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Social services manager Service manager, service development manager

Social services managers plan and coordinate the health, welfare and social care support provided by local authorities and charities. 

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £35,000 to £75,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 35 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You’ll need:

  • several years management experience
  • a degree and professional qualifications relevant to the service you want to work for, like in social work or mental health
  • clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

You may also need to be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) depending on the job.

A driving licence will be useful.

Employers will expect you to have a clear understanding of legislation, safety standards and social policy for your chosen field.

Think Care Careers has more information about becoming a social services manager.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • leadership and motivational skills
  • excellent communication skills
  • the ability to manage relationships with partner agencies
  • IT skills
  • analytical skills 
  • project management skills

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • developing strategies and policies
  • managing a team of senior staff
  • planning staff and resource requirements
  • managing finances and controlling budgets
  • monitoring and improving service provision
  • managing changes to services and how they’re provided
  • analysing service data to identify areas for improvement and for reports
  • working closely with other agencies
  • supporting the professional development of your management team
  • negotiating contracts and buying in services from outside providers

4. Salary

Starter: £37,000 to £50,000

Experienced: £55,000 to £70,000

Highly Experienced: £75,000 or more

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work 35 to 40 hours a week.

You’ll be based in an office but travel between sites for meetings with social services teams and partner organisations. 

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could specialise in a particular area, like mental health or children’s services.

You could also become a head of service, chief executive, assistant director or director of social services.

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Last updated: 14 September 2017