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Services for Young Children

Working as a family support worker

What is a family support worker?

Family support workers help families who are experiencing difficulties and in need of emotional support. The purpose of the job is to help children who would otherwise be taken into care to stay with their family.

As a family support worker your work would vary depending on the particular needs of the family. The kinds of challenges your clients might face include:

What would I be doing?

Families would typically be referred to you by a social worker, who you would work with to plan the type and length of support required. A key part of your work would be to help parents to improve their home management and parenting skills.

This could involve:

In crisis situations, for example when a single parent is going into hospital, you may move into your client's home on a very short term basis until alternative care can be found. You may also help social workers assess a family's needs when a child has returned home from being in care. Your work would also involve keeping accurate client records and attending case conferences and regular team meetings.

What qualifications and experience would I need?

To become a family support worker, you will need relevant experience (and possibly qualifications) that demonstrate your ability and potential for this work. You could gain experience (paid or voluntary) by working with children and families in a range of settings, such as:

Within each of these areas, there are a variety of qualifications you could work towards that may give you an advantage when applying for a family support worker job, for example:

Social work qualifications are also a good preparation for working in family support.


Want to find out about other careers?

  • The GOV.UK website has information on a variety of different jobs

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