Children's Social Worker

Job Description

Job Purpose
 To undertake professional and comprehensive casework for a complex caseload of children and young people.
 To maintain high professional standards and good overall knowledge of relevant legislation regulation and practice methods, ensuring that you are abreast of new developments. Provide guidance and support to less experienced staff to help them develop their professional skills and knowledge.
 As lead professional, to contribute to the provision of good quality services which integrate government and local initiatives and guidance (including Working Together, Child Protection procedures, Looked After Children’s processes, the Assessment Framework and Common Assessment Framework).
Key Accountabilities
 Manage an allocated caseload appropriate to the extensive experience of the Experienced Social Worker, to include complex assessments of children, families and parenting and other work to meet statutory requirements.
 Work within Swindon Borough Council’s policies, procedures and good practice guidelinesin order to meet the needs of the children and families allocated.
 Work with children and young people, families, carers and communities to help them make informed decisions, engender change enabling them to clarify and express their needs, and contribute to service planning.
 Maintain up to date case notes and other records, utilising relevant IT systems, and write reports, including court reports, and give expert evidence in court.
 Undertake specialist assessments, for your and other workers’ cases, for court proceedings, including parenting and kinship assessments.
 Ensure that casework is up to date, comprehensively written up, and managed within agreed timescales.
 Ensure your manager is kept fully appraised of problems arising from cases or work load and to seek advice as and when necessary.
 When working with families, to recognise monitor and assess risk. To ensure information about risk is escalated to managers in a timely manner.
 Develop and maintain positive working relationships with service users and other professionals.
 Model good practice helping to set the expectations for others.
 Where appropriate act as the duty worker for the team responding to queries and issues
Learning and development
 Keep up to date with contemporary issues in children’s social work including legislation and evidence based practice and use this to inform working practice.
 Use supervision to reflect on cases, and put learning into practice
 Identify own individual learning needs in line with the requirements of the PCF for an experienced and advanced social work practitioner and attend relevant training and development opportunities.
Lead professional
 Liaise with colleagues in own and other directorates and external agencies to gather information to inform assessment and care planning activities, jointly plan and deliver interventions.
 Participate in complex planning and reviewing of cases of children in care, child protection and support fostering/adoption arrangements.
 Provide constructive challenge to enhance practice, procedures and policies, promote innovation, and introduce new ways of working
 Lead and monitor multi-agency actions and objectives.
 Provide leadership and professional wisdom to colleagues and other professionals for work in situations of high complexity
 Act as a placement supervisor to students or mentor to NQSW in their ASYE year and act as a mentor to other staff.
 Model and facilitate reflective and evidence-informed practice, contributing to the development of
knowledge and promotion of excellence in the field
 Carry out any other duties, commensurate with the post, as may be required for the efficient running of the service.
Supplementary Accountabilities:
 To lead on matching of placements for children in care using regulations, risk assessments and matching information
 To assess the quality and impact of placements for children in care, including visits to providers and homes for children
 Work creatively with Social Work Teams, Fostering and Providers to develop placements plans to meet children’s needs with clear outcomes
 Promote and actively contribute to stability and disruption meetings for placements
 Work closely with colleagues from SEND, CLA nurse and the virtual School to ensure that placements can meet holistic needs of children
 To promote a focus on permanence for children in care
Knowledge & Experience
Candidates must have substantial knowledge and experience in the following areas of business and will be required to provide evidence of this:
 Experience of identifying the needs of children and young people and establishing targeted planning to meet their needs.
 Practical experience producing in depth and analytical assessments for complex cases
 Experience of multi-disciplinary working with children and families and chairing formal multi- disciplinary meetings
 Experience of undertaking assessments and writing court reports and presenting evidence in court.
 Knowledge of child protection, looked after children, and associated child in need social work practice issues
 Knowledge of methods of social work intervention.
 In-depth knowledge of relevant legislation, regulations, guidance and policies.
 Knowledge and understanding of the framework for the assessments of children in need and their families.
 Contemporary knowledge of social work applications, i.e. attachment theory, enabling change, parenting and kinship assessments, behaviour and behaviour management.
Skills & Abilities
 Good IT skills
 Proven ability to work effectively as part of a team
 Ability to write appropriate reports and keep documents up to date.
 Ability to mentor colleagues and develop assessment skills
 Ability, through reflection, to analyse, interpret and make positive plans.
 Think analytically to solve problems and issues, making rational, realistic and sound judgements.
Work-related Personal Qualities
 Strong interpersonal skills, especially in working with clients
 Ability to adapt and cope with a changing environment and support colleagues in these circumstances.
 Ability to manage pressure effectively and cope well with conflict and challenge
 Clear personal values in line with those of Swindon Borough Council
Other Work-related Requirements
 Hold a current driving licence and be prepared to undertake occasional long car journeys and on occasions transport children or clients.
 Flexible in the use of time and be prepared to work, sometimes, at times outside the normal working day.
 Able to attend meetings and to work at a variety of locations across the Borough.
 Social Work Degree/Diploma and HCPC Registration and (if qualifying after 2013) have completed and passed the Assessed and Supported Year in Employment.
 Have completed and passed post qualifying learning and development (e.g. Graduate Diploma or Placement Supervision award) or have appropriate equivalent experience.
 Evidence of Commitment to CPD as required by the HCPC.
Decision Making
 Assess and manage higher levels of risk that involve multi-agency input, complex family dynamics, serious hostility and conflicts of interest.
 Critically track actions and care planning outcomes to ensure good outcomes for children
Creativity and Innovation
 A need to understand that diversity characteristics shape human experience and it’s critical to the formation of identity. Diversity is multi-dimensional and includes race, disability, class, economic status, age, sexuality, gender and transgender, faith and belief. Also appreciate that, as a consequence of
difference, a person’s life experience may include oppression, marginalisation and alienation as well as privilege, power and acclaim, and are able to challenge appropriately.
 Dynamic, innovative, committed and passionate, with a comprehensive knowledge and skill-base to the challenge of working with vulnerable children and families.
 Strong leadership skills will enable mobilisation of skills of other members of the team, ensuring the very best outcome for children in Swindon.