Care home managers are responsible for the day-to-day running of residential care homes. They oversee all activities within the home and make sure the quality of the service and care provided meets the National Minimum Standards for their type of home. If you've got strong people skills, and would like a management role in social care, this job could suit you.
In this job you would need to be a good communicator. You would need experience of assessing people's care and support needs. You would also need to be able to manage a budget and keep records.
There are different entry requirements for this job depending on whether you want to work in a home that looks after children or offers nursing care. See the entry requirements section below for more details. You would need to pass background checks by the Disclosure and Barring Service to get into this job.
Care home managers are responsible for the day-to-day running of residential care homes. They oversee all activities within the home and make sure the quality of the service and care provided meets the National Minimum Standards for their type of home.
As a care home manager, you would usually specialise in working with one specific client group such as:
- older people
- people with mental health problems
- people with learning disabilities
- young adults
- the terminally ill
- people with physical disabilities.
Your key duties relating to residents would include:
- developing ways to promote their rights and responsibilities
- providing information, advice and support to residents, their families and carers
- arranging stimulating activities and encouraging residents to get involved
- creating the opportunity for residents to contribute to the local community and access local services.
Your role is also likely to include running a business, which would involve monitoring business performance, fundraising, negotiating contracts, working with a budget and developing clear policies and practices regarding quality standards. You would also recruit, train and supervise the care assistants and domestic staff working within the home.
A children’s home manager, or deputy, is responsible for the daily management of residential establishments for children looked after by local authorities. Direct work with children will depend on the size and function of the home but would usually include:
- providing support to children and their families
- being accessible to children
- facilitating access to local education, health and other services
- responding to complaints from children or their families
- promoting the rights and responsibilities of children
- contributing to care planning, statutory case reviews and case conferences
- developing programmes to promote positive behaviour and responding to children’s misbehaviour or disciplinary issues
- responding to child protection concerns and reports.
The National Minimum Standards for care homes and managers are issued by the Department of Health and can be found on the Care Quality Commission website. For children and young people these are issued by the Department for Education.
You would usually work 35 to 40 hours a week, which may include shifts, weekends, and some on-call duties (in the event of an emergency).
For some jobs you may need to live-in. This work can be emotionally and physically demanding.
Starting salaries can be between £20,000 and £30,000 a year. With several years' experience this could go up to £45,000. Depending on the employer, a range of extra benefits can be included in a salary package, such as private healthcare, company car, bonus and share options.
Figures are intended as a guideline only.
You would need relevant qualifications and management experience to become a care home manager, for example you might move up from a deputy manager’s position.
If you are new to the job, it is recommended that you start the Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care and Children and Young People's Services within three months of taking up your role, with a view to completing it within two to three years.
The Diploma has six pathways to choose from, depending on the service your organisation offers:
- Management of Adult Services
- Management of Adult Residential Services
- Practice in Adult Services
- Management of Children and Young People's Services
- Management of Children and Young People's Residential Services
- Practice in Children and Young People's Services.
The two qualifications previously required for this role are no longer offered by training providers but are still valid and can be used to work as a care home manager. They are the Registered Manager’s Award and the NVQ Level 4 in Leadership and Management for Care Services.
If you already have these two awards, you would not normally be expected to take the Level 5 Diploma as well, although some organisations may offer it as part of professional development training.
You would be expected to already have qualifications relevant to the care services your home provides, for example:
- NVQ Level 4 in Health and Social Care
- nursing, physiotherapy or occupational therapy qualification and registration
- social work qualification and registration.
See the Skills for Care advice on meeting workforce regulations for more details.
When you apply for a manager's post, your employer will request background checks by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). See the DBS for more information.
Training and development
Skills for Care are encouraging employers to offer new managers in adult social care training based on the Manager Induction Standards. The Standards reflect the changes in social care services and include:
- Governance and accountability
- Team leadership and management
- Managing resources
- Equality, diversity and inclusion
- Safeguarding and protection
- Ensuring quality.
Throughout your career you will need to continue training and developing professionally to maintain your competence as a manager. You will also need to keep your knowledge of standards and legislation up to date.
Skills for Care has a career development tool called the Career Matrix, which helps you to identify appropriate training and qualifications based on the level or type of job you do.
Professional development could include taking broader qualifications at degree or postgraduate level, such as business management or social care policy. There is also the Diploma in Commissioning, Procurement and Contracting for Care Services at levels 5 and 7 for care managers, as well as a number of programmes through the National Skills Academy for Social Care, in areas like leadership and commissioning services.
See Skills for Health and the National Skills Academy for more information.
Skills, interests and qualities
To be a registered care home manager you should have:
- strong 'people' skills and communication skills
- good observational skills
- experience of assessing an individual's care and support needs
- the ability to negotiate and manage a budget
- the ability to maintain accurate records
- knowledge of relevant legislation, local services and resources
- a good understanding of the medical conditions affecting service users
- the ability to build effective working relationships with residents, their families, staff and other professionals.
Skills for Care (England)
6 Grace Street
Tel: 0113 241 1275
You could work in a variety of settings within the public, private, voluntary and charitable sectors. There is a growing number of opportunities for qualified managers with private care companies providing services (especially for the elderly) as well as local authorities.
With experience, you could progress to a regional manager post within a large healthcare company or charity. You could also move into consultancy work on a freelance basis or become a care home inspector, checking that national standards are being followed.
If your background is in nursing, social care or social work, experience as a care home manager could give you the opportunity to move back into those areas at a management level.
Related industry information
Adult social care is part of the sector represented by Skills for Care, which is one of the partners that comprise Skills for Care and Development Sector Skills Council. This includes those working in early years, children and young people’s services, and those working in social work and social care for children and adults in the UK. The social care sector comprises two sub-sectors:
- Adult social care – with a workforce of nearly 1.5 million, accounting for 5% of England’s workforce, and 38,000 employers
- Children and young people – with an estimated workforce of 2.7 million
During 2007/08, approximately 2.3 million adults used publicly funded social work and social care services in the UK. Adult social care includes residential care, domiciliary care and social work with all its specialism's.
There are an estimated 1.5 million workers providing adult social care services and more than 38,000 employers. Skills for Care are responsible for the training standards and development needs of social work and social care staff working with adults in England. This includes staff working in local authority social services and related services, the regulated sector (care homes, domiciliary care services and home nursing services), non-regulated day care and community care services, and employed by individuals for their own or another person’s care and support.
- Of the 1.39 million in adult social care in England: 1.31 million are directly employed; and 78,000 are bank, pool and agency staff, students and others
- The adult social care workforce can also include:
- 25,460 full-time equivalent social workers
- 14,000 learning mentors
- 2,247 educational psychologists
- Of the 14,456 care-only homes registered with CSCI* at June 2007:
- 9,870 (68%) are private sector
- 3,251 voluntary sector
- most of the remaining are operated by councils
- Most social care services (58%) are provided by micro organisations (or agencies) employing between 1-10 people or small enterprises (29%) employing between 11-49 people.
- 12% of social care enterprises employ 50-99 people and 1% employ 200 or more.
- In 2007, 54,151 individuals were receiving direct payments to fund their own care.
* CSCI was replaced by the Care Quality Commission in 2009.
Jobs in adult social care include: administrative staff, ancillary staff, care workers, community support and outreach workers, counsellors, first-line managers, occupational therapists, registered managers, senior care workers, senior management, social workers, supervisors, technicians.