Home > Ask Our Experts > How Do I Start my Career as a Family Support Worker?

How Do I Start my Career as a Family Support Worker?

By: Rachel Newcombe - Updated: 16 Feb 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Family Support Worker Social Work Career

Q.I have a degree in Childhood Studies/Educational studies and I have been working with children for the last 6 years and I want to work as a family support worker or something related to social work. I wanted to know how I go about it. Would I have to study further or could I use the qualifications I already have?

(Mrs Zoby Hussain, 1 October 2008)

A.

Thanks for your question. Although you don’t say exactly what work with children you’ve been doing for the last six years, on the surface it sounds like you should be in a good position to move onto working as a family support worker.

Most family support worker jobs insist that applicants have experience, either through paid or voluntary work, with working with children and families. It’s a definite bonus if you’ve got experience or qualifications through working in social work, but other relevant experience could be gained through working:

  • In children’s homes.
  • At children’s nurseries.
  • In probation services.
  • At family refuge centres.
  • In family community centres.
  • In mental health services.
  • At youth work projects.
In addition to relevant experience, many jobs also require qualifications, although there may be the option of studying for extra qualifications alongside doing the job. Some of the qualifications that are relevant to the job include:

  • NVQ levels 2, 3 and 4 in Children's Care, Learning and Development.
  • NVQ levels 2, 3 and 4 in Health and Social Care.
  • CACHE Certificate or Diploma in Child Care and Education.
  • BTEC National Certificate/Diploma in Children's Care, Learning and Development.
Many employers actively encourage further study and may suggest you work towards qualifications such as a foundation degree in Professional Studies in Family support, a postgraduate certificate or degree in Child Protection and Family Support or a BTEC HNC in Advanced Practice in Work with Children and Families.

Whether or not the degree you already have will be accepted as being enough for the job depends in part on what topics it actually covered – if there wasn’t much of a focus on family support, it may not be quite so relevant. Yet the experience you have may help balance things out.

If you’ve got your heart set on pursuing a career as a family support worker, then the best bet would be to contact relevant organisations in your area and ask exactly what qualifications and experience they require. If the experience you have isn’t quite apt, then there could be the possibility of volunteering to shadow a current family support worker as they go about their job to gain extra skills.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Hi I'm wanting some advice I'm a mum of 4 have been for 13 years I have no qualifications and only experience of looking after my own kids and friends , I want to work my time as mum/homemaker is done my aims are probably way over my head as I have no finance for this but I want to have my own sensory gym for children where also young mums can go for advice and or help where would I start with something like this , am I really way above my head with this ? ??
Claire - 16-Feb-17 @ 9:51 PM
I am 48 and a Mother to 4 ASD children, I have 22 years 'experience' of additional needs (as I have lived with it for that long). I was previously a Carer & do have a NVQ 2 in Care, I have also worked in child care as a Nanny before I had my children. I am looking at ways of using my experience to help others, I am also in the process of starting a support group in the village where my youngest daughters school is. I would really appreciate any advice. Thank you
jpat68 - 27-Jan-17 @ 6:45 AM
Hi I just wanted little information about how I go about applying for apprenticeship for a family centre I already have level 2 childcare and was wondering if could do my level 3 in a family centre but as a apprentice does anyone know anything that will help me please
Mary - 19-Jan-17 @ 1:35 PM
Hello, I have a BA Hons degree in childhood and youth studies and criminology, since getting my degree unfortunately I haven't utilised it and have been working in the finance sector ever since. I am now looking for a career change and would like some advice on how I would be able to start a career as a child/family support worker. Any advice possible would be fantastic on the steps I should take. Many Thanks Claire
claire - 21-Nov-16 @ 8:43 PM
Curlyc - Your Question:
Hi, I've just finished my BA (Hons) in Education and have been working as a teaching assistant for over 6yrs. I really want to progress into a family support worker role. I've managed to have a couple of interviews but always get beaten to the post by someone with more experience. How can I make this cross over? Or is there a course I need to do? Any advice please.

Our Response:
Most employers will also want you to have some practical experience. You could get this through paid or voluntary work with children, young people and their families, please see National Careers link here. I hope this helps.
WorkingWithKids - 14-Nov-16 @ 12:52 PM
Hi, I've just finished my BA (Hons) in Education and have been working as a teaching assistant for over 6yrs. I really want to progress into a family support worker role. I've managed to have a couple of interviews but always get beaten to the post by someone with more experience. How can I make this cross over? Or is there a course I need to do? Any advice please.
Curlyc - 13-Nov-16 @ 8:06 PM
I am a level 3 Childcare practitioner. I am very passionate about working with children and their families. Can you please advice me on how to get started as Family support worker. Would I need further studies if so, which ones?
Ynx - 3-Nov-16 @ 10:07 AM
I have been working as a childminder for the last 19 years I have a nvq level 3 in children learning and development , I really enjoy my work but at the moment I feel like I would like to take a different path in my careerwould the experience I have be enough to apply for a family serport worker ? Thank you s winstanley
Eddie - 28-Sep-16 @ 10:13 PM
Vaidute - Your Question:
Hello, I am 32 year old and have a carrier in hairdressing which I love a lot. But I always thought I like helping advising caring for children little and older ones. I am so ready to do something more meaningful, would love to work as family support worker, but have no education for it. Is it possible to work and study at the same time, and where do I go for it. Many thanks.

Our Response:
In addition to the information in the article, please see the National Careers link herewhich will outline you your options. Good luck.
WorkingWithKids - 30-Jun-16 @ 11:44 AM
Hello, I am 32 year old and have a carrier in hairdressing which I love a lot. But I always thought I like helping advising caring for children little and older ones. I am so ready to do something more meaningful, would love to work as family support worker, but have no education for it. Is it possible to work and study at the same time, and where do I go for it. Many thanks.
Vaidute - 29-Jun-16 @ 2:57 PM
Kel - Your Question:
I really want to become a family support worker. I am 25. I have a level 2 supporting & teaching in schools. I have worked with a number of families with needs & was very successful hence why I would love to now make that my main role. Any advice would be gratly appreciated

Our Response:
I can only direct you to the National Careers site here which will give you additional advice than the article. Also, it may link you to other similar positions to allow you to make an informed choice. Good luck- it always helps in life when we know exactly what road we wish to take, and what we want to do.
WorkingWithKids - 7-Jun-16 @ 10:25 AM
I really want to become a family support worker. I am 25. I have a level 2 supporting & teaching in schools. I have worked with a number of families with needs & was very successful hence why I would love to now make that my main role. Any advice would be gratly appreciated
Kel - 6-Jun-16 @ 9:16 AM
I'm 43, just finishing my BA Hons degree in Childhood Studies at Warwick. I'm currently and Senior Early Years Practitioner and would love to be a Parent Support/Involvement Officer, and advise your be welcomed?
Fi - 25-May-16 @ 7:32 PM
Hi I have spent 12 years in the public sector covering child abuse investigations and domestic abuse. I would like to move my experience and career towards becoming a family support worker. I have qualifications which are basic CACHE level 1 early years settings CACHE level 2 support work in schools I have also signed up with open university to start health and social care degree in october 2016. The question is am going down the right path with the degree or should i be doing something else. I have signed up to volunteer at local sure start centre Thanks Tracy
Tracy - 6-May-16 @ 10:24 AM
Danni1531 - Your Question:
HiI don't know if anyone can help me I would like to work with children that have seen domestic violence within the family. Does anyone know how I go about it and what qualifications I need Thankyou

Our Response:
You could train as a social worker, where you’ll work with individuals and families and help them to improve their lives - please see link here. The main premise of the job is to provide advice and support to vulnerable individuals and families, including children. If you want to make a positive difference to children and their families' lives, and help them have a better future, then you can see more details on working as a Family Support Worker here. I hope these help.
WorkingWithKids - 1-Apr-16 @ 12:59 PM
Hi I don't know if anyone can help me I would like to work with children that have seen domestic violence within the family. Does anyone know how I go about it and what qualifications I need Thankyou
Danni1531 - 1-Apr-16 @ 9:28 AM
I am a 32 year old mum with a level 4 childcare qualification, who has worked for 12years in the private sector! Which I left to have my own child! I know believe I could make a dig fence in other parents/carers lives! I have myself experienced hirdles in raising my own child financially and emotionally I would like the opportunity to help others! I also have a level 3 management qualification!
Jode - 27-Feb-16 @ 1:05 AM
I am a committed childcare practionor who hasvsuccesfully worked for twelve years in a private sector working place, although has taken time out to raise my two yr old little girl! I have a level 4 qualification and a level 3 Qualification inanagent! I depererately want to further my chosen career to help and support others! I feel I have the knowledge and commitment to do this! This is a passion I've had from sixteen!
Jode - 27-Feb-16 @ 12:59 AM
Hi I am looking to become a support worker as I think I will be able to help a lot of young mums who have been in my situation losing parents at a young age and not having a great up bringing ... I am 22 with a 1 and half year old and I have a family support worker and looking at the help I get and how she connects with me and understands me I would love to do the same and have the same impact on other young mums as my support worker has with me and I don't know where to start
Nikki - 20-Feb-16 @ 9:03 PM
tara - Your Question:
I'm a female 18, I am wanting to become a social worker but have no idea how to get into that career? ive got experience working with children as ive been working in nurseries but now im wanting to progress to get either an apprenticeship or full time job within the area? I need help

Our Response:
You can see what qualifications you need to become a Social Worker via the National Careers website here. I hope this helps.
WorkingWithKids - 9-Feb-16 @ 2:36 PM
I'm a female 18, i am wanting to become a social worker but have no idea how to get into that career? ive got experience working with children as ive been working in nurseries but now im wanting to progress to get either an apprenticeship or full time job within the area? i need help
tara - 9-Feb-16 @ 2:11 PM
nicolerhian - Your Question:
Hi, I am 16 years old and I've recently left college because it wasn't for me. I want too get into the family support worker job role. What kind off experience / apprenticeship's would you recommend?

Our Response:
I have included a link to the National Careers website here, which should tell you all you need to know. Good luck.
WorkingWithKids - 28-Oct-15 @ 12:54 PM
Tutu - Your Question:
Hi I'm Antoinette and I'm 37. I have been a support worker for about 6 year, mentoring young people a year, and working in a parenting contact centre. But I have always wanted to be a family support worker due to my background. However, I do not have any qualifications towards this. How do I go about becoming a family support worker.

Our Response:
Please see National Careers website here which should tell you all you need to know.
WorkingWithKids - 28-Oct-15 @ 12:12 PM
Hi, I am 16 years old and I've recently left college because it wasn't for me. I want too get into the family support worker job role. What kind off experience / apprenticeship's would you recommend?
nicolerhian - 27-Oct-15 @ 12:18 PM
Hi I'm Antoinette and I'm 37. I have been a support worker for about 6 year, mentoring young people a year, and working in a parenting contact centre. But I have always wanted to be a family support worker due to my background. However, I do not have any qualifications towards this. How do I go about becoming a family support worker.
Tutu - 27-Oct-15 @ 10:56 AM
hello, I have an interview for a Family support worker coming up. I have been asked to carry out a presentation for my interview but I am really nervous about the interview. Is there any way I can prep for possible questions???
shel2011 - 15-Oct-15 @ 3:20 PM
I have spent a good part of my life supporting families,individuals,students ,voluntary. I have had five years training at college working with special needs students I was a support worker mentor Iworker mentor and i gained level 2 learning support along with certificates for training courses. Since then I have worked with the elderly in their private homes dealing with dementia , autism ,and at preI support an elderly couple and a gentleman with complex needs. I feel I could benefit from further training or a qualification what would you suggest.
daisy - 9-Oct-15 @ 10:16 AM
Shaunie - Your Question:
Hi I was just wondering if anyone could give me any information. ive always wanted to be in the social care work but since havin children I feel like its going to be impossible I have a 4 yr old and 1 yr old. im 24. I would love to become a family support worker but have no idea on how to get to where I would need to be. I done a foundation level health an social care course when I left school which I passed with distinction and only done half of my level 2 as had to leave due to my back conditions. I have also done voluntary work with age concern. also I have experience with my own life as mad as it sounds as my mom recently passed away age 50 from cancer an left behind my little brother age 11 she also lived with domestic violence in her life so ive experienced quiet a lot but as I know this wouldnt really do me any justice as it isnt written on a certificate. was just hoping someone could point me in right direction on where to start many thanks x

Our Response:
The National Careers Service can offer some additional information, via the link here, which includes different routes in. I hope this helps.
WorkingWithKids - 2-Sep-15 @ 3:10 PM
Hi I was just wondering if anyone could give me any information... ive always wanted to be in the social care work but since havin children I feel like its going to be impossible I have a 4 yr old and 1 yr old ... im 24 ... I would love to become a family support worker but have no idea on how to get to where I would need to be .. I done a foundation level health an social care course when I left schoolwhich i passed with distinction and only done half of my level 2as had to leave due to my back conditions .. I have also done voluntary work with age concern ... also I have experience with my own life as mad as it sounds as my mom recently passed away age 50 from cancer an left behind my little brother age 11 she also lived with domestic violence in her life so ive experienced quiet a lot but as I know this wouldnt really do me any justice as it isnt written on a certificate ... was just hoping someone could point me in right direction on where to start many thanks x
Shaunie - 2-Sep-15 @ 9:56 AM
Janet - Your Question:
I wonder if somebody could point me in the right direction please, I am looking at getting some training to become a support worker as I enjoy working with the public and am very good at giving out advice but don't know how to go about this. I have no training in this area but am a mother of two and a grandma so do have skills in that area. Thank you.

Our Response:
Please see link to the National Careers Service here which should give you more information. I hope this helps.
WorkingWithKids - 27-Aug-15 @ 10:41 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • non
    Re: Becoming a Special Needs Volunteer
    I'm interested to work with special needs children in Slough. I'm working as a volunteer with girlguiding.
    21 March 2017
  • Tradition
    Re: DBS Checks
    We are a group of retired people who have formed a “not for profit” association to go into schools as volunteers and teach traditional dance. No one…
    20 March 2017
  • jan
    Re: DBS Checks
    My children are on the child protection register , will this show up on my dbs? I'm applying for care assistant jobs ?
    15 March 2017
  • WorkingWithKids
    Re: Advice on Becoming a Teacher
    Sorelle - Your Question:I would like to become teacher. I have a degree in business study & International Finance.I love spending…
    14 March 2017
  • Sorelle
    Re: Advice on Becoming a Teacher
    I would like to become teacher. I have a degree in business study & International Finance.I love spending time with kids and i am…
    13 March 2017
  • WorkingWithKids
    Re: DBS Checks
    Lou - Your Question:I have a drink driving conviction Which is 21 years old Is this not now protected? Will it show on a dbs ?
    13 March 2017
  • Jkc140683
    Re: DBS Checks
    I just got my dbs check back. It has a criminal record on it which was 13 years ago for neglet of a child but am not on the barred list. Am I still able…
    13 March 2017
  • blueberry
    Re: DBS Checks
    I want to register as a childminder but in the past social work took my children of me after I was caught drinking at home after the kids were in bed. I…
    12 March 2017
  • Lou
    Re: DBS Checks
    I have a drink driving conviction Which is 21 years old Is this not now protected? Will it show on a dbs ?
    12 March 2017
  • WorkingWithKids
    Re: Voluntary Working Basics: What You Should Know
    Tuli - Your Question:Hi, I'm interested doing volunteers work in Stepney green area. Waiting for a…
    10 March 2017
  • Further Reading...
    Our Most Popular...
    We are on Facebook
    Check us out...
    Add to my Yahoo!
    Add to Google
    Stumble this
    Add to Twitter
    Add To Facebook
    RSS feed
    You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the WorkingWithKids website. Please read our Disclaimer.