Senior Practitioner - Family Support and Protection Team

England, Essex, Harlow
£39168.0 - £47405.0 per annum
06 Jul 2020
03 Aug 2020
Job role
Social Worker
Contract Type
Full time
Essex County Council (ECC) is one of the largest and most dynamic local authorities in the UK, serving a population of 2 million residents, and has a very successful track record of delivering transformational change. ECC anticipated change was needed in the public sector and has worked to deliver better quality at lower cost. We have an ambitious transformation agenda - one with the scope to reach every part of the council. We are changing the way we think, the way we work, and the ways in which we deliver our services. We are committed to becoming a place where individuals, partners and communities feel proud to play their role and genuinely want to belong. We're immensely proud of our flexible working options.

In ECC we are "Serious about Social Work". Having recently won the Best Social Work Employer of the Year Award 2018 and been awarded 'Outstanding' by Ofsted this is an exciting time to join us. As if that wasn't enough, Essex has also been announced as a Partner in Practice by the Department of Education, and the Essex Social Care Academy (ESCA) is the only Local Authority team in the country to be accredited by BASW as a CPD provider. We have invested in our workforce and created a positive environment for our social workers to make a difference and achieve change for our most vulnerable children and families through direct relationship-based social work practice. We have supported our staff to have an understanding of systemic theoretical framework and models underpinning our interventions; to have access to the right tools, equipment and resources; and also the right supervision, training and learning opportunities they need to be strong practitioners.

The Role

Ensure effective clinical supervision reflects best practice and incorporates research/evidence-based approach. Assess the needs and risks for children and identify actions appropriate to meet need and address risk.

You will be responsible for the management of your own complex cases.

You will be supporting the Team Managers through chairing Complex Core Groups and CIN meetings, attending RCPCs, completing case audits, supporting the workflow within the team by helping to make decisions about action required, including step downs and closure, supporting social workers to develop their court skills and direct work skills within the team. You will also support the progression and supervision of newly qualified social workers and students within the team.

Job Purpose

To hold and sustain a caseload consisting of the most sensitive, "complex and difficult" cases to which the post holder is able to bring to bear the highest standards of professional ability and a considerable depth of knowledge in relevant legislation in policy and practice methods. To provide a focus of specialist advice and professional consultation for Social Workers and contribute to the development of practice standards within the service.

Key Accountabilities

* To function as a flexible, influential and supportive practitioner within the requirements of ECC policies and procedures.
* Operates on a countywide basis across service areas and work in partnership with diverse range of external organisations.
* Indirectly accountable for provision of services and budgetary expenditure by recommending options leading to quality outcomes.
* Personal autonomy and responsibility for analysis, planning, execution and evaluation of complex cases.
* Accountable for own judgment and decisions in high-risk social work cases.
* Personal responsibility for the professional guidance issued to colleagues.
* Actively participate in practice research and determine the appropriate method of disseminating research findings for local, regional and national settings.
* To maintain an up to date record of activity on case files, produce reports, attend court and give verbal presentations as required. To participate actively in case discussions, legal case discussions, Child Protection conferences, Statutory Reviews, etc.
* Represent ECC in court proceedings as an "expert witness".
* Establish and maintain effective systems of quality assurance and quality controls for recording guidance issued and evaluating outcomes.
* Critically appraise the quality of own/others practice and challenge this within identified forums.

Knowledge, skills and experience

* Diploma in Social Work, CQSW, CSS or equivalent.
* GSCC Registration as a Registered Social Worker.
* PQ1.
* Advanced Award in Social Work (AASW).
* IT/Word Processing Skills.
* Evidence of recent practice at a senior practitioner/team manager or equivalent level, supported by comprehensive working knowledge and experience of front line exposure to a wide ranging field of practice in Children Services.
* Substantial, in-depth experience of Child Protection work including section 47 investigations and assessments since the implementation of the Children's Act 1989.Considerable, recent experience of communicating with children of all ages and working in partnership with parents and/or carers.
* Experience in planning activities and programmes for children, young people and parents.
* Experience of Court work in relation to Child Care matters and have an understanding of the legal process.
* Detailed knowledge of current legislation pertinent to Child Protection (e.g. CA1989, CJA1991), Guidance and Regulations.
* Knowledge and understanding of child development, relating theory and practice.

The role requires you to be mobile throughout a wide operational area including travelling around the county of Essex and beyond, transporting service users and their belongings and to be able to do so in an emergency. Driving licence and car or ability to meet the mobility requirements of the role through other means is essential.