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Senior Best Interests Assessor

Essex County Council
England, Essex, Chelmsford
Closing date
20 Apr 2021

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Health and Social Care, Social Care
Job role
Social Worker
Contract Type
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With us, you can achieve more - for yourself as well as those you work to support.

We'll give you the tools and resources you need to enable vulnerable adults to live more independently. And, as you continue to grow your expertise, you'll play a key role in the ongoing success of our established, specialist countywide team.

About the role

The Senior Best Interests Assessor conducts assessments and reviews under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) to assess mental capacity for relevant decisions and establish if a person is being deprived of their liberty and ensure decisions made are in their best interests. Utilising expertise to obtain, evaluate and analyse complex evidence and differing views to arrive at robust decisions.

The primary focus of this particular role is to provide quality assurance of assessments completed under the legislation to ensure timely authorisation. This will involve addressing practice issues to ensure person centred and legally compliant practice based on evaluation and analysis of complex evidence. Ensure detailed record keeping, clarity and professional reasoning in reports to meet legal requirements and professional standards.

This role must be an experienced practitioner, able to practice independently, with a level of autonomy, demonstrating expert and effective practice in complex situations, assessing and managing higher levels of risk, striking balance between support and control, liaising with a wide range of professionals, including senior levels.

Applicants wishing to practice part time as well as full time are invited to apply.

Service/Functional Accountabilities

Responsible for evaluation and analysis of complex evidence to ensure robust decisions underpinned by detailed evidence. Ensure detailed record keeping, clarity and professional reasoning in reports to meet legal requirements and professional standards.

Utilise knowledge / experience effectively in completing assessments and investigations within a legal framework to ensure a clear understanding of the implications for people who use services (families and carers).

Responsible for supporting staff and partner agencies (including providers) by offering professional subject matter expert advice in matters relating to the Mental Capacity Act, within the context of safeguarding, best interests and protecting human rights.

Work collaboratively to model good practice, setting expectations for others, taking responsibility for the practice of others. Provide quality assurance, through supervision of colleagues or students and/ or local leadership of practice.

Present cases at legal hearing and exercise the appropriate level of independence, authority and autonomy to inform practice / outcomes.

Responsible for taking the lead where a social work perspective is required to drive decision-making ensuring that a legally based, human rights perspective is applied to when and how interventions are made in the lives of individuals, families and communities experiencing complex social and family problems.

Work collaboratively to build relationships with partners across functional areas of the organisation, undertake capacity building with individuals and families, communities, user groups and voluntary organisations to support and maintain independence and autonomy.

Ensure the quality of data and information recorded is timely, accurate and complete to ensure the service meets all statutory recording requirements.

Specific individual and shared targets and objectives are defined annually within the performance management framework.

About us

At Essex County Council Adult Services our mission is clear. We want to make the best and most sustainable use of all resources available to the adult, their families and carers. To ensure they have access to information and tools to enable them to live healthily and independently for as long as possible, and to exercise choice and control over their lives. And to ensure the safety, dignity and quality of life for all the adults we work with.

To make sure we achieve our goals, we've transformed our service to be far more proactive. Moving from focusing on long-term care and support, our new model is centred on four key principles - prevention, early intervention, enablement and safeguarding. We're very proud of our service and the work we're doing with all our partners to build community capacity and resilience.

About You

To apply, you'll need a social work degree or diploma, CQSW, CSS or equivalent. Alternatively, you could have a Diploma of the College of Occupational Therapists, a BSc. OT or other professional qualification recognised by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists.

Whether you have a social work or OT background, you should be a qualified Best Interests Assessor and have current Social Work England registration.

With significant experience gained in a social care setting, you'll bring a good knowledge of Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards 2007, the Mental Capacity Act 2005, Mental Health Act 1983 (amended 2007), Human Rights Act 1998 and the Care Standards Act 2000, along with national and local policy guidance. We're also looking for your ability to apply Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards procedures. And with experience of working with a complex caseload underpinned by evidence-based practice, you should be able to practice with a level of autonomy and assess and manage higher levels of risk.

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