Job Description

Independent Reviewing Officer role for children in care. Experienced IROs only. This is not a post that can be completed virtually.

SECTION 1: JOB PURPOSE

· To meet regulatory requirements which require the Authority to have Independent review officer posts (IRO).

· To monitor, assess and scrutinise the performance of the Authority’s function in respect of reviews and refer to relevant bodies.

· To act as lead officer in co-ordinating an effective inter-agency response to children in need of protection and children looked after.

· To plan and develop a consistent response to ensure effective practice, in line with statutory, legislative, departmental and inter-agency standards.

· To act as an independent chair at Children Protection meetings including Child Protection Conferences, Review Meetings, Statutory Looked After Children Reviews and Part 4 meetings.

· To manage and champion delivery of the Services both within and outside the organisation proactively seeking and enabling innovation and continuous improvement in the delivery of departmental services.

· To contribute as part of the wider safeguarding team to the development of the Authority’s safeguarding services.

· To ensure the voice of the child/young person is heard and provide access to independent advocacy.

· To effectively contribute to risk management at an operational level.

SECTION 2: DIMENSIONS

· Required to give direction to social work colleagues and other partner agencies and monitor the implementation of directed activities and to identify and challenge poor practice.

· The regulations require the independent reviewing officers, as a minimum requirement, to be independent of the line management of the cases they are reviewing.

· Extensive and expert knowledge of system/services for the area of responsibility. It is the expectation that the IRO should have enhanced status within the service equivalent /the same status as a team manager or equivalent.

· Decision making in relation to risk management of children who are at risk of abuse or harm.

· Planning and utilising resources.

· Professional advice and guidance provided to external and internal partners regarding safeguarding matters.

· This post reports directly to the Head of Service, Safeguarding & Quality Assurance and may be required to deputise for this postholder.

· The post holders have shared full management and supervision of two Business Support Assistants.

SECTION 3: PRINCIPAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

NO.

Description of Principal Duty or Responsibility

1

To provide independent, visible and clear direction and instruction about professional practice on all aspects of safeguarding to staff within the Council and to partner agencies on a daily basis.

2

To be responsible for ensuring and promoting high quality practice in work with families in need of care and support in Wrexham or where Wrexham is the originating authority. This includes children in need of protection and/or children who are looked after.

3

To be the independent professional expert to monitor decisions made by Team managers and social workers regarding activity relating to looked after children within the Social Care Department. To evaluate the achievement of consistent quality standards, within a framework of anti-discriminatory practice and provide regular reports to local and regional Safeguarding Boards and the Senior Service Management Team.

4

To have line management responsibility for project / team members including performance management, absence management, training and development ensuring that the service is delivered appropriately.

5

To lead and co-ordinate inter-agency work, service developments and joint initiatives, policy development and address inter-agency problems and issues. Contribute to external inspections as necessary (i.e. CIW, Estyn).

6

To chair all statutory reviews for Looked After children in accordance with Section 18 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002.

To chair complex and sensitive child protection conferences and review meetings as well as strategy meetings in relation to professionals in positions of trust to ensure that these are conducted in accordance with the Safeguarding Procedures 2019

To chair “disruption” meetings where necessary.

Recommendations and decisions made in these meetings will impact upon the safety and wellbeing of children and their families and can potentially impact upon the reputation of the council.

7

The post holder will hold staff and team managers to account by challenging staff and managers via the departmental escalation process if they do not feel that the interests of the child are being met. (IRO Handbook 2004, Welsh Government publication). As a last resort, will refer unresolved children looked after cases to CAFCASS where a breach of a child or young person’s human rights can be raised.

8

Rigorously monitor, assess, review and scrutinise the quality and effectiveness of inter-agency safeguarding plans and care plans by reviewing them within timescales specified by Welsh Government.

Bring to the attention of managers any shortfalls in resources or practice or inconsistencies in the application of policies and procedures identified in the review process.

9

Ensure all work is undertaken in accordance with statutory requirements, departmental and Regional Safeguarding Board guidelines.

10

Act as a professional expert advisor and offer consultation and support to all departments and agencies in the borough in relation to children in need of protection and/or children looked after.

11

Ensure the voice of the child/young person is heard to inform child focussed care planning and decision making. Ensure any views expressed are considered appropriately and recorded.

12

Provide accurate departmental management information and maintain systems to ensure statistical returns and reports are produced as required to Welsh Government. To ensure the Child protection Register is effectively updated thus enabling critical information is available to agencies for decision making 24 Hours per day each week.

13

In conjunction with other professionals and the departmental training section, identify the training and development needs of staff from all agencies relating to child protection and/or children looked after and contribute to the delivery of such training. This will include directly providing training and mentoring for colleagues and staff when required.

To provide training for Members for Rota visits to ensure that these are conducted in accordance with the legislative framework.

14

Respond to formal and informal complaints made by or on behalf of children and young people by application of the Council’s complaints procedure.

15

To formally and regularly undertake the coaching, mentoring and assessment of Social Work Students and Registered Social Students and Registered Social Workers, (Social worker and Experienced Social worker). This can involve the formal reading of portfolios as part of assessment panels, mentoring an individual during post-qualifying award in Social Worker, the formal assessment of a Social Worker in a Post-Qualifying Award such as Practice Teaching Award, Mental Health Award and Post-Qualifying Childcare Award.

16

To play a key role scrutinising and analysing audits of case files carried out by team and senior managers. Provision of an annual report to the senior management team highlighting areas of concerns trends good and poor practice, noncompliance with process and procedures and whether or not a child’s voice has been heard.

You must have:

  • A professional qualification in Social Work and experience of working with Children
  • Social Work England registration or Social Care Wales registration for North Wales.
  • Post qualified experience.
  • Enhanced DBS/Update service.
  • References required for the last 5 years of employment.

What’s on offer for the Social Worker?

  • Excellent competitive pay rate
  • Excellent management structure with experienced leaders
  • Desirable location with excellent transport links
  • A stable and well-supported working environment

Benefits of working with Semester.co.uk:

  • Free on-going training opportunities upon registering as part of our commitment to you.
  • Competitive Rates of pay
  • In house payroll, providing weekly payments and support
  • Enhanced DBS completed.
  • Support and expert advice from an approachable, dedicated and friendly team
  • An assigned dedicated & experienced consultant
  • Various employment opportunities in your preferred geographical area
  • Flexible hours to meet your needs, full or part time
  • Recommend a friend bonus scheme
  • “Find your own job” bonus – get £250 for bringing your own position to us *

If you would like to find out more information about this role, or other opportunities please visit www.jobs.Semester.co.uk to apply or feel free to click the 'Apply' button below or contact the team on 0161 4199285*

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