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Social care

Social services manager

Social services managers plan and co-ordinate the health, welfare and social care support provided by local authorities and charities.

Annual Salary

£35,000 to £75,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

38 to 40 a week

You could work: between 8am and 6pm;

5%
Future employment

There will be 5% more Social services manager jobs in 2025.
In your local area

What's it all about?

Day to day tasks

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

Working environment

You could work in the community or in an office.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly
University

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:

  • social work
  • mental health nursing
  • public health policy
  • health and social care

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course
For more information
College

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.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, a level 3 diploma or relevant experience for a level 4 or level 5 course
For more information
Apprenticeship

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.

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
Direct application

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.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

More information

Further information

You'll find more advice about working in social services from Think Care Careers.

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.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • 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
  • knowledge of English language
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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