Salary: £52,086 - £55,798 (market supplements included)
Working Pattern: Full-time
Location: County-wide across West Sussex (preference to base location to be discussed at interview)
We will be shortlisting and interviewing throughout the advertising period so please do not hesitate or wait for the closing date to apply.
Please note that this is a temporary job title as we are currently seeking the views of children and young people so that we use one which makes sense to them, they can relate to and they are comfortable with. Once this has been confirmed, the job title will be updated.
As part of our on-going positive transformation and improvement work, we're now recruiting for permanent Independent Reviewing and Child Protection Officers in a new dual role which combines the role of the Child Protection Chair and Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO). Our ambition and desire is to provide a continuity of relationship for our children throughout their journey with Children's Social Care.
As an Independent Reviewing and Child Protection Officer in the Conferencing and Reviewing Service, you will work with children who are subject to Child Protection plans and with the children that we care for. You will chair conferences and review meetings, ensuring that all of our children have plans that are outcome focused and are achieving positive impact. You will provide ongoing oversight, leadership and assurance, driving aspirational practice and improvements across the system. You will have the opportunity to develop an area of specialist practice knowledge and will be a leader and advocate to enable us to drive enhanced assurance for our children to improve their outcomes.
The role of the Independent Reviewing and Child Protection Officer is stimulating, varied and highly rewarding. You will need to possess the skills and ability to work inclusively with all relevant family members, carers and professionals and understand the skilful and sensitive use of authority as well as demonstrate excellent chairing skills, together with the ability and confidence to effectively scrutinise and challenge practice where needed.
Experience and Skills
- Excellent communication skills with the ability to influence the actions of others and communicate wide ranging information which may be complex and contentious.
- The ability to negotiate solutions across wide areas of the business and successfully convince others of the need to take a specific course of action or adopt a specific approach for the safety and protection of children
- The ability to formulate and oversee plans, within which child safety is promoted, risk is sufficiently managed, permanence is progressed, and aspects of care, development and protection are thoroughly considered.
- Able to formulate accurate, accessible, and comprehensive reports
- The ability to communicate effectively and sensitively, with children of all ages, capturing and responding to their wishes, feelings and lived experiences.
- Excellent organisational and time management skills, with the ability to manage competing needs, in a high pace environment.
Qualifications and experience:
- Professional social work qualification and registered with Social Work England.
- Extensive working knowledge of Child Protection Procedures, The IRO handbook, relevant legislation, regulations and guidance, including Working Together to Safeguard Children.
- Knowledge of Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Legislative Frameworks
- Previous leadership experience within a Children's Social Care environment
- Comprehensive knowledge of roles and responsibilities of all other agencies involved with children.
- Significant understanding of relevant research, particularly that concerning child development, the effects of separation and loss and attachment theory.
- Detailed experience of child's journey through social care.
Rewards and Benefits
We provide regular group supervision and peer learning alongside specialist roles within the team to focus on the most vulnerable children. You'll also 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.
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 CAFHE03319.
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.
West Sussex County Council is an equal opportunities employer committed to promoting an environment that is inclusive and free from all forms of unlawful or unfair discrimination and values the diversity of its people. We actively welcome applications from people of all backgrounds and take every possible step to ensure that no individual will be disadvantaged.