Children’s Residential Support Worker

Many people gravitate towards social care job roles, and for a lot of workers in this sector, residential care is the gateway into an exciting and varied career.

The children’s residential support worker role varies depending on the type of home you work in and the needs of the young people who live there.

Working in residential childcare is hugely rewarding and offers working patterns that suit many people’s lives.

However, there are challenges like there are in any job, and we know that working in a residential children’s homes won’t be for everyone.

But could it be for you?

  1. What is Residential Childcare?
  2. Residential Care Homes – Emotional, Social and Behavioural Difficulties (ESBD)
  3. Residential Care Homes – Physical/Learning Disability
  4. Children’s Residential Support Worker
  5. Residential Childcare Jobs – Summary



Picture of Kitchener - it won't be for everyone but it could be for you


What is residential childcare?

Residential childcare is a form of group care for children who are looked after.

Their care is provided by teams of paid staff and delivered in the group home.  Most homes support 3 or 4 young people, although some can support up to 10 children at one time.

All of Family Care’s homes are 4-bedded.

How does it work?

Children may need to live in a residential home for any number of reasons.

It could be that parents are unable to safely meet the child’s needs, or perhaps the young person requires support from a larger team with more specialist skills.

Residential children’s homes ensure that the needs of young people are met when they cannot live with their own family.

They are a place for children to develop and grow, as well as providing food, shelter, space for play, and leisure in a caring environment.

At Family Care, we have five children’s homes.  Three of them are known as ‘ESBD’ homes, and two are for young people with physical or learning disabilities.


Residential Care Homes – Emotional, Social and Behavioural Difficulties (ESBD)

Three of our homes support young people with emotional, social and behavioural difficulties.

This could be ADHD, high levels of anxiety, attachment difficulties, low self-worth, or being at risk of sexual exploitation and criminal involvement.

Young people who come to live at an ESBD home need the safety and structure it provides.

Our ESBD homes support 4 young people in each location, and each home has a Rota of roughly 8-12 staff members.



Residential Care Homes – Physical/Learning Disability

To work in one of these homes, it’s good if you have some prior experience of personal care.

You will be shown how to administer medications and trained to use equipment such as hoists and other mobility aids.

Up to 4 young people will be living in the home full-time.

Working in an LD home can be physically demanding, but you are never alone.

Typically, there are three to four staff members on shift at any one time, so you’ve always got the support of the team.


Children’s Residential Support Worker

There is no set course for the day-to-day responsibilities of a residential childcare worker.

Duties will depend on the children being supported and range from domestic support around the home to helping with schoolwork.

A big part of the role involves preparing young people for independence, teaching them everyday skills like shopping or budgeting.

We also want childcare workers who can create opportunities for creativity and fun inside and outside of the home.

You don’t need any special qualifications or experience to apply as a children’s residential support worker, what is important is the personality you bring into the home.



All Family Care residential staff will complete a fully funded level 3 diploma.

As well as ongoing training and support from your team, there is specialist support available from a team of in-house therapists.

Residential childcare is largely shift based work and does involve sleep-ins.  Within each home there are several staff bedrooms for overnight stays, and each team member will usually do 8-12 sleep-ins per month.

Sleep-ins might not sound glamorous, but you get your meals and a warm bed to rest your head.  Plus, while you’re working it’s harder to spend your money, so you’ll be saving in no time.

Right now, we are recruiting residential childcare workers in Oldham, Manchester, Macclesfield and the West Midlands.  Get over to our careers page for more details.


Residential Childcare Jobs – Summary

All our homes are calm, therapeutic living environments for children and young people.

Our work involves caring for young people with complex needs, so it is vital for us to find and recruit people who want to make a real difference in children’s lives.

Here we provide a summary of the job, salary, expectations, and opportunities at Family Care.


What entry qualifications and/or training do you need for this job?

You do not need any qualifications or training to apply for this role.

If you have related experience of caring for vulnerable people, that would be helpful, but it isn’t essential.

Your life experience, your character, and the personality you bring into the home are all important qualities for residential childcare.

If you have completed relevant college courses or other training in youth work or a related field, you will have a head start on most others.


What experience do you need for children’s residential support worker jobs?

If you have previously done work experience related to caring for vulnerable groups, this would certainly help your application, as would any other work experience where you have demonstrated healthcare skills.

Volunteering shows you have taken time to help others when you didn’t have to and is looked upon well.  Your personal life experience is also considered relevant to this role.


What skills do you need for children’s residential support worker jobs?

Here are some of the skills you’ll need for this role:

Communication skills – you must communicate clearly and respectfully with vulnerable young people and with your team

Patience – you’ll need lots of this!

Empathy – you need to be able to relate to people of all ages and backgrounds

Office skills – writing reports, updating computer records and other basic IT skills are needed

Reliability – you will be a caregiver for vulnerable children in their own home.  Children and young people will be relying on you to show up and be your best

Resilience – being able to stay calm and bounce back from challenging situations


Job advert for children's residential support worker


Salary and benefits

Entry level salaries start from £20,280 – £22,308 p.a. depending on experience.

In addition, you receive £40 per sleep-in and with an average of 8 sleep-ins a month, your annual earnings could be over £26,000.

In September 2021, we decided to increase all residential childcare worker salaries following announced hikes in national insurance, and in response to the recruitment challenges within the sector.

  • Minimum rate of £10/hour shift work
  • Extra £40 per sleep-in
  • Contributory pension
  • Long service awards
  • Health Cash Plan (Paycare) and Employment Wellbeing scheme
  • Extensive training including Level 3 Diploma
  • Career progression opportunities
  • Free parking
  • 30 days annual leave each year (includes bank holidays)


Career Progression

Because residential childcare positions are often a gateway into something else, there are good opportunities for career progression at later stages.

Usually, this will involve going into management-level roles and taking on greater levels of responsibility.  There are also opportunities to specialise in specific areas, such as child sexual exploitation.

In recent years, we have supported registered managers and team leaders to complete undergraduate qualifications in their chosen disciplines.

It really is up to you where you take it.


The Family Care logo


We regularly update our residential vacancies page with the latest available roles.

If we have nothing right now, please contact our HR team and they can keep your details on file for future openings.  Call 01772 647500 or email


Healing pasts | Building Futures
Since 1988

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109 children come into care every day in the UK...