We are looking for candidates who want the opportunity for a fresh challenge. Working within a unique part of the Fostering Service, which plays a key role in the assessment of Family placements and making permanent plans for vulnerable children.
We are seeking professionally qualified social workers, registered with Social Care England who have demonstrable post qualification experience of working with children and young people. Direct experience of working within a Fostering Service is not essential, but confident assessment skills, an ability to engage and communicate with children and carers and an understanding of safeguarding, are key requirements. You will be supervising carers and completing a range of assessments, Special Guardianship and Family and Friends or Private Fostering assessments, which is one of the main responsibilities of the team.
Family and Friends care means that children whose parents are unable to look after them on a short- or long-term basis are cared for by other relatives, like grandparents, uncles, or siblings or by other adults who have a connection to the child, such as a neighbour or a close family friend. Most children living in these arrangements, are not looked after by the local authority, but some are and those that are will be living with carers that have been assessed and approved as family and friends foster carers.
Special Guardianship is an order made by the family court that places a child or young person to live with someone other than their parent(s) on a long-term basis until the child turns 18. The special guardian then shares parental responsibility for the child with the birth parents, but they can make nearly all major decisions about the child without consulting without having to consult them.
Private Fostering is an arrangement whereby a child under the age of 16 or 18 if the child has a disability is living with and cared for by a person for 28 days and the person is not the child’s parent, a person who has parental responsibility for the child or a relative of the child. This is the definition as in S.66 of the 1989 Children Act.
There will be the opportunity to extend experience of work within the court arena and work closely with other professionals and services, inside and outside Hertfordshire, to effectively care plan for children. You will also require flexibility to complete assessments and provide support to carers when out of county. You will contribute to the delivery of training and group work for carers, take part in the team’s duty system and be involved in arranging annual events for children and their families.
As a senior practitioner completing special guardianship assessments, connected person assessments or private fostering assessments, you will also be involved in supporting your carers via monthly supervision and placement support meetings and you will also be responsible for enabling the post order support for special guardians, assisting with accessing funding from the adoption support fund.
Or as a senior practitioner completing private fostering assessments, you will be supporting carers to access various community-based support services and access to public funds via our resource panel. This position also involves the collection and gathering of monthly private fostering data, annual reporting to the safeguarding board and raising awareness of private fostering to generate notifications and referrals into the service. This role is largely assessment support and networking and raising awareness at agency and community events.
In return for this we offer a fun reflective and supportive team environment, with regular supervision, access to training and shared learning. This is in addition to the wider range of benefits available to Hertfordshire employees.
How to Apply
Please apply online via the link provided.