Senior Practitioner - Ref: CH08823 Grade: G11; Salary: £44,539 - £49,590 (pay award pending)
Walsall Children’s Services is currently looking to recruit a Senior Practitioner within our Family Safeguarding and Support Locality Team. This post will be based in the North Locality which is located in Essington Lodge which has onsite parking. The service comprises of 4 Locality Family Safeguarding and Support Teams with each team comprising of up to 8 practitioners, including an adult specialist worker. This really is an exciting opportunity for an experienced Social Worker to develop and share your knowledge and experience within a high performing, stable and very supportive team.
Working for Walsall Children’s Social Care Walsall is a great place to practice Social Work. We strive to provide the best services and outcomes for our children, young people and families, and this has just been recognised by Ofsted who have graded us as GOOD! Ofsted told us that: ‘There is a strong corporate commitment and investment in children’s services from the chief executive, lead member and other members to implement Walsall Council’s priorities for children. As a result, there is tangible progress and benefits for children, their families and the workforce.
There has been a significant reduction in social work caseloads so social workers can spend more time with children and their families. Workforce stability is good and results in fewer changes of social workers for children’. To achieve this we try to keep a resolute focus on workloads. As of November 2023, our current workload average is 14 per full time Social Worker.
For our Social Workers to be able to support children and young people and keep them safe, they need feel safe and supported. We are committed to promoting the wellbeing of our practitioners and as part of our Workforce Wellbeing Strategy, Social Workers and Team Managers will have access to clinical supervision as part of an enhanced wellbeing programme for all staff. We offer flexible working, with a hybrid approach of home working and office based working to maintain our team support and culture. Employee's are also able to opt into a 9 day fortnight which is currently being trialled and evaluated in Walsall.
We also have a comprehensive career development offer: from our ASYE programme - considered an example of good practice, to our Core Offer for all Social Workers, Practice Educator and Team Manager Programmes. As practitioners gain experience, they are also able to access specialist training: for example in our Practice Leads with Centre for Expertise in Child Sexual Abuse, Achieving Best Evidence training, Parent Assess and Restorative Practice coaching.
Our staff are our biggest resources and we want to invest in them! We offer a comprehensive benefits package, including retention payments for Social Workers and Team Managers in key frontline practice roles in Duty and Assessment, and Family Safeguarding Teams. These start at 10% of annual salary after 2 years working for us, increasing to 12% after 4, and 14% after 6 years.
Please note that we want our staff and management teams to reflect the diversity of the communities we serve, and welcome and will invest in the development of applicants who are Black, Asian or from minority ethnic groups.
Walsall Children’s Social Care have adopted the Family Safeguarding Model with support from the ‘Strengthening Families, Protecting Children Programme’ and investment from the Department for Education. This has involved creating Family Safeguarding Teams that include Social Workers, and Specialist Practitioners to support parents experiencing domestic abuse, mental health problems or drug and alcohol misuse. In addition, we offer a tailored programme of support and intervention, with all work being centred on Motivational Interviewing skills and more effective case recording through the workbook. All staff will receive training in the model and support in its implementation.
The model has been in place for 2 years and we are really starting to see the difference, with Ofsted reporting that they saw exceptional practice from social workers, which helps children’s experience improve and supports families to make positive improvements in their lives. As a result of this, our numbers of children supported by a child protection plan have reduced by half and children entering care have reduced by 30%. This is just one of a number of new and innovative approaches we are implementing to do things differently.
Walsall Council takes seriously the responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all the children and young people entrusted to our care and it is our expectation that all staff will share this commitment. Completion of an enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check is a requirement for working with children and young people.
Note: Applicants appointed to posts that require an enhanced DBS clearance must declare any periods of time that they have lived, studied or worked abroad and be prepared to provide an Overseas Criminal Records Certificate (OCRC) or a Statement of Good Conduct (SOGC) relating to anytime they were overseas.
The post holder must have a social work qualification or equivalent and must be registered with Social Work England. This post is covered by the Government’s Code of Practice on the English Language Fluency Duty for public sector workers.
The post holder will be required to communicate verbally with customers and provide advice and/or information in accurate spoken English.
For further information please contact; Anna Wright, Group Manager, by email at: email@example.com
To Apply: please submit a supporting statement within the application form, referring to the job description & person specification, detailing how you meet the specific requirements of the role.
Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
View Job Description and Employee Specification
Closing date 6th December 2023
Provisional interview dates w/c 13th-14th December.
Read more about our benefits at https://go.walsall.gov.uk/jobs-and-careers-/benefits-of-working-for-us