‘Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children come to the UK primarily because of issues in their country of origin. They may have been exposed to or directly involved in conflict, and / or war. And that creates its own trauma. Not only that, but travelling from a country of origin to the UK is not easy. It’s not like taking a flight and arriving at the airport, it may mean travelling through lorries, travelling through different countries, and sometimes staying in some countries for periods of time. All of this leaves its mark on children, and our social work team is there to support them’
Vrushali Pendharkar, Service Manager
About the role
In response to growing number of Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children coming into care in Surrey, Surrey County Council are forming a new specialist Children Looked After team focused on Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children. This team will be dedicated to enabling these children to achieve a strong identity, whilst also helping them to achieve their maximum potential.
Based in Redhill but working across all four Surrey quadrants (Redhill, Woking, Guildford and Walton upon Thames), this team led by a Team Manager will be made up of Social Workers and Senior Social Workers.
Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children face similar experiences to all children who come into care. They may have experiences of trauma, of abuse but in addition to that, these children come to the UK primarily because of issues in their country of origin, and they may have been witness to, exposed to, involved in conflict, or in violence and war.
For these children there is a heightened sense of isolation due to cultural differences and language differences, or because they now need to learn in a new educational system. These children are struggling to cope with all of this without any family being there for them.
So, we are looking for social work professionals who are sensitive to the experiences of these children, and who are able to work closely with them to help them settle in the UK.
The rewarding part of the work you will do, will be having the opportunity to work closely with a child and seeing them through their whole journey. You will have the opportunity to be by their side from the time they come to the UK, with all the trauma that they may have brought with them, and then to see the outcome after a few years.
Considering the Team Manager role?
As a Team Manager your role will be to develop strength-based motivational practice in the team so social workers and practitioners can build effective supportive relationships with children and young people and their families.
You will be also managing the operational effectiveness of the team, allocating and prioritising workloads and taking responsibility for ensuring all cases are safely managed. In exceptional circumstances manage a case directly to ensure safe resolution.
Wanting to join us as Social Worker or Senior Social Worker?
As a Social workers or Senior Social Workers you will need an understanding of the asylum process, have knowledge of immigration legislation and of working with young people with no recourse to public funds. Experience of working with the Home Office and working with children who are victims of modern day slavery and trafficking. As well as knowledge of the National Transfer Scheme and Pan London Rota.
This role will see you attend court hearings for Judicial Reviews and undertake direct work at the UK Border Agency Home Office on a regular basis. As well as supporting young people in their transition to becoming independent and moving to the Leaving Care Team at the age of 18 years.
As a Senior Social worker you will require to demonstrate the same understanding as explained above, but you will be expected to deal with the more complex issues presented by young people.
Professionally we will support you through training such as motivation interviewing, carrying out Age Assessments and a range of other skills. We also have very good links with our partner agencies and collaborate in our training, so we are all on the same page when we are talking about outcomes for our children.
Within the unaccompanied asylum-seeking children team we have particularly good links to solicitors and barristers who specialise in working with these children. So, for our social workers being involved in those discussions is a hugely rewarding learning process.
We also want to hear from social workers who may not have experience in these areas but are passionate and want to gain experience. Because we do have opportunities for learning and development, so any social workers who are interested in this and are keen to learn would be very welcome.
We offer £45,734 to £51,725 per annum for Team Managers dependent on level of experience.
We offer £35,382 - £39,246 per annum for Social Workers and £40,227 - £44,619 per annum for Senior Social Workers and Advanced Social Workers; salary dependent on level of experience.
The Social Worker Start Up Package of up to £2,000 (paid pro rata for part time employees) Is payable for new employees joining Surrey County Council as a Social Worker in the Children, Schools and Families Directorate on a permanent basis.
All our Social Workers and Senior Social Workers have a bespoke Learning programme developed by the Surrey Children's Service Academy. You will have continuous professional development and will be supported to become Practice Educators with a clear professional development pathway.
Interested in a new challenge?
If you are a registered, qualified Social Worker with Social Work England (or equivalent) simply register your interest by pressing APPLY, and sharing some basic details, we will be able to have an informal conversation with you to help you understand if we are the sort of employer you would like to work for and to discuss team opportunities.
Please have your Social Work England (or Equivalent) Registration Number to hand.
Or if you would just like to have a chat?
If you would like to find out more please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the following details or call us on 01483 518672
From flexible working to job sharing (where possible) we are committed to providing a healthy work life balance. A laptop and mobile will be supplied if applicable to your role. You will benefit from 28 days annual leave, rising to 30 days after 2 years' service, a generous local government salary related pension, as well as the option to join our car lease scheme. For more information about the wide variety of benefits you can take advantage of please visit MyBenefits for Surrey County Council staff.
An enhanced DBS ‘Disclosure and Barring Service’ check for regulated activity (formerly known as CRB) and the Children’s and Adults’ Barred List checks will be required for this role.
Surrey County Council is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. We want to be an inclusive and diverse employer of first choice reflecting the community we serve and particularly welcome applications from all under represented groups.
Our values are what support our vision, shape the culture and are crucial in delivering our corporate strategy.