Care Home Manager

The Job and What's Involved

Care home managers are responsible for running residential homes that provide care for one of the following groups:

  • Children and young people.
  • People with physical disabilities, learning disabilities or mental health problems.
  • People who are terminally ill.
  • Older people.

The work of care home managers may include:

  • Giving support to residents and their families.
  • Making sure that a care home meets the legal national minimum standards for that type of establishment.
  • Managing the finances for the home.
  • Recruiting, training and managing care workers and other staff.
  • Marketing the care home and interviewing prospective residents.
  • Assessing an individual resident's needs, then developing and implementing a care plan for each person, working with the residents themselves, their families and other professionals.
  • Liaising with other professionals, such as doctors, psychologists, teachers, nurses, social workers, care managers, occupational therapists, probation officers and other outside agencies.
  • Ensuring that systems are in place to safeguard children and young people and protect vulnerable adults.
  • Developing links with the local area so that that the home and its residents become part of the community.
  • Keeping accurate records.
  • Attending meetings and writing reports.

Care home managers work around 35 to 40 hours a week, which could include working weekends and evenings. They may also be on call in case of emergencies.

Care home managers are normally based at a residential home. They may live on the premises or sleep in on a rota system.

Starting salaries for care home managers are around £20,000 to £27,000 a year. Experienced managers may earn between £30,000 and £40,000 a year. Some managers may earn over £45,000 a year.

Employers may provide managers with a company car, private healthcare or other benefits.

Getting Started with this Career Choice

Care home managers are employed throughout the UK. Employers include:

  • Local authority social services, adult care and children's services departments.
  • Private organisations, such as Bupa.
  • Charities, such as the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) and Barnardo's.
  • Specialist employment agencies.

This area of work is expanding rapidly, particularly in the private sector, and there is a shortage of qualified care home managers.

Job vacancies may be advertised in local, regional and national newspapers and in publications such as Community Care and Opportunities. They may also be advertised on the Local Government Talent website and on the websites of local authorities and recruitment agencies.

Education and Training

Entrants to care home management need experience of working in social or medical care. For many jobs there is a specified minimum length of experience. This is usually at least two years' management or supervisory experience in a relevant care setting within the past five years. Many managers have worked as care home assistants or deputy managers.

Care home managers need relevant qualifications, such as:

  • A professional social work qualification.
  • A nursing diploma or degree (required when nursing care is provided by the home).
  • A relevant NVQ at Level 4, such as health and social care (adults) or health and social care (children and young people).

They also need a competency-based management qualification, such as the NVQ Level 4 in leadership and management for care services.

All entrants to care home work have to undergoCriminal Records Bureau (CRB). They will also be assessed by the Independent Safeguarding Authority, with the aim of preventing unsuitable people from working with children and vulnerable adults.

All professional social workers in England have to be registered with the General Social Care Council (GSCC). It is planned that care home workers and managers will also, in future, be required to register with the GSCC.

A Few More Exams You Might Need

While working, care home managers may study part time for further qualifications, such as:

  • NVQ Level 4 in leadership and management for care services.
  • A management qualification, such as the Diploma or Certificate in management studies or NVQ Level 4 in management.
  • NVQ Level 4 in health and social care.

Care home managers may have to supervise care workers who are working towards NVQ's. In that case, they will need to qualify as an NVQ assessor by working for qualifications such as:

The Level 3 Award in assessing candidates using a range of methods (A1), or the Level 3 Award in assessing candidates' performance through observation (A2).

Care home managers who are qualified social workers must renew their registration with the GSCC every three years. One of the requirements for renewal is that they have kept their training and learning up to date, through continuing professional development (CPD).

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Skills and Personal Qualities Needed

A care home manager should:

  • Be able to lead and motivate staff.
  • Have organisational skills.
  • Have good communication skills, including listening and speaking.
  • Be able to build good relationships with residents and staff.
  • Be capable of relating to people from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures.
  • Have business ability for duties such as marketing and budget control.
  • Be able to liaise and negotiate effectively with other agencies.
  • Have patience and tolerance.
  • Have problem-solving skills.
  • Be able to respect confidentiality.
  • Be able to cope with demanding and stressful situations.

Your Long Term Prospects

Experienced care home managers have a number of options for progression. They may manage a larger unit or become an area or regional manager. Other options include moving into care home inspection work or into training.

They may also move into other social or health care work or leave social care for a management role in a different organisation.

Get Further Information

Children's Workforce Development Council,
CWDC, 2nd Floor, City Exchange, 11 Albion Street, Leeds LS1 5ES
Tel: 0113 244 6311

Department of Health Social Services

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