MAIN PURPOSE OF ROLE:
· To recruit, support and develop the skills of our foster carers to ensure that we provide outstanding care and the best possible outcomes for our children and young people in our care.
· To work in collaboration with all stakeholders and strive to ensure that the children and young people in our care reach their full potential.
· To provide a comprehensive, flexible and high quality service to carers, children and young people in our care using legal, regulatory and statutory guidance to inform practice decisions and to safeguard and protect against harm.
· To understand and contribute to the growth and continued development of the Fostering service.
· To recruit, assess, and monitor the skills of our foster carers to ensure that they provide a safe, healthy, nurturing and learning environment for our children and young people ensuring that they have up to date foster care agreement in place that meets regulatory requirements.
· To work with carers to ensure that they fully understand their role, identify and capture their development needs on a personal development plan (PDP) and provide appropriate organisational, professional and personal support to ensure that the carers have the right skills and competency to support our children and young people. Assist in the ‘Skills to Foster’ training as appropriate.
· To provide support to carers to enable them to evidence level of competence against required training standards within timescales, and following an assessment, sign off each standard.
· Provide a safe, calm and well-ordered environment for all carers, and ensure that systems, process and methods of recording and well established, fit for purpose and efficient and of a high quality, addressing early signs of difficulties with carers.
· Provide and record regular supervision to allocated foster carers in line with the agency’s operational and quality standards and undertake such additional support visits/telephone contact as required taking into account the needs of all family members.
· Develop and forge strong relationships with local authorities maximise placements and achieve the best outcomes for children.
· Work in partnership with children, young people and foster carers and other professionals, local authorities and stakeholders, enabling full participation in assessment, planning, review and decision making including those issues relating to safeguarding and child protection.
· Provide support based on evidence and best practice, which is tailored to meet individual child and the foster family and appropriate to the situation.
· Secure access to services, negotiating and challenging other professionals and organisations to provide the help required where appropriate.
· Provide written case notes and reports, which are analytical, focused, and jargon free. Present a clear analysis and a sound rationale for actions as well as any conclusions reached.
· To work with foster carers to support children’s development based on individual need underpinned by the use of therapeutic parenting strategies appropriate to the child and their life experiences.
· Understand and recognise that children’s safeguarding needs change, report concerns appropriately to your line manager in line with safeguarding policy and procedures of the local authority and compass fostering.
· Lead the investigation of allegations of significant harm to children in consultation with other professionals and line manager. Draw one’s own conclusions about the likelihood and take appropriate action in line with policy and procedures.
· Carry out in-depth assessment of applicants including undertaking initial visits and carer assessments, apply professional curiosity and authority while maintaining a position of partnership, involving all key family members.
· Test multiple hypotheses about what is happening in foster families and to children, using evidence and professional judgement to reach timely conclusions including where the situation may pose a risk. Challenge any prevailing professional conclusions in the light of new evidence or practice reflection.
· To work with foster carers and in line with placement agreement make realistic child centered plans within a review timeline, which will manage and reduce identified risks and meet the needs of the child including those moving on into independence.
· To be reflective of own practice and areas for development and raise in supervision with your line manager, remaining inquisitive and challenge thinking and decision making to ensure that the best outcomes for children are achieved. Discuss, debate, reflect upon and test hypotheses about what is happening within foster carers and young people and children and explore the potential for bias in decision making.
· Reflect on the emotional experience of working relationships with foster carers and children and young people, consciously identify where personal triggers are affecting the quality of practice and raise for discussion at supervision.
· To ensure that foster carers are fully versed in the fostering services policies and procedures and the support available to them including wider support systems e.g. Fostering Network and Fostertalk.
· To contribute to Foster Carer Annual Reviews, within required timescales, providing written evidence of competence and presenting annual review reports to panel as required.
· Ensure that risks are managed with the child’s best interest at the centre of all decision making and that subsequent actions are followed through.
· Attend and facilitate team meetings and providing information to the management team as needed.
· Ensure compliance with Social Work England to retain job title and registration.
· Participate in the out of hour’s duty system on a rota basis.
PERSONAL SPECIFICATION – ROLE SPECIFIC
· Degree or equivalent social work qualification.
· Post graduate experience preferable.
· Membership of relevant professional body.
· Proven track record of delivering successful outcomes for children.
· Excellent knowledge of childcare legislation; specifically the Regulations and Standards for Fostering.
· Enthusiasm for developing and improving the groups services to Good/Outstanding Ofsted rating.
· Successful management of competing priorities.
· Understanding responsibilities in protecting their own health, safety and wellbeing and that of their colleagues and others.
· Is visible, approachable and earns respect; inspires and motivates others, building effective working relationships.
· Demonstrates the high standards of integrity, honesty and fairness expected; carries forward decisions made by the organisation or in collaboration with the line manager.
Delivery of Results
· Defines results, taking into account the needs of the carers and children’s care plans and placement agreements delivering the best outcomes for children.
· Encourages feedback on performance and makes improvements and / or changes to practice based on them;
· Makes clear and considered recommendations and decisions to their line manager.
· Is aware of personal strengths and weaknesses and their impact on others with ability to take a firm stance when a situation warrants it;
· Pursues adopted strategies with energy and commitment, managing own time well and being resilient when responding to competing priorities;
· Adapts quickly and is flexible to new demands and changes.
· Has in-depth knowledge and experience related to the service and knows when and how to find and use sources of expertise, within and outside the group;
· Understands the environment within which the group evolves, including regulatory frameworks and applies high quality best practice to meet and exceed expectations in the role.
· Demonstrates a growth mind-set and inquisitive thinking and applies this to their practice.
· Able to sense what other people are feeling and able to express own feelings;
· Knowing what we are thinking and feeling, how this makes us behave and understand the impact this has on others;
· Being able to handle our feelings in ways that are safe and respectful to ourselves and other people;
· Being able to support other people through emotional difficulties
· Generates ideas for change to make improvements to services;
· Exhibits ability to responds change constructively;
· Effectively communicates the reason / need for change, involving others in the process and assessing the impact of change
The details contained in this Job Description is not an exhaustive list of duties and you will be expected to perform different duties commensurate with the level of the post as required by the organisation and the overall objectives of the group. The nature of the agency business means that tasks and responsibilities are sometimes unpredictable therefore colleagues are expected to work flexibly when the occasion arises. Travel is expected as part of this role including travel to other Compass Community offices.