Social Services Manager

Job Description:

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

Job Category:

What you will 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


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of psychology
  • business management skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • leadership skills
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • excellent communication skills
  • the ability to manage relationships with partner agencies
  • analytical skills
  • project management skills
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Social Services Manager, you will typically need a combination of relevant education, work experience, and skills. While there are no specific subjects required for this role, you can focus on subjects that can help you build a foundation for a career in social services:

  1. English: Strong communication skills are essential for effective interactions with clients, staff, and other professionals. Good writing skills are also important for creating reports and documents.
  2. Mathematics: Basic math skills can be useful when managing budgets and financial resources within social service organizations.
  3. Biology or Psychology: Understanding human biology or psychology can be beneficial when working with clients and assessing their needs. These subjects can provide insight into human behavior and mental health.
  4. Sociology: Sociology can provide a deeper understanding of societal issues, cultural diversity, and social structures, which are all relevant to social services.
  5. Citizenship or Political Science: These subjects can help you understand government policies and how they impact social services.
  6. Health and Social Care: While not typically offered as a subject, courses in health and social care can provide a solid foundation for understanding the principles and practices of social services.

Post School

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 local authorities (in the UK that would be the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) )
  • 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.

Working Hours 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.

Career Path & 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.