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Children's Social Care

Rethink our children’s futures…

Keeping the children and young people of Buckinghamshire safe and healthy is at the heart of everything we do.

Children’s social care has already started on a substantial improvement programme. Since a negative Ofsted inspection outcome after inspection in November 2017 a new, permanent senior management team has been recruited. The number one priority of this new team is to improve the quality of statutory children’s services and the outcomes for vulnerable children in Buckinghamshire. A high support and high expectation culture is being driven forward with enthusiasm, expertise and pace. Significant engagement with all tiers of the service is underway and now is an exciting time to join the service and be part of our journey to good and beyond.

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8 REASONS TO CHOOSE BUCKINGHAMSHIRE

From welcome bonuses to great career progression, here are 8 reasons to bring your social work skills to Buckinghamshire.

  1. Golden hello - Newly Qualified Social Workers are eligible for a Golden Hello payment of £1,000 and experienced Social Workers and Social Work Managers joining us will receive £2,125 upon successful completion of your first 12 months
  2. Relocation package and key worker housing - Help with relocation costs up to £8,000 and eligibility for key worker housing (on application) 
  3. Market factor pay - Salaries for experienced Social Workers include a 6% lift paid on a market factor basis to recognise the high demand for your skills
  4. A clear, structured career pathway with a comprehensive learning and development plan for every social worker. You will be fully supported by us to progress in your career at a pace that is right for you, with a dedicated learning and development team providing support all the way.
  5. Limited caseloads - A commitment that you will manage no more than 17-25 cases at any one time dependent on which part of the service you are in
  6. Our Social Work Academy and close links with Bucks New University mean you’ll benefit from the latest social work theory developments, master classes led by high profile social work academics and speakers and specialist training opportunities
  7. Car allowances – You’ll get £600 in car allowances per year, be eligible for our car purchase scheme and be entitled to free parking at both our Aylesbury and High Wycombe offices (on application)
  8. Right tools for the job – We make sure that you have the right tools to be able to the best job possible so all frontline social workers get an iPhone and laptop

Please note:

  • Market factor enhancement is reviewed each year
  • Golden hello payment is paid pro rata for part time hours

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Our Vision

Together…Keeping Children Safe.

In Buckinghamshire, we’re rethinking what tomorrow can bring for our communities. We’re driven to shape a better future for children, young people and families in our county.

For the children and families that we work with, this means a service that’s more adaptable, innovative and responsive to their needs.

And for you, it means more scope for professional growth, plus guaranteed support to bring about positive change where it really matters.

Read our Children's Strategy

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Team in the spotlight

Our children's services team in the spotlight is our newest team, the Child Protection and Court Team.

Find out more about the team here...

Selection process

We have worked in collaboration with the University of Kent to develop an exciting selection process using carefully designed interview questions and ROSIE - a virtual social work visit.

ROSIE is an online, interactive ‘game’ invites applicants to step inside the shoes of a front line social worker on a visit to a fictional, but realistic, research-based at risk family - allowing you to demonstrate your skills, knowledge and understanding in a very tangible and practical way.

We know that applicants like to be stretched in recruitment situations and that they want to be given an opportunity to show potential employers what they are capable of. In addition to the online assessment exercise, candidates will also undertake a structured interview based on critical areas of competence from the social worker Professional Capabilities Framework.

We have had fantastic feedback from candidates and they particularly like the opportunity it gives to be able to actually demonstrate their skills and knowledge rather than just talk about them at the interview/application.

Your career development

Growing our own social worker talent is a big priority and we invest in an impressive range of career development initiatives in order to make this happen. You will be on a clear, structured career pathway from day one, whether you are newly qualified or experienced. With 3 – 5 years in practice, you can expect to progress to be a Senior Social Worker. You can expect to be well looked after by our dedicated learning and development team as you progress in your social work career.

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OUR TEAMS

First Response (Contact and MASH)

A single point of contact for all new referrals to social care and for advice on safeguarding concerns for children and young people. All referrals received by First Response will be screened by a Team Manager who will determine whether a referral needs to be progressed to a Children's Social Care Assessment Team for an assessment, or if the referral needs to be passed to an Early Help Panel for consideration of a coordinated Multi Agency approach for support.

 

Fostering & Adoption

Undertake the formal assessment of carers and presentation to our fostering and adoption panels as well as carer supervision and support, household reviews and carer support groups.

 

Senior CATCH

The Catch team offers a flexible and responsive service to families and young people in crisis, where there is either an immediate or imminent likelihood that the young person will need to be accommodated.

Junior CATCH

Junior CATCH provides a flexible and crises response service, working closely with children and families where there is a risk or perceived risk of children becoming accommodated by the Local Authority.

Children with Disabilities

Our CWD service provides a wide range of supportive and statutory social work interventions. This includes casework that involves, looked after children, child protection planning and children in need. The new Head of Service is engaged in planning that improves transitions and joint working with SEN and CAMHS. The CWD teams are well established and are supported by a new and proactive Head of Service who is very ambitious for our children and young people. Staff in this part of the service will have a mixed caseload and will enjoy good support.

After Care Team

This specialist team is involved in the delivery of a service to young people entering adulthood.

Assessment Teams

The key deliverable targets for this team is to ensure timely, child focussed assessments and interventions are made that are based on evidence and skilled understanding of risk. Responding to risk and new scenarios and ensuring children are safe are central to the work. These teams are energetic, determined and lively. Supported by a new Head of Service who has joined Buckinghamshire from a ‘good’ local authority, our assessment teams offer the opportunity to develop highly effective ‘front door’ assessment skills that intervene well with children and their families and make an immediate difference.

Help and Protection Teams  

These teams work with children and young people who live at home in Buckinghamshire on either child protection and child in need plans. The key deliverable targets for this part of the service is to ensure sustainable and secure change is secured for children. This can only be achieved through strong partnership work and good quality plans. Assessments are based on the ‘Strengthening Families’ model of social work and the developing culture has a focus on families helping themselves to achieve change. The new Head of Service for Help and Protection is developing practice that reflects good assessment and social work based on inquisitive questioning.

Care Planning

Services to our looked after children and care leavers are provided by the same team. This is an effective way to ensure strong and effective care planning into adulthood. Caseloads are manageable and the teams are led by well-established and knowledgeable leaders. Significant proactive work is underway to ensure there are sufficient placements local to the area and that our children are supported well by partners and our children in care council.

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