Part or Full Time - Child in Need Reviewing Officer
Please note that this position is being offered as a Secondment or as a Fixed Term Contract for a period of 10 months and we would be able to consider either a part time (22.5 hours per week over 3 full days per week, which days we can be flexible on) or a full time individual.
Essex County Council (ECC) is one of the largest and most dynamic local authorities in the UK and is undergoing significant transformational change to further enhance customer focus, service and delivery.
Children and Families is recognised as a service in which social work can develop and prosper, with a culture of collaboration, integrity and compassion; promoting the development and wellbeing of children, young people and their families; protecting them from neglect and abuse. Working together with partners delivering a range of early help, family support and effective social work interventions which build resilience, remove barriers and enable children and young people to look forward to a brighter future.
The Child in Need Reviewing Officer is responsible for the professional, independent review and monitoring of the effectiveness of child in need practice which is provided under S.17 of the Children Act 1989. The postholder is responsible for the provision of professional expertise, quality assurance of practice standards and practice improvement across the organisation.
The Child in Need Reviewing Officer is an independent role responsible for the professional oversight, independent review and monitoring practice quality within complex Child in Need cases. The role provides high support and high challenge to ensure excellent service delivery to families who are supported by a Child in Need plan. The role is responsible for the provision of professional expertise and quality assurance of Child in Need practice, ensuring the expected practice standards are being delivered across Child in Need work in Essex within Children and Families and across the multi-agency partnership.
* Responsible for ensuring that the child in need review process keeps the welfare of the child as the central concern, through full participation of family members and partner agencies to effectively co-ordinate and deliver the right plan of support to children in need and their families.
* Act as a source of expert professional advice, consultation, challenge and mentoring for ECC staff and partner agency colleagues; ensuring current research and theory informs and underpins evidenced based practice
* Responsible for ensuring that client records are updated and meetings take place in a timely, planned and thoughtful way ensuring that planning and intervention is effectively co-ordinated, documented and distributed resulting in multi-agency child in need working being mobilised to best effect.
* Responsible for modelling and influencing excellent social work practice through actions and example in order to deliver and influence a high quality to child in need work across the organisation.
* Responsible for providing challenge to colleagues and partner agencies, using deep understanding of best practice in order to create, implement and review SMART, strengths based child in need plans written for families.
* Responsible for interpreting and implementing legislation and national and local practice standards to ensure the highest standards of practice are met and maintained.
* Responsible for contributing to service improvement and reporting on the detail and patterns of service quality in order to recommend and lead on required service changes.
* Responsible for undertaking a range of audit activity including case file audit, multiagency audit and leading on specific audit projects in order to invest in the continuous learning and improvement culture within the organisation.
Knowledge, Skills and Experience
* A recognised social work qualification i.e. Diploma, degree or Masters in social work, CQSW, CSS or equivalent, with current registration with Social Work England as a registered social worker.
* Evidence of continuing professional development, aligned to any relevant Professional Competency/Capability frameworks or Knowledge & Skills Statements.
* Significant experience of social work, demonstrating a comprehensive and up to date understanding of all relevant legislation, regulation and guidance.
* Experience of chairing meetings involving children, parents and/or carers and other professionals and using a sound knowledge base of the principles of involvement, including the significance of working with consent.
* Able to work as a lead professional and subject matter expert with the confidence and ability to deal constructively and authoritatively with conflict and distress.
* Ability to quickly and effectively develop productive working relationships based on knowledge and understanding of the importance of role clarity, identified outcomes, warmth, respect and integrity.
* Ability to work independently, using own initiative whilst recognising when situations warrant the support and guidance of more senior officers.
* Ability to make sound, risk based judgements and decisions by skills evaluation and checking of information secured, to then guide and influence practice quality and approach through excellent communication skills and collaborative relationships with colleagues.