Skills for Care

Peer support for registered managers and social workers

18 May 2022

5 min read

Skills for Care

  • Leadership
  • Social work
  • Skills for Care
  • Wellbeing

We know that one thing that can really support a happy and healthy workplace, is peer support. At Skills for Care, we facilitate a number of groups and forums for people working in social care.

An NHS recognised way to wellbeing is connecting with other people. When it comes to being happy and healthy at work this means building good relationships with colleagues and peers in your sector, who can provide you with support, ideas, and just someone to talk to.

Skills for Care supports a number of opportunities for people working in social care to network with each other, and we've been told that these networks have provided a real source of wellbeing support for people, especially during the challenges of the pandemic.

We have specific groups, networks, and forums in place to support registered managers, newly-qualified social workers, and ASYE assessors, which can be quite isolating roles so being a part of these networks can help you to connect with others in the same role to discuss common goals, achievements, and difficulties.

Find out more about the peer support opportunities for each of these roles below, and what some of our members have had to say about them.


Peer networks for registered managers


Registered Managers Membership

Skills for Care is the membership body for registered managers in England. Registered manager membership provides members with a range of benefits including access to exclusive resources, discounts, and a monthly newsletter.

In a recent survey of 300 members, 97% stated they would recommend membership to others.

Members have also told us how being a member has supported them in their role and helped them to be part of a healthy and happy workplace. See what some of our members had to say below:


Really helpful and useful resource – helps me as a manager of an independent, stand-alone home to keep in touch with other managers and keep up-to-date with the ever-increasing changes in health and social care.

Jill Holmes
St Andrews House

I am so glad to be part of such a useful [group]…It has brought together registered managers who would have otherwise not met in what can at times be a very isolating role, and there has been so much support between the members through a difficult 20 months.



Local networks for registered and deputy managers

As well as our membership offer, one of the key areas of support we provide registered managers with is our local Registered Managers Networks and networks for deputy managers.

Our networks facilitate an opportunity for managers to come together with other managers in their local area to discuss current events, new ideas, and challenges. Last year, approximately 518 network meetings took place across all our networks, with over 7,000 managers attending.

Feedback from managers has told us that the networks have been incredibly helpful in reducing feeling of isolation for registered managers, especially during the pandemic.

Talking about how being a part of her local network has helped her, Registered Manager, Linda Adams of North Northamptonshire Council said:

I joined the Registered Managers Network when due to an organisation re-organisation I found myself with no colleague peer support in my working life and a very large domiciliary care team of 98 staff to look after. I received an email just before Christmas 2021 from Skills for Care and responded immediately and subsequently attended two network zoom meetings as face-to-face had not been resumed. I was so relieved to hear other managers were in the same place as me, struggling with covid rules and regulations and trying to keep up with the constant changes and just in general were tired from dealing with the unusual world that we had lived in for the last two years.

I realised I was not alone or incapable and I even managed to give another domiciliary care manager some latest testing information that she didn’t know, that felt so good. This well-known saying captures all that I felt after the first zoom – ‘a trouble shared is a trouble halved.’ The network is a must in my life now and it never fails to put the spring back in my step giving me renewed energy and understanding of how fundamentally important wellbeing is.

Linda Adams
North Northamptonshire Council


Social care manager Facebook and WhatsApp groups

During the pandemic many of our local networks switched to providing virtual meetings while it wasn’t possible to meet in person.

We also offer a number of other virtual support networks including our social care managers Facebook group, where managers can share posts and have conversations with others in the same role.

Many of our local networks also offer WhatsApp groups, with around 80% of networks having a WhatsApp group.

Speaking of the benefits of the WhatsApp group one manager told us:

I cannot emphasise enough to anyone how much support this group is, I don’t know how I would have got through the pandemic without it.


Peer networks for social workers


Newly-qualified social workers (NQSW) forum

Skills for Care hosts a quarterly forum for newly-qualified social workers, which are a way of sharing learnings and innovative practice, as well as connecting with others in the sector.

Starting out as a newly-qualified social worker can be daunting and so connecting with others in the same position can provide attendees with more confidence in their role.

The forum is open to NQSWs from across the country working in both adults and child and family services, to share their experiences of their assessed and supported year of employment (ASYE).

Each meeting is virtual and will be facilitated by a Skills for Care colleague who is also a registered social worker. The next forum meeting will take place on 12 July.


Group for Ethnic Minority Social Workers (GEMS) forum

The Group for Ethnic Minority Social Workers (GEMS) is a new forum which is now officially established following an initial meeting in February.

This forum is for social workers from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds and provides a space for discussions of issues around working together, experiences of ASYE programmes, and understanding of anti-racist practice issues and exploring ways to deal with racism. The forum is for newly-qualified social workers working in both adults and child and family services.

The second meeting was held in May. The next meeting is on Tuesday 9 August and you can book your place now.


ASYE assessors' forum

The ASYE assessors’ forum is an opportunity for assessors to come together to share good practice and to discuss the impact of working in the "new normal" to support NQSWs as the sector adjusts to the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.

It’s also an opportunity to share your thoughts as we continue to produce new guidance for the ASYE.

The forum is open for anyone who is assessing NQSWs from both adults and child and family services.

Please save the date, this forum is proving very popular so make sure you book your place. The booking link will be available soon.


Find more support for creating and being part of a happy and healthy workplace on our dedicated spotlight page.


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