Family Support Worker (FSW)

Reports to: The Office Manager (OM).

Hours: 37.5 hours weekly (to include some evenings, weekends and public holidays).

Salary: £23,000 – £27,000 depending on experience.

Location: Remote (working from home)

Benefits: 25 days’ holiday and pension contribution.

Job Purpose: We are looking for FSWs who will play a key role in providing emotional support to families, friends and partners affected by someone else’s drug, alcohol or gambling misuse; including those bereaved by addiction.

Our services include a helpline, one-to-one sessions, online support groups, an annual ‘bereaved by addiction’ conference and our young people’s bereavement project.  We also work in prisons, schools and community settings.

The FSWs will work flexibly to ensure a high-quality helpline service, which will include weekend, evenings and public holidays and the facilitation of evening support groups.

This role requires a satisfactory enhanced children and vulnerable adults DBS clearance.

Main Accountabilities

  • To undertake skilled assessment of DrugFAM clients and provide targeted support as required.
  • To undertake staff / volunteer training as required.
  • To provide telephone support to clients accessing the helpline.
  • To conduct face to face meetings with clients in person or virtually by video.
  • To develop risk assessments to decide and implement appropriate safeguarding action in line with DrugFAM’s policies on safeguarding children and vulnerable adults. This will include appropriate follow up and referrals to external agencies.
  • To ensure the collection, collation, interpretation and distribution of accurate data so that helpline activities can be analysed and interpreted for the purposes of funding validation, statutory reporting and to provide the basis for further service improvement.
  • To promote and represent DrugFAM at relevant forums, external events and meetings, as agreed with the CEO / OM and to attend and represent DrugFAM on internal and external groups in order to influence and support service innovation and development.
  • To work within DrugFAM’s supervision policy in order to provide effective support to DrugFAM clients.
  • To provide guidance to external professionals who access the helpline in order to answer questions or signpost appropriately to alternative agencies/bodies.
  • To work within all DrugFAM policies and procedures, including its Safeguarding, Equality and Diversity Policy, Data Protection Policy and Health & Safety Policy.
  • To contribute to the organisation’s overall objectives through active participation in team meetings, one-to-one discussions and other activities as required.

Nature and Scope of Role

The FSW is at the forefront of DrugFAM’s service delivery. DrugFAM’s support is available seven days a week including evenings, weekends and public holidays.

The FSW is often the first point of contact for clients and professionals and is responsible for delivering a high-quality service of emotional support, practical advice and information.

The FSW is accountable for contributing to the helpline rota, and personally answering calls and carrying a case load.

The FSW will ensure service delivery and services are monitored, reviewed, evaluated and reported against objectives, targets and any agreed funding criteria.

In addition to the day-to-day operation of the helpline the FSW will be expected to offer peer mentorship and to work flexibly with other team members and the CEO to improve existing services and, if appropriate, build new ones.

Key Relationships


Helpline support workers, including volunteers and employees, CEO, OM and Trustees.


External agencies, including local authority, public health, drug, alcohol and gambling services, other relevant local agencies and other DrugFAM supporters.

The above description is not exclusive or exhaustive and the FSW will be required to undertake such duties as may reasonably be expected within the scope and level of the post. All members of staff are required to be professional, co-operative and flexible in line with the needs of the charity.

FSW Specification


  • A good understanding of the impact of substance misuse on families or the demonstrable ability to learn this quickly.
  • Team working experience.
  • A good general level of education, with at least two years of relevant work experience.
  • Experience of delivering first contact services.
  • Experience of working within the education/health/social care/voluntary sector.
  • Knowledge and experience of working with families and those affected by addiction in a range of statutory and non-statutory agencies.
  • Experience of making risk assessments in relation to adults and children and providing appropriate intervention if and when appropriate.
  • Level 3 certificated qualification in a related area – health and social care, education, counselling or drug and alcohol fields.

Knowledge and Skills

  • Ability to work with minimal direction.
  • Good listening, support and advice skills with the ability to assess the needs of callers.
  • Experience in understanding of the impact of addiction including bereavement on family, friends and partners.
  • Good IT skills, including confidence and experience of using data-based systems including Zoom / Teams.

* Maintaining professional boundaries.

  • Experience of managing self within a stressful and emotionally demanding environment.
  • Organisational and planning skills.
  • Excellent communication skills, written and oral, including accurate spelling and grammar.
  • Good interpersonal skills and attitude.

* Willingness to be flexible to meet the needs of the service.

  • Ability to work evenings and weekends from time to time.
  • Ability to empathise with all callers, regardless of race, gender, age, religion, nationality, marital status, sexual orientation or disability.
  • Ability to be open minded, non-judgemental and have a willingness to question your own attitude (OM)

To apply please email a C.V. and covering letter to 

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