MAIN PURPOSE OF ROLE:
· To contribute to the Fostering Service in delivering the overarching strategic plan for Compass.
· To work with the Head of Fostering in delivering operational excellence, continuous improvement and financial performance of the business whilst safeguarding children and young people.
· To lead, motivate and guide a team of social care practitioners in ensuring that we provide outstanding care and the best possible outcomes for our children and child protection and safeguarding principles are embedded in practice.
· To work within legal and regulatory standards and requirements and ensure that the team’s practice is of a consistent high quality, reflective, evidence based, documented and quality assured.
· To achieve regional targets and KPI’s for placement growth and carer recruitment and retention whilst ensuring that the needs of the children and young people and the carers are met when making placements.
· Apply extensive knowledge, skills and experience to shape and influences the team and create an environment which drives excellent practice by setting the highest professional standards and conduct and motivating others to do the same and implement appropriate measures to assure the quality of practice and effective throughput of work.
· Ensure that practitioners are working in partnership with the relevant authority so that decisions made are underpinned by theory and the best evidence and to meet the needs of the carers, and the child in placements care plan and placement agreement, whilst ensuring that the safety of children remains the highest priority.
· Ensure that practitioners are ambitious for children and carers and that the long-term and life-long consequences of decisions are fully considered at all stages of planning and review, and in consultation with children and carers ensuring that they grow up in homes in which they are happy and thriving.
· Recognise the strengths and development needs of practitioners, and use practice observation, reflection and feedback mechanisms, including the views of children and carers, to develop practice. Develop a culture of learning and improvement, where staff are sufficiently stretched and mentored to meet their aspirations.
· Ensure that practitioners receive regular high quality individual supervision, recognise when situations may evoke an emotional response which impact upon the effectiveness of their social work practice and decision making, step in an proactively support individuals.
· Ensure staff and carers receive appropriate training and are kept abreast of current research and changes in practice providing ongoing opportunities and support for continued professional development.
· Hold regular team huddles, team meetings and peer group supervision, leading on development workshops as appropriate.
· Provide a safe, calm and well-ordered environment for all staff, ensuring that processes are fit for purpose and efficient.
· Fully embed recording processes, provide the full analysis underpinning decisions, making sure the rationale for why and how decisions have been made is comprehensive and well expressed.
· Use focused questioning with practitioners to clarify the direction of work, and identify whether practitioners need to adopt a more reflective and curious approach, or respond with greater pace and assertion. Ensure methods and tools used are based on the best evidence, that progress is frequently reviewed and that care plans and placement agreements are adjusted accordingly.
· Demonstrate a sound knowledge of safeguarding policy and procedures and establish and embed operational expectations in relation to this. Monitor and quality assure all aspects of service delivery to ensure full compliance with safeguarding policies and procedures throughout the service
· Ensure that paperwork and procedures in relation to significantincidents and notifiable events are completed within company timescales.
· Ensuring compliance with safeguarding procedures, keeping the Head of Fostering informed of potential concerns and notifying them immediately of any child protection matter or serious complaint.
· Maintain up to date, working knowledge of relevant legislation and case law and exercise statutory powers in situations where children are at risk of significant harm, ensuring that action taken is proportionate to risk.
· Build positive relationships and be visible and accessible to all staff, foster carers and the young people and children in our care. Manage and actively participate in social activities relating to the support and retention of children, young people and foster carers.
· Build and develop influential and respectful partnerships between practitioners and other partner agencies including the LA’s and LADO’S, attending strategymeetings or other meetings as required and contribute to investigations and complaints in line with level of responsibility.
· Working with the Head of Fostering and peers drive the delivery of the regional development plan in order to meet and exceed the financial targets by building both quality placements and carer volume and through the management of budgets and controlling of costs.
· Actively contribute to regional growth in placements by leading placement meetings and engaging daily with the placement service team offering support, guidance and influencing decision making.
· To oversee and support the recruitment of prospective Foster Carers ensuring that customer need and placement demand is understood, and is effectively translated into the agency’s recruitment and assessment plans.
· To manage and retain current business by anticipating and exceeding customer and carer expectations and ensure that all opportunities to gain new business are maximised.
· Contribute to and support the delivery of the Regional Customer Engagement strategy including attendance at relevant meetings to promote our services. Demonstrate a sound knowledge of the different placement packages available to carers and identify re-charges to LA’s where appropriate.
· Respond thoughtfully and proactively to complaints and mistakes, creating learning opportunities for self, staff and the organisation.
· To undertake the role and responsibility of Agency Decision Maker in relation to Fostering panel and Review panels
· Participate and support practitioners in the out of hours duty system on a rota basis
· Deputise for the Head of Fostering in line with service delivery and business expectations.
· Maintain continuous professional development including safeguarding training provided by the organisation.
PERSONAL SPECIFICATION – ROLE SPECIFIC
· Social Work Degree or equivalent Social Work Qualification and Level 5 Management Qualification.
· Significant post graduate experience.
· Ensure compliance with appropriate professional membership body to maintain registration.
· Management experience preferably within the IFP sector.
· Proven track record of delivering results including improvements to service.
· Excellent knowledge of childcare legislation; specifically the Regulations and Standards for Fostering.
· Successful management of large budgets / operations operating within financial constraints and / or competing priorities.
· Understanding of Health and Safety legislation and their role in protecting the health, safety and wellbeing of colleagues and others.
PERSONAL SPECIFICATION – Manager
· Is visible, approachable and earns respect; inspires and motivates others, building high performing teams.
· Demonstrates the high standards of integrity, honesty and fairness expected; carries forward decisions of the management team.
Delivery of Results
· Deliver an efficient, effective and high-quality service to stakeholders and external regulators;
· To support and manage a service which fulfils the organisations business objectives and performance targets;
· Apply a proportionate and ethical approach to the exercise of authority, which develops and maintains relationships with carers and professionals and ensures the protection of children.
· Communicating targets to relevant stakeholders and performance.
· 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 to meet 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 best practices from other sectors and organisations;
· Understands how policy impacts on operations, staff and others who may be involved with the group.
Intellect and Judgement
· Generates original ideas with practical applications and encourages creative thinking by others;
· Defends logic of own position but also responds positively to reasoned alternatives;
· Delegates decisions appropriately.
· 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;
· Demonstrate a high level of resilience within pressured environments, be attuned to the effect of high emotion and stress and respond in calm, measured and pragmatic ways.
· Being able to support other people through emotional difficulties.
· Encourages innovation and positive change in services;
· Exhibits ability to manage 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.