We are delighted to be seeking a new addition to our Children’s Social Care leadership team. As a Head of Service, you would be joining an experienced and hard-working leadership team who strive to create the right environment and resources for good social work to flourish.
If you are a strong advocate for children and families, a responsible leader who recognises that great leadership in Children’s Social Care goes hand in hand with great social work, then the social work teams would welcome an application from you.
Bracknell Forest Council have a nationally recognised practice model – the ‘Family Safeguarding Model’. In a recent Focused Inspection Ofsted stated “Implementation of the chosen social work model provides a collegiate, holistic and dynamic practice environment, allowing social workers to make quick inroads into addressing long-standing parental issues which impact on the experiences and progress of children”, July 2021.
Every employee, without exception, interviewed by inspectors in this recent inspection, commented positively to inspectors’ questions on what it was like working in Bracknell Forest, Children’s Social Care. We are looking for a leader who will harness this positively. A leader who is experienced within Children's Social Care, committed to continuous development and who can drive up quality from a secure base for the operational teams; someone who will be insightful and will provide supervision to operational managers that is reflective, helps them to understand what the data is telling us and drives plans for children, enabling families to stay together where it is safe to do so. A leader who recognises that strategic intent must have quality and impact.
Favouring a relational approach in all that we do, over 80% of our workforce are permanent employees, caseloads are manageable and caring for ‘you and your family’ is a priority for the Council.
The Head of Service has the responsibility of ensuring that we provide children, young people and families with the right risk management and services at the right time.
Because we’re Bracknell Forest.
Safeguarding is everyone’s business. Bracknell Forest encourages a one Council approach and as such has strong corporate parenting arrangements and effective approaches to performance management and quality assurance.
Children’s Social Care sits within the People Directorate giving us great opportunities to work with all our colleagues including Adult Social Care, Housing, Community Safety Partnership, all striving towards a joined-up family approach.
Family Safeguarding is achieved through collaborative working with parents and within a multi-professional workspace which is now embedding across our Children’s Social Care workforce. If this way of working fits with your ethos and values and you would like to lead our Family Safeguarding Teams, then we would really like to hear from you.
Further information about our Children’s Social Care and teams can be found here:
What it’s like working in Children’s Social Care…
We are graded by Ofsted as Good with Outstanding features. We know that social work, whilst rewarding, is not always easy. To support high quality consistent social work, we have a comprehensive learning and development offer, driven by our passionate Principal Social Worker. We have resilience groups, well-being days and events, group supervision and peer support.
Following our focused visit by Ofsted in July 2021 headline findings:
“they have continued to ensure the delivery of high-quality social work practice that has a positive impact on children’s experiences”.
Overall, Inspectors found that social workers and other frontline practitioners benefit from manageable caseloads, good training and powerful and highly reflective supervision that ensures children are at the heart of decision making.
This role is responsible for leading our three Family Safeguarding (FS) Teams; they exemplify how children’s safeguarding work can support families and secure the best outcomes for children and young people.
Working collaboratively with families to keep them together, where it is safe to do so, is at the heart of the embedded Family Safeguarding Model and our approach is underpinned by Motivational Interviewing (MI). This ensures families, children and young people feel empowered and enables parents to make the positive changes needed, to achieve improved outcomes for their children and their own wellbeing; parents are motivated to identify the changes needed within their own families which results in them achieving better outcomes for children.
Our teams of qualified social workers and family support workers are supported by specialist officers in domestic abuse, mental health and substance misuse, meaning no lengthy waits for much needed services for our families. It’s all here, accessible and underpinning the planning and work being delivered to mitigate against risks, build resilience in families and enable families to meet their own children’s needs more effectively. Access to family group conferences and mediation work with families is additionally available and supports all involved, to secure decisions and outcomes in children’s best interests.
We have a good early help offer and work in collaboration with statutory partners and voluntary agencies in the community. Supporting families to access these services and support is also part of our daily morale purpose to enable families to secure safety and confidence in their own abilities to look after their children.
Our work is diverse and fast paced with no two days the same. We provide a compassionate and safety-first approach to children and families at risk or in need of services to ensure ‘right service - right time’.
You will need an in-depth knowledge of what works for children and families, relevant legislation, and know what good looks like in practice. This role has a strong quality assurance focus to it, supported by a Quality Assurance Service.
Our performance management tells us:
- We provide timely decisions on new contacts to the department.
- Our assessment timeliness is a strength.
- More children and families are taking up the early help offer at the point of step down.
You must be a qualified social worker with management experience and leadership skills or leadership experience. You must have experience of working within child protection services including harm that occurs in the community through exploitation. You must have an interest in encouraging integrated services, as we are developing our multi-agency approach (Family Safeguarding) to each of our pods as we progress, and leadership is fundamental. You will need to understand and have experience of permanence/ PLO/ legal processes.
Your main priority is to provide our workers with clear and timely direction and a secure physical and psychological base from which to work safely and effectively to reduce the risk of harm to children and increase their long-term outcomes.
Our workforce tells us:
- There is a supportive and approachable leadership and management team.
- All teams offer each other good peer support.
- They feel appreciated and their development is prioritised.
- Supervision is of high quality and routinely provided.
You will be supported to carry out the specific duties and responsibilities of the job…
Providing operational and strategic leadership to the all age children’s family safeguarding services; leading the planning, creative development, and delivery of a portfolio of services to ensure that families get the right help at the right time. Working with partners and in co-production with families to reduce the risk of children having repeat referrals to Children’s Social Care.
This is a budget holding role which enables you to manage resources necessary to deliver the services.
You will need to be able to write reports and deliver and present to a wide range of audiences.
Benefits you will experience are…
- Annual retention bonus, market premia and relocation package.
- Generous holiday allowance with the option to buy, sell and bank annual leave.
- Career average revalued earnings (CARE) pension scheme.
- An interest free loan for a rail season ticket.
- Internal sports and social club opportunities with discounted leisure centre and gym membership.
- Supermarket discount.
- A comprehensive induction and excellent ongoing training programme.
- Regular, reflective one to one and group supervisions.
- A great office location next to travel links and the regenerated town centre (Lexicon).
- Flexible working opportunities including working remotely.
If you are a qualified social worker with child protection, management and/or leadership experience and you feel this leadership role is a good fit for you, please do apply. The leadership team are looking forward to having a new member and to add value to our ambitions for children.
We are currently only able to accept applications from UK applicants and you should be able to demonstrate experience of working within the current Social Care System and Framework.
No agencies please.
Monday 4th October 2021
Want to ask us a question?
For an informal discussion or to ask any questions about this role please contact:
Sonia Johnson, Assistant Director - Sonia.email@example.com 01344 353132
Peter Hodges, Head of Service Life Chances - Peter.firstname.lastname@example.org 01344 351532