What does a Family Support Worker do?
Family Support Workers typically work for the government or social services agencies. They offer practical assistance and emotional support to families and individual clients. They work with families, including adults and children with different personal or social difficulties, such as domestic abuse, homelessness and addiction problems. Family Support Workers also help families access the benefits they are entitled to. They recommend a variety of community resources for families to use.
Family Support Worker skills and qualifications
A Family Support Worker needs excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills. A successful Family Support Worker candidate will also have various prerequisite skills and qualifications that include:
- Counselling and active listening skills
- Patience and ability to work under pressure
- Ability to perform basic tasks, such as report writing, on computers
- Commitment to make a positive difference to the lives of their clients
- Ability to work well with different types of individuals
- Compassion and empathy
- Organisational and interpersonal skills
Family Support Worker experience requirements
Most employers prefer Family Support Workers who have relevant work experience with young people, children and families. This can either be in a paid or voluntary capacity. While candidates aren’t likely to find structured opportunities such as internships, they can volunteer or work in family and children support services to gain experience and improve their skills. Experience in supporting children and adults, problem-solving, coaching, advisory work and mentoring is also helpful.
Family Support Worker education and training requirement
While entry routes into Family Support Worker positions are varied, candidates usually need a combination of relevant qualifications. Employers usually seek at least a level 3 qualification in one of the following: advice and guidance, youth work, social care, health, education, counselling, community work or childcare. Employers also expect candidates to know safeguarding procedures and practices, so candidates must complete a course in safeguarding awareness to support their application.
Candidates don’t have to have a degree to become a Family Support Worker, but some employers may require one in the following fields: youth and community work, social work, psychology, education or childhood studies. To work with young people, children and vulnerable groups, candidates must pass an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
Job description samples for similar positions
If the job description of a Family Support Worker is not what you are looking for, here are sample job descriptions for similar positions: