Senior practitioner job description

Written by shaleah patterson
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Senior practitioner job description
Senior practitioners help care for the elderly, children and vulnerable adults. (Melpomenem/iStock/Getty Images)

Senior practitioner is another term for a senior social worker. The purpose of a senior practitioner is to provide guidance and counselling to families, children in foster care and the elderly. Senior practitioners normally work at schools, local council social services departments, hospitals and clinics.

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Tasks and duties

The essential functions a senior practitioner include implementing training and skills development strategies, ensuring quality assurance, maintaining a working knowledge of current research, and engaging in preventive and therapeutic work by guiding and counselling people in crisis and providing professional leadership.

Qualifications and training

Most employers require professional qualification in social work, health, education or a related field. Experience in direct work with children and families is also a requirement. Desirable experience includes experience in child protection, group or family therapy and multi-agency work.

Knowledge, skills and abilities

Candidates should have knowledge of child development, knowledge of the impact of social, emotional and behavioural difficulties in a child’s development, knowledge of relevant child care legislation and knowledge of theoretical framework for working therapeutically with children and youth. Candidates should also understand techniques for working with children and youth, group work theories and knowledge of statutory social work roles and functions.

Work environment

Senior practitioners normally work in an office setting. Senior practitioners also work with families on a regular basis. Working hours depend on the organisation, but senior practitioners typically work full eight-hour days.


Senior practitioners can make anywhere from £26,000 to £40,000 a year, as of 2014. Salaries may vary depending on the location, the size of the organisation, educational experience and professional experience.

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