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Social Work Practice Lead (Children's)

Please Note: The application deadline for this job has now passed.

Job Introduction

Social Work Practice Lead is a new role to Staffordshire and this is an opportunity to apply for the vacancy in our Newcastle district.

At Staffordshire County Council we want to invest in you, supporting and developing you in a successful career in social work practice. When you join Staffordshire County Council you will be joining a children and families service which is committed and motivated to making a difference, safeguarding and improving the outcomes for our most vulnerable children and young people.

Staffordshire County Council is the eighth largest county in England. Our Children’s Services are here to make lives better. It’s what motivates, inspires and connects us and working within a model of restorative practice that’s what each of our practitioners aim to do every single day.                      
We are incredibly proud of our Children’s Services. We strive for excellence in the work we do in supporting children who go missing, unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and our prevention service. It’s all down to the hard work, determination and passion of our people. But we never stop striving for improvement. Recently our social work teams have had investment of over £1 million pounds, to support us improving services to our children and young people within Staffordshire.

Our social work teams in Staffordshire County Council work across 8 district areas. Newcastle–Under–Lyme, Staffordshire Moorlands, Stafford, Lichfield, Cannock, East Staffordshire and South Staffordshire.

Main Responsibility

Our Social Work Practice Lead roles reflect the principles and ethos of Professor Eileen Munro. This role focuses on growing and developing Social Work expertise, championing best practice, drawing on research evidence and encouraging a reflective approach to Social Work. Every Newly Qualified Social Worker within their ASYE1 and ASYE2 years will be assigned a Social Work Practice Lead to support them.

Social Work Practice Lead positions are based within our frontline Social Work teams. These niche posts aim to retain experience within practice whilst supporting the development and assessment of social workers within their Early Career Framework (ECF). The knowledge and experience provided from the SWPL supports the retention of our social workers, providing opportunities for co-working, reflective practice and nurture of all social workers within their teams.

These positions are based in our Frontline Teams as all recruitment of Newly Qualified Social Workers will be in these teams for at least the first 2 years of their practice during their ASYE1 and ASYE2 where the greatest amount of support is required for staff development, providing the very best baseline practice development, supporting the ‘grow our own’ culture and supporting retention across the workforce.

Our Social Work Practice Leads (SWPL) hold two predominant tasks:

1. Maintain expertise in practice

  • Small complex workload
  • Keeping one foot in frontline practice
  • Ensuring expert practice for children and families
  • Sharing knowledge across Children and Families
  • Support policy / procedure updates
  • Co-work complex CiN / CP / PLO / Proceedings for NQSW’S at start of career 

2. Provide bespoke support to NQSW’S and less experienced staff

  • Support staff within Early Career Framework
  • ASYE1 / ASYE2 Assessor
  • Deliver one to one and group reflection sessions.
  • Bespoke development sessions
  • Strive for practice excellence.
  • Support capability issues
  • Attend national level events as determined appropriate and disseminate learning.

In addition to the above this position aims to:

  • Strengthening links within Local Authority and partner agencies
  • Completing reflective supervision
  • Deputising for manager where appropriate and safe
  • Role modelling a positive culture and championing restorative practice
  • Strong and bi-monthly link to the Principal SW and training offer.
  • Support recruitment
  • Support for the workforce in Lead / Liaison positions

The Ideal Candidate

To apply for this role you must have:

  •  A social work degree and be Social Work England (SWE) registered
  • Significant post qualifying experience in social work
  • Significant experience of coaching and mentoring others in a social work setting
  • Knowledge and experience of reflective supervision
  • Extensive knowledge of legislation and guidance underpinning delivery of children’s social care e.g. Childrens Act, Working Together, Adoption Act, Every Child Matters
  • Ability to assess and observe social workers against the (Knowledge and Skills statements) KSS and (Professional Capabilities Framework) PCF and present assessment findings within a report

For further information about this role, please contact Sarah Lovatt, Team Manager Newcastle AST2 

About Staffordshire County Council

We are no ordinary county council:

Our Values:

The core of who we are as an organisation. Just like we all have personal values that shape our thoughts and behaviour, organisational values drive how we think and act collectively.

Our values were created and shaped by colleague feedback and national best practice and they sit at the heart of People Strategy:

We have a real sense of community spirit that brings our people together. This feeling of belonging means we are all connected to what we do and take pride in the difference we make every day for Staffordshire people. We are ambitious and our sights are set firmly on a better future.

We look forward and race ahead - that goes for your career too. 

Our benefits:

We recognise that it is our employees that are central to everything we do. We aim to create a supportive working environment where employees can achieve their full potential and achieve a healthy work-life balance. 

In addition to your salary, as a member of staff, you will have access to Our rewards and benefits - Careers at Staffordshire

Our recruitment process:

As an Authority we are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people/vulnerable adults and expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.

Staffordshire County Council is an equal opportunities organisation and Disability Confident employer. We encourage applications from all background and communities

As part of our commitment as a Disability Confident employer, a Silver Award Armed Forces employer and our commitment to supporting care leavers - we offer a guaranteed interview as long as your application meets the minimum criteria for the post. 

As you’ll know safeguarding and promoting the welfare of our children and young people/vulnerable adults is important to us and that’s why this position is subject to a criminal record check from the Disclosure and Barring Service. If applicable you should disclose details of unspent and unfiltered spent reprimands, formal warnings, cautions and convictions in your application form.

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Disability confident committed Armed Forces Covenant. Proudly supporting those who serve. Gold Award