Signs of Safety Consultant Social Worker

Purpose of this Job
In line with our Signs of Safety practice model, it is expected you will have previous training and/or
experience working with a solution focused approach. You will help support the development and
learning of this model with other practitioners and managers across the service to help embed the
approach into practice. The model highlights the importance of respectful and collaborative
working relationships with families and professionals in order to bring about improved safety and
outcomes for the children we serve. You will recognise both areas of strength and safety, as well as
worries and danger which will then help inform the next steps in a child’s safety and support plan.

You will work closely with the Signs of Safety practice Lead, the service manager of the Academy
and fellow colleagues by proactively identifying the learning needs of practitioners and managers
across the workforce and help develop and deliver training and learning opportunities for continual
professional development with respect to the Signs of Safety model.

You will also contribute to a comprehensive quality assurance framework across the service, by
undertaking a range of auditing activity, analysing and distributing findings to develop a learning
culture in Bexley Children’s Social Care.

You will contribute to the strategic oversight and development of the service. This will involve
making contributions and giving feedback in management meetings on performance as well as
promoting and implementing any agreed service or strategic improvement plans.

You will have a proficient ability to communicate in English and be able to influence others in an
effort to help coordinate services and supports in the best way possible to keep children as safe and
well cared for as possible and support the vision and values of the department.

Main Duties and Responsibilities
– Working as part of a small team the post holder will help to support the alignment of the
Signs of Safety practice and procedures, promoting a culture of learning and reflection,
ensure good practice is shared across teams, maintaining and extending their knowledge.

– Contribute fully to the implementation and embedding of the adoption of the Signs of Safety
approach, attending regional and national events as required. Work with others locally to
help create depth of practice and work to align all systems and processes reducing
duplication and bureaucracy.

– Work collaboratively with practitioners and team managers to build practice confidence via
observations, co-working, mentoring and coaching to enhance Signs of Safety skills.

– Work in tandem with management in delivering operational priorities in the implementation
of Signs of Safety, in line with Bexley’s deliverables.

-Contribute to the development of internal Signs of Safety training and learning
opportunities and deliver training on Signs of Safety to practitioners and managers.
www.bexley.gov.uk

– Support practitioners to develop their skills and confidence in the use of family finding
techniques via training and support. The post holder will also be the link for support with
family network meeting and will co facilitate meetings where required.

– To engage in a range of projects, quality assurance, analysis of performance information and
research activities to identify gaps and strengths in practice and make recommendations for
improvement.

-Provide appropriate challenge to practitioners and managers within Children’s Services to
ensure that all services are delivered in accordance with appropriate standards,
procedures, and statutory requirements for safeguarding children.

-Promote continuous professional development by creating and delivering individual and
group training to social worker professionals and partner agencies, providing mentoring,
coaching, and facilitating group supervision/casework reflection sessions and develop
creative ways to deliver learning.

-To provide expert professional advice and support in relation to casework ensuring that
children’s services are delivered in accordance with agreed standards and thresholds and are
fully compliant with the law.

-To contribute to the development and maintenance of up to date policies, procedures and
practice guidance promoting their application to practice to ensure that managers and social
workers are clear about casework processes, their roles and responsibilities.

-To engage in a range of projects, quality assurance, analysis of performance information and
research activities to identify gaps and strengths in practice and make recommendations for
improvement.

-Ensuring that findings from performance data and all quality assurance activity is
distributed and used to improve practice, drive up standards and secure the best outcomes
for children and young people in the Borough.

-To assist in ensuring performance information is accurate, by supporting practitioner’s
effective use of the Liquid Logic ICS and contributing to the review and re-design of the
system to best support practice and reduce unnecessary bureaucracy.

-To contribute to the Borough’s response to the recommendations of the Munro report; the
implementation of the National Social Work Improvement agenda; and the Council’s vision,
strategies and plans to improve services for children and their families.

-To anticipate and positively model solution focused problem solving approaches and work
with change in the social work environment to ensure practitioners are aware of changing
trends and national policy that impact on staff and the children and families we serve.

-To demonstrate the standards of proficiency as required by the social work regulator,
Social Work UK, in order to maintain registration.

-Through modelling and your personal example show a commitment and value towards the
diversity of the children and families we work with so that our assessments of need and
delivery of services are provided in a non-judgemental and bespoke manner.

-To develop and influence internal and external working relationships with professionals
that promote strategies for ongoing learning, collaboration and service delivery with
children and families.

-This role allows for considerable autonomy for the CSW; the ability to work independently
and be well organised is essential.

-To ensure that working practices and processes are developed that maximise the use of
new technology that promotes the most efficient and effective delivery of services to the
children and families we work with.

-To keep apprised of the changing contexts, research, practice theories and statutory
procedures that govern child protection work at the local and national level and to
implement these within the team and across the service.

-To work within the Council’s policies, procedures, values, and code of conduct at all times
and to reflect these when carrying out professional responsibilities with members of the
public.

-To help support and quality assure that practice and management oversight of all work and
performance in the team is compliant with relevant laws, statutory guidance, and local
procedures that govern children’s safeguarding, adult safeguarding, the social work
profession, health and safety, employment law, human rights, and data protection.

-Other duties as required necessary to carry out the smooth functioning of the service and
to meet our responsibilities towards good professional learning, practice, and development
of the workforce.

Learning and Development
-To regularly review and reflect on professional practice along with colleagues and your line
manager to identify areas of further professional learning and development.

-To enrol and engage in regular training and learning opportunities, both internally and
externally, in order to promote further professional development and practice.

-To identify and engage in opportunities to share professional practice and experience with
other colleagues, students and professionals to promote an ongoing learning environment.

-To be receptive to respectful challenge and reflection on practice in order to identify areas
of good practice as well as identify new learning and development needs.

Candidates should be able to demonstrate competent experience and capabilities in the following areas:
Promote and Govern Excellent Practice

Ensure that the safety, welfare and best interest of the child is central to the work undertaken by any practitioner jointly working with the CSW.

Promote and support the use of the Signs of Safety solution focused practice principles in all work undertaken within the team and across the service. You will have direct experience of using the Signs of Safety approach with children and families.

Promote and maintain a high standard of evidenced based professional practice through modelling good practice, sharing latest research
and learning, and motivating others to perform at their best.

Promote and share useful research and professional practice theories and approaches within the team and with other practitioners
across the service to help inform the assessments and work undertaken with children and families guidance on where to find the relevant
procedures.

Extensive knowledge and experience of child development and what are typical age related physical, cognitive, social, emotional and
behavioural expectations for children and young people and how health, environmental, or genetic factors can influence them.

Possess a more comprehensive understanding of theories and research relating to child development, including attachment theory and
resilience in children.

Extensive experience working with and understanding the impact of adult mental ill health, substance misuse, domestic abuse and
physical ill health or disability can impact a parent’s capacity to care for their child.

Comprehensive understanding of more complex issues therein, such as the cycle of power and control in domestic abuse.

Possess a relevant social work qualification (ie: DipSW or CQSW or degree in social work). Are registered with the professional regulator
for social work (Social Work UK).

Have a good understanding of and ability to use IT systems, such as case recording systems (ie: Liquid Logic), word processing (ie: Microsoft Word), Email and Calendars (ie: Microsoft Outlook), Powerpoint, Internet search engines (ie: Google or Bing), computers, mobile phones, and secure remote working systems (ie: Wifi, Citrix or Cisco VPN systems).

Developing Excellent Practitioners
Have extensive experience working in a statutory child protection setting (ie: child protection, children looked after).

Models and supports a continual learning environment that promotes the sharing of good practice, challenges weak practice, draws upon
latest research or guidance, and creates a respectful culture of professional challenge.

A working familiarity with relevant laws, statutory guidance, local safeguarding procedures, or internal policies and procedures that govern the work that we do with children and families. Where this is not always known, a demonstrated ability to seek out advice.

Explores creative ways practitioners can learn from one another in the team and promote ways for sharing these learning experiences (ie:
shadowing, reflective team supervision). Consistently identifies and recognises areas of good practice in supervision or when it occurs, not assuming this will always be known or appreciated.

Encourages practitioners to stretch themselves and their abilities through seeing their potential for further development and supporting this through regular feedback or learning opportunities.

Considers the importance of the child and family’s diverse cultures, faith, abilities, identities, and experiences in helping to understand the situation from their perspective to inform the best practice approach and support for the child and family.

Shaping and Influencing the Practice System
Promotes the use of Signs of Safety practice principles by creating an environment where workers feel valued, respected, and motivated,
and translate these same values into their work with children and families.

Uses feedback received from children, families, professionals, and social workers on where things can be improved, reinforce what we do
well, and encourage the team to work together to bring about positive service improvements and professional capability.

Contributes to the shaping, implementation, and review of relevant policies and statutory guidance whenever possible to help reduce
unnecessary bureaucracy and promote professional judgement and good working practice.

Ability to develop and sustain multi-agency networks that help coordinate a diversity of support and understanding around the
challenges children and families may face and how to best approach and support improved outcomes for them.

Effective Use of Power and Authority
Models a professional approach that promotes respectful challenge, allows others to admit mistakes, recognises good practice, and supports continual learning and development environment within the team and across the service.

Working collaboratively with practitioners and managers on identifying practice, learning or caseload issues in order to ensure an appropriate level of cases, complexity and learning takes place in practice.

Confident Analysis and Decision-Making
Develop project plans and risk logs and consult with key stakeholders regarding strategic implementation across the directorate.

Using a Signs of Safety analysis to support defensible decision making (ie: exploring the worries, what’s working well, and what needs to change for a child in justifying decisions made) that practitioners recommend and make.

Able to recognise which decisions are within the remit of the Project Lead to make, and when decisions are within the remit of the senior
leadership team.

Using a Signs of Safety analysis to support defensible decision making (ie: exploring the worries, what’s working well, and what needs to
change for a child in justifying decisions made) that practitioners recommend and make.

Understanding and supporting the importance of contingency planning or the “what if” scenario is always explored with children and families and accounted for in children’s plans, including when things may get bad enough to warrant statutory intervention (ie: care proceedings).

Purposeful and Effective Social Work
Ensure practitioners are consistently using of solution focused questioning and a Signs of Safety approach in all areas of work, from face to face engagement with families to assessments and plans for children.

Encourage practitioners to consistently review assessments and plans in light of any progress or change of circumstances and be receptive to changing professional views and plans according to the changing needs of the child.

Exploring the feedback from the children, families, and professionals we work with and being receptive to their views, acknowledging
mistakes, and learning ways to continually improve practice and make things right.

Ensuring students practitioners include all relevant family members (including fathers) and
professionals in their work and that their views are listened to when working together in order to provide the best outcome for children.

Support practitioners in the use of solution focused outcomes within children’s plans that are SMART, identify clear timescales and those
responsible, and use of scaling questions to gauge the progress and effectiveness of support being offered.

Ability to work autonomously, using appropriate initiative as well as working as part of a team on joint projects or initiatives.

Have proficient English communication skills and an ability to influence and develop strong working relations with practitioners and
managers across the service.

Emotionally Intelligent Practice Supervision
Able to demonstrate a high level of resilience in stressful or crisis situations to be available to support students and ASYE practitioners with empathetic listening and guidance on how to best deal with the impact.

Be receptive to and identify areas of unnecessary bureaucracy or hierarchical pressures that unduly frustrate or impede good practice from taking place and help create strategies to reduce or remove these.

Performance Management and Improvement
Supporting performance management through regular audits, review of Signs of Safety reports and plans, and use of performance indicators.

Assisting with regular Signs of Safety reports highlighting areas of good practice, areas of weak practice, and progress on next steps in order to bring and maintain all areas of practice within the team and service to a good standard.

Demonstrated ability to deliver high quality training and learning opportunities to practitioners and multi-agency partners.

An understanding and experience with applying project management skills to work development and delivery.

 

This position is exempt from the main provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. This
means the Act permits the disclosure of any “spent” or “unspent” convictions, cautions or reprimands
that are not “protected” as defined under the Exceptions Order 1975 (2013). This is due to this
position is working with vulnerable children and adults and is thus deemed a “regulated activity” as
defined by the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 and the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.
This means checks will also be made against barring lists related to working with vulnerable children
and adults.

We recognise the contribution that ex-offenders can make as employees and volunteers and welcome
applications from them. A person’s criminal record will not, in itself, prohibit that person from being
appointed to this post. Any information given will be treated in the strictest confidence. Suitable
applicants will not be refused posts because of offences which are not relevant to, and do not place
them at or make them a risk in, the role for which they are applying.

All cases will be examined on an individual basis and will take the following into consideration:
 Whether the conviction is relevant to the position applied for.
 The seriousness of any offence revealed.
 The age of the applicant at the time of the offence(s).
 The length of time since the offence(s) occurred.
 Whether the applicant has a pattern of offending behaviour.
 The circumstances surrounding the offence(s), and the explanation(s) offered by the person
concerned.
 Whether the applicant’s circumstances have changed since the offending behaviour.
We will not undertake a DBS check unless an offer of employment is made. It is important that
applicants understand that failure to disclose any convictions, cautions, reprimands or final warnings
that are not “protected” could result in withdrawing an employment offer, or later disciplinary
proceedings or dismissal. For further information on which disclosures are considered “protected”
and thus may be “filtered” from a disclosure, please visit
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dbs-filtering-guidance/dbs-filtering-guide

 

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