Salary: £37,024 - £49,339 (market supplements included)
Working Pattern: Full-time
Location: County Hall North, Horsham
The Kinship Care Team offer an assessment and support service to kinship carers (including Connected Persons Foster Carers and Special Guardians), who offer permanence for children who are not able to remain in the care of their birth parents.
This is a relatively newly formed team, bringing together assessment and support for kinship carers. We are recruiting for Social Workers to complete the kinship assessments and your role will include completing Special Guardianship Order Assessments for Court and Connected Persons Assessments for Fostering Panel.
You will need to have comprehensive child protection experience to be able to oversee the balance and assessment of risk. You will have a very good understanding of what an excellent assessment looks like and an ability to make good practice decisions in a timely manner. You will need to work collaboratively with other areas of Children's Services and professionals involved in the care planning process of a child's life. We are looking for an emotionally intelligent, organised, resilient individual who is able to work to Court and Fostering Panel directed deadlines whilst ensuring the highest quality of assessment, and also effectively balancing the demands of working on a number of different assessments at the same time.
The team has a strong and supportive leadership ethos and is committed to the professional development of all members. The Kinship Care Team is enthusiastic and dedicated to completing complex and, at times, finely balanced assessments with comprehensive support plans. It is a fantastic opportunity to be part of a creative team within Children's Services which is recognised for positively contributing to children's care plans.
Experience and Skills
- Able to analyse and interpret complex information and data, prioritise needs and formulate plans for intervention and service provision.
- Able to work proactively as a member of the team to make accurate assessments of needs and negotiate and implement effective outcomes.
- Able to work in partnership with carers, colleagues and external agencies to deliver an effective service.
- Able to communicate clearly and effectively in both written and oral format, including the ability to explain complicated information to a wide range of people and use negotiation and persuasion skills to encourage others to adopt a course of action they may not wish to take.
- Able to recognise limits of own accountability and responsibility and seek appropriate support, advice and supervision.
Qualifications and/or experience:
- A recognised Social Work qualification e.g. Degree in Social Work, Post Graduate Certificate in Social Work, DipSW, CQSW or equivalent as recognised by the relevant professional body.
- Completion of relevant post qualifying training.
- Evidence of at least one year's experience post qualification.
- Registration with the relevant professional registration body and maintaining registration with that body.
- Knowledge of theoretical Social Work concepts and practices, with demonstrable examples of dealing with a breadth of complex issues and situations, for example, attachment, impact of developmental trauma and child development, motivational interviewing, relational practice, solution-focussed interventions and systemic working. A good understanding of anti-oppressive, anti-discriminatory and anti-racist practice in social work.
- Experience of effective partnership working and forming effective working relationships with individuals and colleagues, focusing on the needs and handling conflict and disagreement.
- Experience of effectively coaching and supervising others, acting as practice role model and promoting exemplary practice.
- Experience of managing levels of risk within a caseload of complex cases.
- Readiness to work towards Practice Educator Professional Standards (PEPS) qualification at Stage one or equivalent.
- Valid, full driving licence.
Rewards and Benefits
We offer small practice teams of Social Workers and Child & Family Workers, as well as additional flexible administrative support from Coordinators embedded within the service.
We provide regular group supervision and peer learning alongside specialist roles within the team to focus on the most vulnerable children. As a Social Worker, you'll have a minimum of 5 CPD and training days per year with access to excellent learning and development provisions such as Research in Practice and Community Care Inform, Social Work England fees paid and annual leave up to 29 days.
As an employer we recognise that it is our employees that are central to everything we do. We aim to create a supportive and dynamic working environment where employees can achieve their full potential, achieve a healthy work-life balance and are rewarded for the work they do. For a full list of the benefits offered to you as a West Sussex County Council employee, please visit our website.
The reference number for this role is CAFHE03380.
We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults. This post is subject to Social Work England registration, an enhanced DBS check, 5 years referencing and a health check. You must be able to travel throughout the county including to locations that are not always accessible by public transport.