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Developing Leadership Skills for Social Work and Social Care

Discover the fundamentals of effective management for leading teams in social care settings.

557 enrolled on this course

Man and woman talking
  • Duration

    4 weeks
  • Weekly study

    4 hours

Begin your management journey with Kingston University

Many people new to management within social care settings have little or no formal training preparing them for the responsibilities and challenges they will face as a manager.

On this four-week course, you’ll identify the main skills of an effective manager and learn how to implement strategies and techniques to lead your new team.

Develop a leadership style within a social care context

You’ll investigate key leadership and organisational theories, framing these within the specific context of social care.

Reflecting on your own leadership style, you’ll identify its impact on the way you manage your team and deliver your organisational goals.

Learn to manage risk and improve your decision making skills

Careers in social care require a unique set of skills to support vulnerable people and manage sensitive workloads.

You’ll learn the importance of professional curiosity, risk management, and decision making, and examine useful tools to aid you in handling difficult conversations and decisions in a professional manner.

With this knowledge, you’ll be able to improve your leadership skills, helping you evaluate information, choose an approach, and justify your decisions to your stakeholders.

Support your team in continued professional development

Effective management is not only about upskilling yourself but those in your team.

You’ll learn how to foster cooperation, champion diversity, and deliver best practice in social care teams.

You’ll develop strategies to manage performance, mentor your staff, and support the health and wellbeing of your team.

You’ll finish this course understanding the traits of a good manager in a social care context. You’ll be equipped with the tools to improve your own leadership skills, as well as furthering the development of your team.


  • Week 1

    Your Management Journey and Becoming a Leader

    • Welcome to Early Career Management in Social Care

      An introduction to the course, where you will meet the team and learn about the course's structure, its details and its learning objectives.

    • Beginning Your Management Journey

      Developing an understanding your management journey.

    • Leadership

      Exploring leaders and how to lead teams.

    • Managing in Social Care Organisations

      Examining what it means to be a manager in a social care organisation, including the expected responsibilities you will have within it.

    • Looking Back to Go Forward

      Recapping the topics and content from this week.

  • Week 2

    Managing Risks and Difficult Conversations

    • Using Professional Curiosity to Manage Risk

      Professional curiosity is central to good practice in social care organisations. How do you practice professional curiosity as a manager within this environment?

    • Managing Risks and Decision Making

      Every day within social care settings we are managing risks and making decisions. Let's explore decision making in more depth and hear from other managers in the field to support our development in this area.

    • Managing Difficult Conversations

      As a manager you will need to have challenging and difficult conversations, with both your team members as well as the other professionals that you work with. Let's explore how to navigate these conversations in our role.

    • Looking Back to Go Forward

      A quick recap on the topics and content from this week.

  • Week 3

    Building Teams and Team Performance

    • Building Teams

      Social care organisations operate in teams, and as a manager you will be managing teams with a range of different people. But what is a team and how do we build a positive culture within it?

    • Being a Manager of Diverse Teams

      You will be managing a diverse range of people from different cultural backgrounds, with different faiths, sexualities and physical abilities. Let's explore how you can manage and support people with unique characteristics.

    • Managing Performance and Appraisals

      One of the key features of being a manager in social care organisations is managing performance, whether that be through less formal discussions or more formal appraisals.

    • Looking Back to Go Forward

      Recap on the course and key learning outcomes.

  • Week 4

    Supervision, Continued Professional Development and Wellbeing

    • Supervision

      Ensuring staff have regular and supportive supervision is central to a managers role in social care. Let's consider what good supervision looks like by hearing from those in the field and by reflecting on ourselves.

    • Coaching and Mentoring

      Different forms of coaching and mentoring can be used by managers within social care organisations to develop and support their staff.

    • Wellbeing

      Working in social care organisations can be hugely rewarding. But supporting and working with people who are vulnerable or at risk can have an impact on staff. Let's explore how to care for our own and our staff's wellbeing.

    • Conclusions

      A final recap of the course and your key learning outcomes.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Assess and evaluate your own leadership style
  • Reflect on your strategies for safeguarding, managing risks and making decisions in social care settings
  • Identify the skills and challenges required to facilitate difficult conversations that promote better outcomes for people that use your social care services
  • Identify and utilise diversity within social care teams
  • Develop skills in supervising, coaching, and supporting staff with Professional Development and wellbeing

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for staff in social care settings in managerial positions but without any formal training in management.

It will also benefit those seeking to further their careers within the social care setting and wish to take the next steps into management.

Who will you learn with?

Hi, I am Sue Lansley - a senior lecturer in social work at Kingston University. I am a qualified social worker and have been a manager of children's social work teams over the last 10 years.

Who developed the course?

Kingston University

At Kingston University, we are passionate about enhancing our students’ life chances by helping them make the most of their learning opportunity while equipping them with the skills and knowledge needed in the 21st Century’s demanding workplace.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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