There has never been a more exciting time to join our service: alongside making a difference to the lives of individuals and families, we have adopted exciting new strengths-based approaches and are passionate about delivering continuous service improvement that work alongside our Council Plans and Priorities and the vision of “protect, care and invest to create a better borough”.
Our children's services are committed to the use of relationship based interventions with ‘making a difference’ as a core value. It is intended that this style of working will offer a diverse and rich experience and in keeping with this, there will be opportunities across the service to find out about a range of practices to enhance the experiences of working with vulnerable children and their families.
In 2021, we implemented a new approach to Child Protection services developed by Hertfordshire County Council, and began to deliver their innovative and pioneering practice model of Family Safeguarding.
Family Safeguarding is a model of system change where specialist adult practitioners are embedded within Family Safeguarding teams of Social Workers. The intervention supports a whole-system change to a local authority’s child protection approach for children up to adolescence, focusing on supporting the needs of children and adults in order that children can safely remain within their families.
- Establishing multi-disciplinary teams where specialist adult practitioners in domestic abuse, mental health and substance misuse are co-located with Social Workers under a unified management structure. This enables a multi-disciplinary whole family response through direct assessment and support from specialist adult practitioners as well as multi-professional group case discussions and sharing of knowledge and skills across disciplines.
- Use of Motivational Interviewing (MI) as a framework for practice for all staff. Staff undergo training and ongoing skills development workshops and follow a structured solution-focussed intervention programme with families which aims to work collaboratively with families and increase engagement.
- Using an electronic assessment workbook which provides a single data tool for all professionals and links to the work programme. This increases ease of information sharing between professionals and reduces social worker time spent recording and sharing information.
Telford & Wrekin has a robust supervision policy which is geared towards achieving positive outcomes for you as a worker and for the children and families we work with. We are committed to ensuring that all staff receive good quality, effective and regular supervision in line with their needs and requirements. This includes those working on a temporary contract (including agency staff), staff who are permanent, part time or full time. Whilst this policy is applicable to all staff working within the Children and Families Service, we recognise the specific requirements for practitioners and staff who work directly with children and their families
Staff Consultation Group
This group is comprised of a range of representatives from all areas of Telford & Wrekin Children’s Services. The group meet with the Executive Director, Children’s Services to discuss and respond to our annual staff health check; plan for our annual practice week; and to look at ways to improve practice and champion new developments across the service.
Staff briefings are held quarterly and provide an opportunity for staff to network and to keep abreast of developments across the breadth of the service. In addition to formal inputs, regular speakers are organised so that workers can also hear about the national agenda to support learning and development.
Telford and Wrekin Council has clear practice standards and organisational standards of behaviour. High quality social work is vital to safeguarding the most vulnerable families, children and young people in Telford and Wrekin.
Our practice standards have been developed by our social work staff and set out principles that relate to good practice in social work. Adherence to these standards will play a vital role in making Telford and Wrekin a Family Friendly community where children feel safe, and help lead joint working to improve outcomes for the most vulnerable children. At the heart of this document is a new, Systemic Practice Framework that seeks to work with children, young people and families, building on their strengths to better manage the risks and challenges they face.
Our ambition is not just to be the best for families, children and young people, but to be the best council for the staff and services that work with them. This is a great opportunity for us to work together to make Telford and Wrekin a centre of leading practice in social work.
Our overarching principles:
- In all our activities, the child’s best interests come first.
- We will always aim to meet the needs of children and young people and their families at the earliest stage, either through the provision of early help or where necessary intervention from safeguarding services.
- Children are best cared for by their families, and in situations where this cannot be achieved safely they need to be looked after in safe and stable placements.
- Our practitioners act as a resource for children and young people and their families, helping parents to make positive changes. To do this they need to have professional curiosity and take responsibility for self-development, and use supervision effectively.
- In our assessments and work we aim to understand and improve the child’s lived experience.
- Work is carried out in partnership with parents and carers to enable them to meet their responsibilities and achieve best outcomes.
- Children are involved in decisions that affect them.
- In all our work, we maintain an awareness of equal opportunities and the impact of discrimination.
- We work closely with other agencies to improve support that is offered to children, young people and families.
- Work with children and families is undertaken within the legislative framework and makes use of best practice.
- Our records are accurate, complete and demonstrate the child’s story.
- Work with children is managed and supervised to achieve the best possible outcomes.
- We treat children, families and our working partners with courtesy and respect.
Our Social Workers
- Are curious, sensitive, and reflective as well as being authoritative, professional and tenacious in improving life outcomes for children.
- Approach families with empathy, compassion and creativity using relationships for positive change.
- Use a systemic approach to work purposefully, openly and compassionately with the whole family system.
- Use reflective critical thinking and analysis to evaluate and integrate multiple sources of knowledge and evidence to create meaningful assessments and plans.
- Build skilful and influential working relationships with other professionals and agencies.
- Draw on a range of approaches, used proportionately and regularly reviewed.
- Make good and emotionally intelligent use of supervision.
- Have high quality planning and decision making skills.
- Demonstrate understanding and skill in working as a member of a team and organisation.
- Understand their legal and statutory responsibilities and execute these in children’s best interests.
- Take appropriate responsibility for their conduct, practice and learning.
13 reasons to choose to work for Telford & Wrekin Children's Social Care:
Our Ofsted single inspection of services for children in need of help and protection, children looked after and care leavers and review of the effectiveness of the Local Safeguarding Children Board (SIF) took place in January 2020 and we were judged to be Outstanding.
We are proud of what we have achieved. We may have been judged to be outstanding but we will never be complacent, we know that we can always strive to do better. Our agenda is to continuously move forward, to protect, care and invest – looking after and prioritising the needs of our most vulnerable children and families.
We were pleased that the inspection recognised the quality of services that we are delivering and in the outcomes for children and families, and the important contribution made by having effective political backing and the hands-on support of our Senior Leaders.
“Senior leaders have a clear and transformative vision for services to sustainably improve the lives of vulnerable children and their families in Telford and Wrekin. Members and senior officers work together successfully to deliver this ambitious agenda to improve services, which has been implemented and embedded by committed and skilled social workers and managers.”
We have a continuous workforce development programme that is informed by staff consultation, national learning and local learning, We are committed to including the bringing together of learnt and lived experience to promote the best possible outcomes for our community and to ensure that all of our staff are trained to a high standard. We are committed to systemic practice as our overarching framework and within the different service areas staff are trained in systemic practice, relational approaches, Dyadic developmental psychotherapy and motivational interviewing.
Our programme is facilitated by the multi- agency partnership board, the west midlands teaching partnership and the works centre aiding a link to research for practitioners, universities and ensuring we are actively engaging in learning from external sources such as the National Review Panel, the Nuffield observatory and from academic research which is shared within the work force.
We strive to ensure that practitioners have manageable caseloads so that they have time to see children and families more frequently, giving our staff more time to dedicate to building relationships that matter. With practitioners focusing on fewer clients, we will ensure that those who need us most get the attention they need.
We have a supportive team culture. Our teams work very closely together and help each other out, in addition there is a systemic offer of support to all teams to ensure an environment that allows for reflection, support and mentoring.
We have invested in dynamic and innovative training programmes and have clear career development pathways. From continuing your professional development with ongoing practical training, to reaching senior management levels, at Telford & Wrekin Council there are a variety of ladders to be climbed for those with talent and ambition.
We have an enviably low agency percentage across the service. Our senior leadership team are all permanently employed staff which demonstrates the high skill and knowledge base of current employees which in turn means better outcomes for the children and young people in Telford and Wrekin.
We are constantly striving to improve. We know that social workers and managers need good quality support and challenge and believe our culture of high challenge / high support is key to our success. It underpins the way we work and helps drive continuous improvement.
We want social workers to have manageable workloads and fulfilling lives outside of the workplace. Our supportive culture helps this become reality. We are well adapted to a hybrid model of working which includes a combination of time spent in the office and at home – our approach is to promote greater level of flexible working around personal and family commitments. We also offer a flexi-time scheme.
We offer a competitive salary for staff and recruitment incentives for experienced social workers. In addition to this we offer a range of flexible working options and free onsite parking.
We include a market factor payment for Social Workers, Senior Social Workers and Team Managers. We also offer a Golden Hello payment of £5,000 for all experienced social workers commencing in post within our Family Safeguarding Service as new employees of Telford & Wrekin Council.
In addition to this, essential car user allowance, free on-site parking and full reimbursement of your annual Social Work England registration fee.
We are investing heavily in new ICT case management and recording systems. We strive to continually develop and refine these systems to make them user friendly and fit for purpose. This should mean far less repetition of paperwork. With greater efficiency and time saving, our staff will be freed up to focus on case work and making a difference to families they are working with.
We know ourselves well and know what we want to achieve. We want to be an authority which other councils want to benchmark against. You will be joining an organisation that is rewarding in every sense, and most importantly, serves our community to the highest possible standards.
Our overarching ambition is to be a child–friendly borough, which is part of our commitment to create a performance-led culture that puts the child at the centre of everything we do.
Our senior leadership team are truly passionate and motivating in terms of the work we do and they operate an open door policy for staff. The enthusiasm they possess cascades down through the whole service. We only recruit people who possess the same passion for transforming the lives of children and young people.
Last updated: 22/03/2022 10:20