What qualifications do you need to work in a children’s home?

Residential childcare is a professional role: safeguarding and promoting the rights and wellbeing of children and providing specialist care which enables them to be happy, healthy and successful.

Carers use their knowledge and understanding of behaviour, child development and social systems to care for vulnerable children, at a difficult time in their lives when they are not able to live with their families. The role therefore requires lots of skill, dedication and compassion.

But you may be surprised to learn that you don’t necessarily need to have any specific qualifications or experience before you apply to work in a children’s home.

At A Wilderness Way, our team is made up of a diverse range of people with many different skills, passions and life experiences. The thing that we all have in common is the the ability to engage, inspire, and form life-changing connections with children.

Once you begin the role you will undertake lots of initial and ongoing training to ensure you have the right knowledge and skills. There are also some formal qualifications which you can study for alongside carrying out your role.

Below we hear from some of our carers about their previous experiences:


At AWW, we offer the highest quality training and development through our sector-leading Academy and Diploma programme.

We are an accredited provider of the Level 3 Diploma in Residential Childcare, which we offer to all members of our care team. We deliver this in-house through interactive workshops, bespoke resources and individual support sessions. We ensure that everyone’s learning journey is tailored to their individual strengths and needs and that they receive the level of support that is right for them.

Alongside the Diploma, we offer comprehensive training and professional development, delivered both by experts at AWW and external partners. In recent weeks our teams have attended sessions on knife crime from the JJ Effect, County Lines training, and ‘train the trainer’ sessions with the Alcohol Education Trust.

We nurture talent and support our colleagues to progress their careers through the organisation, whether this means moving from RSW to Assistant Manager to Home Manager, or moving into a different role such as therapy or education. By promoting the wellbeing and development of our teams this enables us to ensure that our children receive exceptional care.

So whether you have never considered working in a children’s home before, or you are an experienced practitioner looking for your next career move, there could be an opportunity for you in this exciting and highly rewarding profession.

To find out about what current vacancies we have at AWW, please click here.

What Others Say About Us

I am truly taken aback by the level of care you have shown. The staff have gone out of their way to show him the attention and care that he has never had. When I visited him, it was like I was looking at a different child to what he was before he came. He was not like a child in care, he was like a child in a family. You have literally saved his life.

Social Worker

All children and young people thrive, and they make progress while living at the home. Because of the services provided the children and young people experience an individualised, stable and consistent home life. Children and young people benefit from the integrated, multi-disciplinary approach to education and care. They each achieve their full potential and, in many cases, do so beyond previous expectations.


I am so grateful to the AWW team for their dedication and commitment to caring and supporting Sam. He recently reported that being at there gave him the space to think and the opportunity to reflect on his attitude and make plans for his future.

Social Worker

I have to share my delight at Luke’s progress at AWW. Thanks to your support, in the last 17 weeks Luke and has turned his life around significantly. From where he has come from to where he is now, I am so proud of him.

Social Worker

The placement was really good and beneficial to me. The staff were all really supportive and nice and always made themselves available to me if I had any problems. The outdoor activities that were offered helped me to have a better outlook and showed me that I can do so much more in life, and it really helped me process and made me feel like a better person.


As METCO Officer for Cumbria Police I have regular contact with the team at AWW in relation to vulnerable children at risk of CSE and going missing. If a specific incident has occurred, the Home Manager and I speak on the phone to discuss the best way forward. She also attends CSE risk assessment meetings and we receive Philomena Protocol forms when a young person arrives in placement.

Cumbria Police