This is a new service – your feedback will help us to improve it.

Assistant director

Oversee the strategic development, management and delivery of services that support children and families
Other names
Deputy director

What you'll do

As an assistant director you’ll:

  • provide strategic leadership to deliver high quality services 
  • work with senior managers to plan and deliver services that meet the needs of children and families 
  • make strategic decisions in areas such as resource allocation, legal action and child placements 
  • develop and implement policies and procedures to ensure effective service delivery 
  • oversee the performance of social work teams and ensure positive outcomes for children and families 
  • use performance data to predict potential future issues and pre-empt them 
  • engage with national organisations such as the Department for Education and Home Office 
  • participate in safeguarding partnership boards with external partners 
  • model high-quality supervision and promote it within your organisation

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • leadership and management skills to provide strategic direction and manage resources 
  • strategic thinking to drive service improvements for children and families 
  • an understanding of the local and national political environment when developing policies 
  • in-depth knowledge of social work practice including legislation, policies and trends in the field 
  • communication and interpersonal skills to engage with diverse partners 
  • knowledge of budgeting, resource allocation and financial management 
  • the ability to evaluate performance to ensure quality service provision 
  • data analysis and reporting skills to analyse complex data, interpret findings and prepare reports 

How to become one

To become an assistant director you must:

  • have completed a degree, apprenticeship or graduate training scheme in social work 
  • be registered with Social Work England
  • have extensive experience in child and family social work practice
  • have experience of working at management level in a multi-agency environment
  • be committed to ongoing professional development of your knowledge and leadership skills

If you’re an experienced head of service or equivalent, the Pathway 4: practice leaders programme can help prepare you to progress to an assistant director role.

Career paths and progression

With experience you could: 

  • become a director of children’s services 
  • move into a senior leadership position in a social work organisation such as chief executive officer or chief operating officer 
  • move into research and teaching 

The upon: aspirant directors programme can help prepare you to progress to a director of children’s services role.

Current opportunities

The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.