Childrens Social Care - Senior Practitioner (Qualified) - DURHAM

Job Description

Post title

Social Worker/Senior Social Worker


Grade 9 Pre-Progression / Grade 11 Post-Progression


Children and Young Peoples Service

Service Area

Childrens Social Care

Reporting to

Team Manager within Childrens Services


An approved team location, but you may be required to work at any Council workplace within County Durham.


This post is subject to an enhanced disclosure.


This post is eligible for flexitime.

Politically restricted

This post is not designated as a politically restricted post in accordance with the requirements of Section 1(5) of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 and by regulations made from time to time by the Secretary of State.

Description of role

Social workers in Children’s Services work with our most vulnerable children, young people and families. Their expertise supports families, helps keep children safe and enables them both to thrive.

Duties and responsibilities

Listed below are the expectations of a social worker in Children’s Services. These link to the Knowledge and Skills Statement for Child and Family Social Work.

· Communicate clearly and sensitively, building effective relationships with children, young people and families and other professionals. Listen to their views and enable their full participation in assessment, planning, and review.

· Build and maintain high quality and appropriate professional relationships with children, young people and families to enable positive change to take place. Support children, young people and families even they are angry, hostile and resistant to change. Manage tensions between parents, carers and family members, in ways that show persistence, determination and professional confidence.

· Promote optimal child development and be alert to signs that may indicate that the child is not meeting key developmental milestones, has been harmed or is at risk of harm.

· Identify the impact of adult mental ill health, substance misuse, domestic abuse, physical ill health and disability on family functioning, social circumstances and child development.

· Carry out in-depth and ongoing family assessment of social need and risk to children, with particular emphasis on parental capacity and capability to change. Ensure that the voice of the child is heard, and that families and partner agencies contribute in a meaningful way to the assessment.

· Make realistic, child centred, plans within a review timeline, which will manage and reduce identified risks and meet the needs of the child. Ensure that children, young people and families, and partner agencies participate fully.

· Produce well argued, focused, and jargon free case notes, plans and reports e.g. single assessments and court reports. Present a clear analysis and a sound rationale for actions and conclusions.

· Evaluate and review the development and progress of children, young people and their families against the agreed plan, monitor their changing needs and evaluate impact. Amend plans as and when necessary.

· Social workers working in Child Protection and Disability services, Families First and Looked After Services will also lead the investigation of allegations of significant harm to children in consultation with other professionals and practice supervisors.

· Use the law, regulatory and statutory guidance to inform practice decisions. Make use of the best evidence from research to inform the complex judgements and decisions needed to support families and protect children.

· Be accountable for, and review own practice using supervision and reflective practice. Seek advice from a range of sources. Discuss, debate, reflect upon and test hypotheses.

· Maintain personal and professional credibility through effective working relationships with peers, managers and leaders both within the profession, throughout multi-agency partnerships and public bodies, including the family courts.

· Participate in developments to improve the quality of the service and improve outcomes for children, young people and families.

· Share learning with colleagues by mentoring, coaching, and reflective discussion.

· Maintain registration with Social Work England and adhere to the Social Work England standards of conduct, performance and ethics, and standards for continuing professional development.

Note: The postholder will be required to work flexibly to meet the needs of children, young people and their families which may include the need for some weekend working.

Organisational responsibilities

· Values and behaviours

To demonstrate and be a role model for the council’s values and behaviours to promote and encourage positive behaviours, enhancing the quality and integrity of the services we provide.

· Smarter working, transformation and design principles

To seek new and innovative ideas to work smarter, irrespective of job role, and to be creative, innovative and empowered. Understand the operational impact of transformational change and service design principles to support new ways of working and to meet customer needs.

· Communication

To communicate effectively with our customers, managers, peers and partners and to work collaboratively to provide the best possible public service. Communication between teams, services and partner organisations is imperative in providing the best possible service to our public.

· Health, Safety and Wellbeing

To take responsibility for health, safety and wellbeing in accordance with the council’s Health and Safety Policy and procedures.

· Equality and diversity

To promote a society that gives everyone an equal change to learn, work and live, free from discrimination and prejudice and ensure our commitment is put into practice. All employees are responsible for eliminating unfair and unlawful discrimination in everything that they do.

· Confidentiality

To work in a way that does not divulge personal and/or confidential information during the course of their work and follow the council’s policies and procedures in relation to data protection and security of information.

· Performance management

To promote a culture whereby performance management is ingrained and the highest of standards and performance are achieved by all. Contribute to the council’s Performance and Development Review processes to ensure continuous learning and improvement and to increase organisational performance.

· Quality assurance (for applicable posts)

To set, monitor and evaluate standards at individual, team and service level so that the highest standards of service are delivered and maintained. Use data, where appropriate, to enhance the quality of service provision and support decision making processes.

· Management and leadership (for applicable posts)

To provide vision and leadership to inspire and empower all employees so they can reach their full potential and contribute to the council’s values and behaviours. Managers and leaders must engage in personal development to ensure they are equipped to lead transformational change; always searching for better ways to do things differently to meet organisational changes and service priorities.

· Financial management (for applicable posts)

To manage a designated budget, ensuring that the service achieves value for money in all circumstances through the monitoring of expenditure and the early identification of any financial irregularity.

The above is not exhaustive and the post holder will be expected to undertake any duties which may reasonably fall within the level of responsibility and the competence of the post as directed by your manager.

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