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What does a Family Support Worker do?

If working with children and families is appealing to you, and you are looking for a role where you can help and guide those around you, becoming a Family Support Worker could be a good choice for you. It's a rewarding role that is just one of many options on graduation from our education degree courses. We've compiled some information about what to expect in this type of role, and how you can work towards a career as a Family Support Worker.

What does a Family Support Worker do?

Their role is to support children and their families with a variety of problems such as: drug and alcohol addiction; having a parent in hospital or prison; a parent or child with a disability or special educational needs (SEN); language barriers which mean they struggle to access local and national services; and needing help with general home management, finance and parenting skills. They help build relationships, increase skills and potentially bridge the gap between families and organisations, and can work with a variety of other professionals such as social workers and teachers. 

Roles and responsibilities

Key skills and traits required include:

  • Good communication and listening skills
  • Non-judgemental manner
  • Patience and understanding
  • Ability to adapt well to different situations and scenarios
  • Problem solving abilities
  • Strong organisational skills

A day in the life of a Family Support Worker

There’s no such thing as a typical day for a Family Support Worker, but that’s part of the appeal of doing this type of work! 

The role can be varied, but you may have a focussed role dealing with a particular issue, or group of people. For example, you could be working within a school setting with children that have special educational needs, or other additional needs. They may need help with behavioural, social or emotional well-being, or you could be helping vulnerable children cope with transitions between schools, or issues with life at home. In this setting, you would put plans together to help those in your care, and work closely with parents, carers and school staff to help implement these plans.

You could be assigned to work with families (perhaps in conjunction with a social worker) within their homes focussing on particular issues. For example, you could spend time accompanying children to court for care related proceedings, or you could be working in the community offering support sessions such as parenting skills in a group setting.  

Generally speaking, you can expect to work standard office hours, but this may include evenings and weekends depending on who you are working with. 

How to become a Family Support Worker

If the role of a Family Support Worker interests you, you will need to have a minimum of a level 3 qualification in childcare, social work, social care, youth work, counselling or education, experience (paid or voluntary) of working with families and children, and you would need to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. 

Our education degrees are ideal to prepare you for this role, as they will give you a level 6 qualification, in-depth knowledge of working with children and families, childhood development and education and much more, and valuable work experience during your placements. Our education degrees include BA (Hons) Working with Children, Young People and Families, BA (Hons) Education Studies, and BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies.

Explore our courses in education

Take a look at the courses we offer to help you kick start your career working with children and families.

See our courses