Social services manager
Managerial | Social care
Social services managers plan and co-ordinate the health, welfare and social care support provided by local authorities and charities.
£35,000 Starter - £75,000 Experienced
38 to 40 a week (between 8am and 6pm)
Where to start
You can get into this job through
a university course
a college course
You could do a degree or postgraduate qualification before applying for a management trainee place with a local authority. Most subjects are accepted, though you may have an advantage with a qualification in:
mental health nursing
public health policy
health and social care
You'll usually need 2 to 3 A-Levels, or equivalent, for a degree. You'll need a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course.
You could learn some of the skills you need for this job through a college course, like a Level 4 or 5 Diploma in Health and Social Care Management. You'll usually need 1 or 2 A-Levels, a Level 3 diploma or relevant experience for a Level 4 or 5 course.
You may be able to start on a higher apprenticeship for children, young people and families managers, or care leadership and management, then do further on-the-job training.
You could also do a social worker degree apprenticeship to get a trainee manager's position.
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.
You'll need several years' management experience and a relevant qualification like the Level 5 Diploma in Leadership in Health and Social Care to apply for job vacancies directly.
Employers will expect you to have a clear understanding of legislation, safety standards and social policy for your chosen field.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- customer service skills
- knowledge of psychology
- counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
- sensitivity and understanding
- the ability to work well with others
- leadership skills
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- excellent verbal communication skills
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
Restrictions and Requirements
You'll need to pass enhanced background checks.
A driving licence will be useful.
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day duties could include:
- developing strategies and policies
- managing a team of senior staff
- planning staff and resource requirements
- managing finances and controlling budgets
- monitoring and improving service provision
- managing changes to services and how they’re provided
- analysing service data to identify areas for improvement and for reports
- working closely with other agencies
- supporting the professional development of your management team
- negotiating contracts and buying in services from outside providers
You could work in the community or in an office.
Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could specialise in a particular area, like mental health or children’s services.
You could also become a head of service, chief executive, assistant director or director of social services.