Adoption Support Senior Practitioner – Adoption Partnership

Purpose of the Job:

Lead and oversee social work activity for the team, providing oversight, guidance and advice on social work activity within the team. Manage the progression of social work cases, including a significant proportion of highly complex cases which require a high level of specialist expertise through to timely intervention, resolution, case closure or transfer. Ensure that a strengths based approach and proportionate assessment is undertaken to inform care and support planning, to enable people to meet desired outcomes, identified needs and maintain wellbeing. Build positive, supportive, and respectful relationships with families in order to help support adopted children and families.

Provide supervision, direction and guidance to registered and unregistered staff within the RAA. Provide professional expertise, skills and advice to enable the provision of an effective, high quality social work service that meets existing and new agency and multi-agency policies, procedures and practices.

Main duties and responsibilities:

1. Support the team to work within legislative and policy frameworks, ensuring that all social work interventions are based on a clear care and support plan. Advise staff on relevant legislative and policy frameworks within care and support planning and application of social work interventions.

2. Oversee proportionate and holistic assessments, ensuring the strengths, capabilities and support available from the person’s wider network are maximised. Identify and advise on barriers to change and how needs impact on family members or others in a client’s support network.

3. Lead and oversee the progression of complex and difficult social work cases within the parameters of agreed policies, procedures and framework for delivering Social Work, including timely intervention, resolution and case closure or transfer. Represent the RAA in a professional and competent manner, especially when making representations at court, with families, or with other agencies.

4. Maintain clear and systematic oversight of social work cases within the team, promote social work best practice and disseminate policy or legislative updates. Provide professional advice, guidance and expertise e.g. via individual and group supervision, to staff in the team, other internal colleagues and professionals from partner agencies.

5. Promote social work and contribute to a range of service related projects as they arise, including the development of new initiatives through representation on working/multi- agency groups.

6. Oversee application of social work values and ethics with staff working with clients and families to make the most of their emotional and practical assets as well as accessing the care and support they need. Provide professional advice and guidance to the team and other workers where required. Challenge systems and decisions that are oppressive or discriminatory and promote a person’s human rights as enshrined in law.

7. Work with children and families in a variety of diverse and complex contexts, such as mental ill health, disability, substance misuse, domestic abuse, sexual exploitation, radicalisation, poverty, discrimination and immigration.

8. Beaccountableforownperformanceandmonitortheperformanceofadesignatedgroupof professional staff within the team taking appropriate action to maintain high practice standards. Enable continued development of professional skills and social work practice to meet service requirements, ensuring staff adhere to policies, procedures and capability frameworks.

9. Research, demonstrate, apply and advise on the relevant theories and methods of social work practice to complex situations, to help support people to achieve identified outcomes. Use and advise on evidence and value based practice to inform complex analysis, recommendations and decisions needed to support, empower and protect clients. Demonstrate understanding of the dynamics between theory, research, evidence and expertise in the application of professional judgement in decision making and advise other workers on this.

10. Support the Team Manager in the recruitment and induction of new staff and in managing the development of the team’s knowledge base and expertise as well as supporting the day to day management of the team to ensure services are delivered and meet the standards required.
Footnote: This job description is provided to assist the job holder to know what his/her main duties are. It may be amended from time to time without change to the level of responsibility appropriate to the grade of post.


  • Relevant degree, diploma or related professional qualification in Social Work
  • Up to date registration with appropriate professional body
  • Relevant Professional Development


Significant post-qualification experience that enables the post holder to have achieved the relevant level of the competency
• Experience of multi-agency/partnership working
• Experience of working with clients spanning a range of complexity.
• Experience of being jointly responsible, with the line manager, for participating in and arranging regular supervision to update on case work, review progress on childrens plans, agree decisions and critically reflect on practice

Skills and Abilities

• Ability to build and develop effective working relationships across a wide range of internal and external partners
• Ability to prioritise, forward plan and work effectively on own initiative as well as part of a team
• Supervision, management, mediation and negotiation skills
• Ability lead a range of service related projects
• Extensive experience writing complex and sensitive reports, case notes, and court statements
• Demonstrate the ability to be jointly responsible, with the line manager, for recognising learning development needs and identifying training or learning opportunities to enhance professional knowledge and skills
• Ability to contribute to and lead working groups and dissemination of information consistently across the RAA.
• Ability to take responsibility for own and others health and safety


• An evidenced-based high level understanding and application of key policies, legislation and statutory guidance, and eligibility criteria
• Good understanding of adoption practice, policies, procedures and protocols.
• Good understanding of joint working with partner agencies
• Familiarity with relevant recent research and governmental initiatives
• Working knowledge of legislation relating to Equal Opportunities
• Compliance with information governance, record retention, confidentiality issues and the General Data Protection Regulations
• Working knowledge of financial procedures and financial regulations
• Professional supervision of a range of resources and financial management ability


  • A belief in the right to family life for all children, and a belief that adoption provides better chances for children who are not able to live with their birth families.
  • A commitment to children’s rights and participation
  • A commitment to promoting equal opportunities and to achieving anti- discriminatory practice in all aspects of work.
  • A commitment to providing high quality professional service and to contributing to the continuous development of the team.
  • A commitment to ensuring that the adoption team are viewed as committed, professional, respectful, dynamic and credible in all they do and that the wellbeing of the child sits at the heart of our work.