Senior Social Worker - Children in Care

Posted 10th Apr, 2024
£54,083 – £57,116
Working arrangements
Contract type
Closing date
14th Jul, 2024
About the role

Social Work in Newham is underpinned by a culture of Systemic and Restorative practice with high quality relationships at the heart of our approach. Our children in care service work closely with children and young people who are in the care of the local authority, from care proceedings, during placements, to eventual transfer to leaving care services or hopefully returning to family. 

Senior Social Workers have a vital case holding role delivering high quality practice to best serve our children and families, whilst supporting lesser experienced colleagues. SSWs will potentially take on responsibility for supervising social work students on placement at Newham so we welcome Practice Educators, though this is not essential for this role. You’ll be joining an experienced and friendly service, where progression is a genuine possibility; we’ve seen two Senior Social Workers make the upwards step to Assistant Team Manager, and one Assistant Team Manager to move up to Team Manager, within the last 12 months.

We value our practitioners and understand the importance of supporting your learning, development and ambition, as well as your wellbeing. We have a bespoke offer through our very own clinical service and support to social work teams is provided following duty week through our ‘Duty Debrief’ meeting. Our embedded systemic family psychotherapist facilitates group discussion and the processing of the duty week experience, and it is an opportunity to share observations among the team, to identify and address challenges, and to prioritise staff wellbeing. The family therapist is also available for joint work with social workers on visits and consultations. Our social workers have fed back that this offer has enhanced their practice and development and helped them with embedding systemic practice into the service. 

About you

You have at least 3 years’ post qualified experience and an understanding of working effectively within a diverse urban community, with particular career focus on supporting looked after children. 

We’re looking for people who have a genuine interest in a restorative, relationship based practice model drawing on systemic thinking to inform your approach to building effective relationships with children, families and communities. We do require court work experience (and confidence) to enter this service at Senior Social Worker level.

You share our ambition and energy in embracing new ways of working. You have high working standards and are conscious of your own professional development and that of those around you, especially less experienced and student social workers starting out on their social work careers. You are always open to learning and to helping others learn so that children and families can benefit from our best practice. You have experience working in a statutory looked after children focused service.

You will be a qualified social worker who is registered with Social Work England.

About Newham

We’re a vibrant, dynamic, culturally rich London Borough with a young population and limitless potential. We’re a challenging yet rewarding place for social work practise to flourish and we are steadfastly committed to our workforce being representative of the families that we work with. We are taking coordinated, meaningful and focused action to develop an inclusive culture because we believe this is at the heart of enabling diversity in all respects, including diversity of thought. We are taking positive actions to challenge all forms of discrimination and injustice to help make Newham a fairer and more equitable place for children and families to live, learn and thrive.

We’re building a fairer Newham through investment, co-production and by continuously developing our 'Circles of Support' practice model; centring on systemic and restorative practice and a specialist support offer for our practitioners. Ofsted described Newham as having a positive culture of learning and development and we always try to develop talent in-house. We promoted 30 internal colleagues in 2023 alone, and have put more than 47 practitioners through further education since 2020. We value your development and at Newham career progression is a reality for many of our colleagues.

We understand that social work can be a challenging yet ultimately very rewarding profession that makes demands of you personally and professionally. In Newham we value your wellbeing and we aim to ensure that you have a better work/life balance through a remote working offer when you are not visiting children and families, a modern office space for when you’re on site, a flexible working policy where all requests are considered, and a clinical offer to support you to do your best work.

We’ve been working hard to make Newham a great place to practise social work:

-          A commitment to addressing disproportionality wherever we find it.

-          We’re a GOOD local authority focused on reaching excellence.

-          We offer genuinely flexible/hybrid working as long as children and families are supported.

-          Stability: 100% of our Senior Managers and 71% of Team Managers are permanent.

-          Our firmly established practice model, Circles of Support, was recently nominated for the prestigious MJ Award for Innovation in Children’s Services and allows systemic, restorative practice to flourish.

-          Career progression; we promoted 30 internal colleagues in 2023.

-          Social Care Academy – 47 social workers have studied for systemic higher education with us since 2020. Our Academy offer received significant praise from Ofsted.

-          A competitive package for social workers of up to £57,116 (includes market supplement).

-          Oyster card/parking permit for business use.

-          Wellbeing service, leisure and discount benefits (Council scheme).

-          Travel season ticket loan, cycle scheme, Local Authority pension.