- counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
- excellent verbal communication skills
- 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
- knowledge of psychology
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
In this role you could:
- work with people who have drug or alcohol addiction
- support a parent who is in hospital or prison
- support clients who have marital or financial difficulties
- support a child or parent with a disability
- attend court sessions that deal with care orders for children
- work with social workers to assess a family's needs when a child returns home after being in care
- support people with language barriers who are struggling to access services
- help clients to develop parenting and home management skills
You could work in an office, at a client's home or in a court.
Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.
With experience and qualifications you could focus on a particular area, like working with people with disabilities.
You could also become a team leader, managing a group of support workers, or apply to be an assistant manager of a family centre or refuge.
Experience in family support may help if you want to move into social work.
You can find out more about careers in support work from Think Care Careers.