Family support worker
Family support workers help and advise families with long or short-term difficulties.
£18,000 Starter - £35,000 Experienced
36 to 38 a week (evenings / weekends / bank holidays away from home)
Where to start
You can get into this job through
a college coursean apprenticeshipvolunteeringapplying directly
You could do a:
- Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care
- 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.
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.
Experience is essential when applying for training or jobs. You can get this through paid or voluntary work in:
- children's homes
- family refuge centres
- probation services
- family community centres
- mental health services
- youth projects
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
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
- excellent verbal communication skills
- sensitivity and understanding
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- to be flexible and open to change
- the ability to work well with others
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- the ability to understand people’s reactions
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and Requirements
You'll need to pass enhanced background checks.
For many roles you may be expected to have a full, clean driving licence.
What you’ll do
In this role you could:
- work with people who have drug or alcohol addiction
- support a parent who is in hospital or prison
- support clients who have marital or financial difficulties
- support a child or parent with a disability
- attend court sessions that deal with care orders for children
- work with social workers to assess a family's needs when a child returns home after being in care
- support people with language barriers who are struggling to access services
- help clients to develop parenting and home management skills
You could work in an office, at a client's home or in a court.
Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.
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.