Information for employers and managers

How do managers support their parenting practitioners?

Managers need to know that individuals working with parents have the skills and knowledge required to support parents in their parenting role.

National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Work with Parents describe the skills, knowledge and understanding needed to work to a nationally recognised level of competence in the sector. The standards have been recently reviewed by Lifelong Learning UK (see Learning and Skills Improvement Service).

  • The Work with Parents National Occupational Standards [download PDF]

Managers will expect individuals working with parents to be competent in, or working towards competence in, relevant areas covered by the National Occupational Standards for Work with Parents.


Managers should provide practitioners with regular management and clinical/practice supervision to support practitioners in their role. 

Supervision can be used to assess practitioners’ knowledge and understanding, promoting reflective practice and continual professional development.  A professional development plan can be drawn up to identify agreed areas for development, with clarity on how these areas will be addressed.  There are a variety of ways to support professional development: 

  • Managers should use coaching and mentoring during regular supervision sessions to support development. 
  • Some practitioners may be directed towards formal training opportunities to support their development.  


Practitioners who do not hold a level 3 qualification or have a gap in key knowledge and understanding of work with parents should be encouraged to pursue an accredited training programme which offers the Award/Certificate in Work with Parents. These qualifications are based on the National Occupational Standards and will assist learners to achieve competence in key areas of their role. 

Resources to help you:

The Children’s Workforce Development Council and the Department for Education have produced a functional map for key workers delivering intense support to families with complex and multiple needs.

There are also a number of resources available for key workers providing intense support to families with multiple and complex needs.

Find out more on the following pages: