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Family Support Worker Apprenticeship

Family Support Worker Apprenticeship

As a family support worker apprentice, you will give practical and emotional help to families dealing with short- or long-term challenges. Typically, you’ll work for social service agencies or charitable organisations run by local governments.

Your primary role is to provide hands-on help to service users, aiding them in overcoming various hurdles, reducing concerns and risks, and, in some instances, assisting in ensuring that children remain with their families.

You might help parents and children with a wide range of social and emotional issues or specialise in a particular area, such as domestic abuse, bereavement, or homelessness.


Throughout your apprenticeship, you may help:

  • 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.


  • Starting salaries for family support worker apprentices are typically between £18,000 and £19,000.
  • With experience or a particular specialism you can earn up to £35,000, especially if you’re in a supervisory role.
  • Salaries for family support workers working as family centre, project and charity managers can be up to £50,000.

Working hours

Full-time family support workers usually work 37 hours per week. There are also part-time, casual and job share options available.

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.


Qualifications you can achieve as an apprentice family support worker include:

  • Level 4 children, young people and families practitionerEntry requirements for this level include 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship. This qualification will take 24 months to complete.
  • Level 4 Early Intervention Practitioner – Entry requirements for this level include 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship. This qualification will take 18 months to complete.


On a family support worker apprenticeship, you’ll learn:

  • 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
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device.


Local government social services agencies, specialist support organisations, and charities provide jobs in the public and not-for-profit sectors.

You might also work at a school, assisting and guiding children and their families.

Opportunities are also advertised on specific charity websites, in local and national publications, and via hiring agencies.

Professional development

You’ll need to attend in-house and external training sessions, conferences, and seminars to maintain your professional knowledge and skills up to date.

You might also obtain qualifications in your subject of study. For example, Women’s Aid provides recognised training in coping with and preventing domestic and sexual violence/abuse. Grief and debt counselling classes are also available.

Some family support workers seek advanced degrees, such as foundation degrees, in working with children, youth, and families.

If you already have a degree, you may pursue a postgraduate degree in child and family studies or family support. There is also a postgraduate certificate, diploma, or Masters degree in child protection.

Career prospects

You may opt to specialise in a particular area of family support work, such as homelessness, domestic abuse, or supporting people with learning impairments, provided you have the necessary experience and qualifications.

Many family support workers progress to roles of supervision and management. Typically, this means leading a team of workers or managing a shelter, project, or family centre. Your duties will involve family service planning, delivery, and evaluation.

A PhD in family support enables you to conduct research and progress into leadership, strategy, and policy creation roles.

Updated on January 1, 2023

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