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Family support worker

Family support workers help families with long or short term problems.

Annual Salary

£19,000 to £35,000

Average UK salary in 2023 was £34,963
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

36 to 38 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends / bank holidays; away from home

Future employment

There will be 4% more Family support worker jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

As a family support worker you could:

  • work with people addicted to alcohol or drugs
  • support a parent while they're in hospital or prison
  • support clients who have marriage or money problems
  • support a child or parent with a disability
  • attend court sessions about caring for a child
  • help clients develop their parenting skills

Working environment

You could work at a school, in an office, at a client's home or in a court.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • volunteering
  • applying directly

You could do a level 3 diploma in health and social care or children and young people's workforce.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
For more information

An apprenticeship may help you gain the skills you need to become a family support worker.

You could complete a:

  • peer worker advanced apprenticeship
  • children, young people and families practitioner higher apprenticeship
  • early intervention practitioner higher apprenticeship

Entry requirements

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
For more information
Volunteering and work experience

You need to have experience to apply for training or jobs as a family support worker.

You can get experience by volunteering or finding paid work with:

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

You can find volunteering opportunities listed on Do It and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO).

Direct application

You can apply for family support worker jobs if you have:

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

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

More information

Further information

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

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With experience and training you could:specialise in an area, like working with people with disabilities; lead a team of family support workers; manage a family centre or refuge; move into social work

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • 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
  • a desire to help people
  • knowledge of psychology
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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