Senior Social Worker (Children Looked After)

Posted 21st Nov, 2023
£48,063 – £51,099
Working arrangements
Office based
Contract type
Fixed term
Closing date
12th Dec, 2023
About the role

Job overview

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Senior Child and Family Social Worker to join our Children Looked After team on a 12-month secondment.

Our vision for the service is that children and young people are safe, can overcome difficulties and can form secure relationships through their childhood and into their adulthood.  As a Senior Child and Family Social Worker you will be responsible for working with complex cases of children in need of help and protection or looked after children and care- leavers, whilst maintaining a safeguarding focus. You will work directly with the child or young person and their family or carer to build empathic, purposeful relationships that facilitate meaningful and sustainable change, as well as stability in placement and permanency for children.

Main duties of the job

The postholder will manage the specific set of tasks relating to statutory and non-statutory case responsibility for children in need of help and protection, in public care and young people leaving care with the support of an appropriately qualified supervisor.

To develop a culture of trauma-informed practice that helps to improve the quality of relationships with children and young people, through Motivational Practice.

You will confidently model Motivational and trauma-informed practice. You will be available to your team in sharing your experience and support social workers in alignment with Islington’s Practice model through coaching, consultation and co-working. You will lead on developing areas of practice.

You will share and exercise the organisational practice ethos which places Motivational Practice and trauma-informed practice at the heart of working with families. You will be ambitious for every child to reach their potential in all aspects of their development including education, health and emotional wellbeing.

Working for your organisation

Islington Children Social Care was rated by OFSTED as Outstanding in March 2020. The Children Looked After teams are well resourced and enjoy a stable and supportive workforce. You will be joining a multi-professional team made up of experienced managers, Senior Social Workers, Social Workers, Young Person Advisors, Mental Health Social Worker, CAMHS professionals, a UASC specialist and Social Work Coordinators.

The Independent Futures Service is well resourced and enjoys a stable and supportive workforce. We take pride in providing a learning environment where staff can develop and our controlled caseloads, safe working practices, a culture of strong supervision and excellent training opportunities enable a supportive working environment for all staff. We offer dedicated training, coaching and supervision to develop your skills. We have opportunities to consult with clinicians on cases and offer a range of appropriate support services in-borough for our children and young people.

Our children, young people and their families are at the heart of everything we do and the development of our practice model allows us to them towards their version of meaningful and sustained changed. Islington’s Motivational Practice Model provides an integrated care, safeguarding and change model, which includes Motivational Interviewing skills helping to build meaningful relationships and promote safety, collaboration and purposeful change.

What is Motivational Practice?

Motivational Practice is Islington’s Practice Model. There are core elements that underpin the practice framework that provide a set of skills around how to communicate in a helpful way with workers that you supervise, the professional network as a whole and families we work with, supporting a process of change.

Our practice model is further complemented by Trauma-informed practice (including Dyadic Development Practice), as we believe that by better understanding the lived experiences of those we are here to serve, we are better positioned to engage, support and assist children and young people to reach their full potential.

Relationships are also central to achieving the very best outcome for our children, young people, their families and their carers. We work closely with our fostering team and placements service to support our carers in offering a trauma informed approach to care, and to offer stable placements where our children and young people can achieve their potential. Therefore, relationship based practice is key to our approach.

Please ensure you address the person specification fully within the Supporting Statement section of your application form, referencing how you meet each specification in turn as fully as possible.

About you
  • Demonstrate understanding of Motivational Practice skills and trauma informed approaches.

  • Demonstrate expertise in building purposeful relationships balancing empathy and authority and supporting colleagues to do the same. Experience of direct work, understanding the impact of trauma and ensuring safeguarding is prioritised in the most complex cases.

  • Demonstrate evidence of expertise in communicating and listening, taking into account diversity and the need to tailor communication style. Evidence of observing and providing feedback to colleagues of direct practice.

  • Produce written cases notes and reports that are well argued, focused and jargon free with sound analysis and rationale for actions.

  • Demonstrated ability to utilise and apply research and/or evidence-based approaches in complex casework in to engage children and young people in their environment and understand the world in which they live. Evidence of disseminating this learning to support colleagues in recognising child development milestones.

  • Demonstrated expertise in one or more of the above areas in order to mitigate risk to children and young people to improve individual and family functioning in complex cases. Evidence of sharing this expertise within the service.

  • Demonstrate the ability to assess the impact of cumulative trauma demonstrating clarity of concerns about what the risks are, namely; sexual, physical, emotional abuse, neglect CSE, gangs, and radicalisation as well the impact of parental issues on children.

  • Demonstrate ability to collaboratively undertake multi agency, in-depth and ongoing assessments of social need and risk to children and young people with particular emphasis on capacity for change, leading to effective planning to address the impact of trauma, where the voice of the child or young person is given precedence.

  • Evidence of positive change within a complex or challenging case by identifying thresholds of risk and need, making clear recommendations based on evidence and professional judgement. Collaborate with the child, young person, family or carers to set out clear goals about what needs to change including family’s own support network, ensuring plans are purposeful and support children and young people to reach their potential.

  • Participate in decisions about whether to make an application to the family court, the type of order to be applied for and the preparation and presentation of evidence. Evidence of supporting others through this process.

  • Demonstrated ability to make effective use of reflective discussion opportunities to enhance your professional practice. Awareness of your own emotional response to the work and the ability to identify strategies to ensure a high quality of service.

  • Evidence of enhancing the effectiveness of practice within your organisation. Demonstrated high organisational skills and ability to prioritise workload in order to meet the requirements of the organisation and national systems. Advocate for the children, young people and families you work with to maintain organisational focus, resource and support from internal and external agencies.

  • Ability to carry out duties and adhere to the council’s equal opportunity and diversity policy “Dignity for All.”

About Islington

Islington is one of the most vibrant areas of London, with a diverse population, a unique cultural identity and a wealth of open spaces, theatres, museums, cinemas, and galleries.

Our Children’s Social Care services have been rated by OFSTED as Outstanding and praises an “unwavering commitment to improving and enriching the lives of children and their families”

A snapshot of what we offer our social workers:

  • Up to 28 days annual leave per year (increasing to 33 days after five years of local government service)

  • In addition to annual leave, the council grants 3 privilege days which must be taken during the Christmas and New Year period as the council stipulates.

  • 35-hour working week

  • A range of flexible working arrangements

  • Zone 1-2 Travel card for our Children’s Social Workers

  • Retention bonus’ for our Children’s Social Workers

  • Specially designed core training package

  • Excellent pension scheme with a new Shared Cost Additional Voluntary Contribution (Shared Cost AVC) employee benefit scheme.

  • Competitive pay – and a commitment to paying all staff and apprentices the London Living Wage

  • Lead authority for Step Up to Social Work

  • Social Work training through Social Work Apprenticeship Degree

  • Highly valued Assessed and Supported Year in Education through Islington ASYE Academy.

  • Access to Management and Coaching Apprenticeships

  • Pathways Program for first time and experienced managers

  • Opportunities to train as a Practice Educator

For more information and a discussion about working for London Borough of Islington, contact our Principal Social Worker Wynand McDonald, Principal Child and Family Social Worker at