Local Authority Designated Officer
Please note that interviews for the post will take place during the mornings of the 22nd and 23rd June 2021.
This statutory role is the Subject Matter Expert on Safeguarding for the children's workforce across Essex, whose function is to develop, promote and manage structures and processes in relation to managing allegations made against anyone who works with children and young people in any setting (paid and unpaid).
The role is accountable for managing highly sensitive information, ensuring all children in Essex are safeguarded and enables ECC to comply with the responsibilities and functions laid out in relevant legislation and guidance; improving the safety of children and young people in Essex by working collaboratively with all partner agencies and professional bodies, such as Ofsted, GMC and SWE.
The role is accountable for:
- Operational planning and performance review to maintain exceptional service delivery and ensures the political objectives and priorities of the council are met.
- Working collaboratively within and across functions to and thinking commercially to support the delivery of best possible outcomes for our customers on a financially sustainable basis.
- Maintain and nurture collaborative relationships with other teams in the function and external organisations that support the delivery of annual plans.
- Implementing changes and continually evaluating service to improve the area of work, while maintaining the highest possible levels of service quality are consistently delivered.
- Managing complex issues and resources to meet the needs of customers and deliver the best possible outcomes.
- Effective utilisation of digital technologies and innovation across the function.
- Equality and diversity is celebrated and considered as part of all decisions taken.
- Using professional expertise to translate goals and plans into ways of working that comply with relevant legislation and statutory requirements and manages a level of appropriate risk.
- Deliver exemplar customer interactions to individuals and communities which support strong relationships and a reputation for achieving outcomes and resolving issues.
- Responsible for Case Management of allegations made against individuals within the children's workforce providing support and challenge to agencies and individuals.
- To contribute to the development of local Allegations Management policy and practice; ensuring compliance with legislation/guidance and internal policy/procedures; leading on specialist aspects of the safeguarding processes on behalf of ECC/ESCB.
- Accountable for safe outcomes for children and ensuring adherence to statutory timescales; chairing and co-ordinating strategy/management planning meetings in respect of allegations made against anyone who works with children/young people.
- Ensure appropriate investigations are carried out by ECC/partner agencies/employer or combination of these; review and monitor cases to achieve thorough/fair/timely investigations and retain accurate records about the allegation and outcome.
- Accountable for delivering a professional consultation service, providing advice/information to staff/senior managers within ECC and all partner agencies/regulatory bodies regarding children's workforce allegations management and safe employment and other specialist aspects of the child protection process, to maximise safety and welfare of children at risk of harm.
- Responsible for undertaking risk assessments of DBS checks where a trace has been found in ECC's pre-employment checks and making recommendations to the Director of Children and Education Services; managing Vetting and Barring checks, where the National DBS require information on individuals referred to them.
- Manage requests for 'Other Locality Authority Checks' in relation to prospective foster and adoptive carers, particularly where there is evidence of child protection concerns.
- Responsible for modelling/promoting effective partnership working with key agencies to ensure collaboration/information sharing/integrated planning for the benefit of the child; influencing/scrutinising/challenging relevant participants.
- Providing specialist knowledge in respect of legislation, and technical expertise to the Quality Assurance Service strategy and the development of resources/policy/practice.
- Lead on training and awareness-raising for staff and other agencies on allegations management and safe recruitment issues/wider safeguarding matters.
Breadth of role: The LADO is a broad and challenging role with a high level of specialism around risk assessment. The role holds statutory responsibility for co-ordinating the response across every agency in Essex where there are concerns that an adult who works with children may have caused them or could cause them harm.
Skills, Knowledge 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 front line social work (preferably in child protection) - a minimum of senior practitioner level, demonstrating a comprehensive and up to date understanding of all relevant legislation, regulation and guidance.
- Comprehensive specialist knowledge of the safeguarding agenda and Allegations Management.
- Proven experience of analysing complex information, providing highly specialist advice and analysing and assessing levels of risk.
- Proven experience of effectively chairing complex inter-agency meetings.
- Evidence of skills and ability to constructively challenge practice and performance
- Self-motivating and ability to work autonomously.