what is a supervising social worker?

As a supervising social worker, you play a crucial role in the foster care system. You work alongside foster carers and families to advise and support them on their fostering journey. Your work involves taking care of foster children and carers. For instance, you conduct regular assessments to ensure the children are making progress and acclimatising to their new foster homes. You also check for signs of abuse and emotional problems and find solutions to ensure the children are comfortable. Since you report every incident and keep records of the children's progress in fostering, you should recommend solutions that benefit children in your care. You can also relocate them to new homes or offer help if they need counselling or rehabilitation.

what does a supervising social worker do?

Aside from caring for children, as a supervising social worker, you also prepare foster carers for their duties. You need to build a strong relationship with foster families and provide the support that the children need to feel comfortable. Being close to the foster families also helps you make the right children placements. Sometimes, your role also involves the recruitment of foster carers and training them to ensure they can provide emotional support to children. You need people and communication skills since you will work in a highly collaborative environment. You spend most time speaking to children or foster families.

Would working as a supervising social worker in social care suit your people skills and passion for improving other people's lives? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a supervising social worker role.


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average salary of a supervising social worker

According to ONS, a supervising social worker takes home an average salary of £34,000 per year. At the beginning of your career, your average earnings will be £31,721 annually, but with additional qualifications and experience, your compensation package can increase to £40,403 per year. As a supervising social worker, you also receive additional benefits like travel allowance and contribution to a pension scheme. The role provides numerous opportunities to increase your earnings through overtime work.

what factors affect the salary of a supervising social worker?

As a supervising social worker, your salary fluctuates depending on your experience level. Entry-level supervising social workers have minimal transferable skills, limiting their compensation package. Experienced supervising social workers have specialised skills and competencies, making them valuable to the foster care system.

Aside from your experience level, your employer also determines your salary. For instance, a supervising social worker working for private foster entities is likely to earn more than those working for the local authorities. You can also improve your salary prospects by changing locations. Areas with a huge demand for supervising social workers pay more than regions with low demand. Working in large cities also attracts better salaries than working in smaller towns.



types of supervising social workers

The types of supervising social workers depend on the employer and whether they work for the public or private sector. Some common supervising social workers include:

  • supervising social workers in not-for-profit organisations: as a supervising social worker working for a non-governmental organisation, you keep an eye on children in the foster systems and their carers. Private foster care institutions assist local authorities with foster care placements and managing foster families.
  • supervising social workers in the public sector: a supervising social worker may work for the local authorities or government social services. Your job is to identify foster families and match them with children. You also ensure the families receive government support and follow up on the child's progress in the foster system.


working as a supervising social worker

Working as a supervising social worker involves protecting the foster carers' interests and supporting them in accomplishing their obligations. You also monitor the well-being of the children in the foster system.



education and skills

As a supervising social worker, you need an undergraduate degree in social work authorised by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). A postgraduate degree can boost your chances of landing a job, but it is not a requirement. A postgraduate degree is only mandatory for those transitioning from other careers into social work.

Apart from educational qualifications, you need work experience in foster care practice. You can gain experience from internships and voluntary work. Most employers also require a Disclosure and Barring Service check and a driving licence since the job involves a lot of travelling.

skills and competencies

Supervising social workers need the following skills and competencies:

  • organisational skills: as a supervising social worker, you supervise multiple foster carers. Without organisational skills, you may forget to complete home visits in some areas. Prioritisation helps you deal with urgent child placement cases and foster carers' issues.
  • people skills: as a supervising social worker, you have to be friendly and maintain a positive attitude when dealing with foster carers. People skills help you relate with children and foster families well and solve any problems with child placement.
  • communication skills: as a supervising social worker, communication skills help you pass information clearly between different parties. Listening skills are also valuable to ensure you provide the necessary help. Communication skills assist you in preparing reports and assessments.
  • a good dose of empathy: a supervising social worker requires emotional intelligence to empathise with children or foster carers.

Health and social care
Health and social care


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