good organisational skills
  • Able to work well with other professionals

Salary Range

£18,000 to £35,000

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