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Welcome To Children's Social Work

There can be no doubt that Havering is on the rise.

As the borough experiences the most exciting period of growth in our history, we’re building a Children’s Services to match. The last few years have seen us take huge steps forward and our improvement journey is only set to continue.

We are offering the opportunity for ambitious, dedicated professionals to be part of the exciting legacy we are creating. To join at a time when we are changing the face of social work in Havering.

Our vision centres around supporting Havering’s children and families to lead happy, healthy lives. This means ensuring that every child has equal opportunities to thrive – accessing the highest possible levels of education and enjoying a stable, happy home life. We believe firmly in empowering families to create sustainable change themselves, allowing them to find their own solutions.

We are a service that prides itself on innovative working, providing our people with the tools, support and the space to do their best work. We’ve adopted a systemic approach to our care as well as embracing new technology to enhance the care that we are capable of providing. This includes mobile technology to allow our social workers to work on the move, allowing more time to work with our community.

Our people are the driving force behind our significant achievements so far and will be the key to making our big ambitions a reality. If you feel that you have the skills, experience and, most importantly, the attitude to play a key role in our exciting future then we’re looking forward to hearing from you.

A Message from the Director of Children’s Services

I came to Havering in Autumn 2015, with the ambition to create an organisation that gives primacy to practice and relationships. Six months later, in May 2016, I launched the Face-to-Face initiative, introducing a systemic model of practice to support a more confident and well-equipped workforce. The concept was to build relationships of trust to mitigate risk, and be less reliant on processes that can inadvertently alienate and stigmatise families.

We are now just over a year and a half on, with a good deal of distance covered – we’ve learnt a lot, experienced successes, a range of challenges, and a number of complicating factors along the way. We are beginning to see a number of encouraging signs:

· We have a more stable, permanent workforce than a year and a half ago (70% permanent compared with 55% the year before), with more families receiving a consistent service;

· Over 65 social care staff have commenced or completed a 15 day accredited systemic family therapy training, with another 50 due to start in 2018;

· In addition, our entire (85) business support team have all received a bespoke systemic training course, and our leadership team have completed a six-day course alongside the Adult Social Care leadership team, and colleagues from health;

· We have supported seven practitioners to progress to the second year of systemic training.

In the Autumn of 2017 I launched a vision for Children’s Services, revisiting the aims of the Face-to-Face programme, and bringing together Education and Social Care. Following the launch of the vision, I was keen to shape our organisational culture into a more collaborative and enabling environment, where good practice could flourish. From this, the idea of a staff forum emerged, designed to empower members of staff to shape the future of the service and provide direct feedback to the senior leadership team.

I am very proud of what the team has achieved in Havering; every day I see examples of commitment, passion and thoughtfulness, with practitioners striving to achieve the best possible outcomes, sometimes in difficult situations. Working with these skilled, dedicated and energised people, we will build a beacon of excellence in East London.

Tim Aldridge

Who We Are

About The Council

Havering is currently undergoing significant change that will see the face of the borough transformed. We have placed ourselves as London’s next big opportunity and have a vision for ‘Making a Greater London’.

Spearheaded by the impending introduction of the Crossrail, we’re experiencing a time of momentous growth. Our agenda is focused around Havering’s communities, places, opportunities and connections. With our developing culture and leisure offer, quick links into London, high quality homes, extensive town centre regeneration programmes and our award-winning parks and open spaces, we want Havering to be the next great place to live, work and visit in London.

Our social care services are no different. We have filled each team with dedicated professionals who work with empathy, sensitivity and determination – placing the needs of the service user at the centre of everything we do.

Needless to say, we take a huge amount of pride in the work that we do. The standards that we hold so dear can only be upheld by the very best people – those with drive, determination and ambition. If this sounds like you, we have no doubt that you’ll fit in well here.

What People Say

Working for Havering has provided a great platform for me to further develop my practice as a social worker. Support received increases confidence allowing room to explore strengths and areas of development to reach my full potential.

Sirita Smith

If you are looking to work for the local authority who truly cares for their employees wellbeing and helps them to achieve their long term career goals then “Havering” is the only place to be.

Narinder Paik

I have worked for Havering for 25 years now, starting as a carer, then progressing. I was lucky enough for Havering to support me through the Social Work Degree.

Each team  I have worked in has always been very supportive and understanding and each manager  has been encouraging to improve my knowledge. They will also try and support you if you have caring obligations. A good place to work.

Lynne Guilfoyle

I like working for Havering. I feel well supported by my managers and the team as a whole. I have benefited and been supported to successfully complete the ASYE and other training, and am looking forward to further post qualifying development opportunities.

Katrina Cook
About You

Who We Are Looking For

We are trying to do something quite different in Havering. We have created our systems to fit the families rather than making families fit to the system.

Our new face to face programme aligns practitioners to a systemic approach, which turns traditional practice somewhat on its head.

We are looking for people who will flourish in this type of environment. Someone who will relish the opportunity to work in innovative ways and strive to deliver the best possible care. We want professionals who will jump at the chance to spend more time doing what they were trained to do – practice social work.

The safety, health and happiness of the children, young people and families is our number one priority. It is therefore essential that our social workers work with the upmost empathy, sensitivity and professionalism.

We have big plans for the future, a vision for our Children’s Services that will see us take our place as a centre of excellence for social work practice. We are looking for social work practitioners with ambition that matches our own, professionals with a determination to be the best and help those around them achieve the same.

If all of the above sounds like you then Havering could well be the perfect place for you to take your next big step in your career. You’ll find a welcoming new home and a team that will help you succeed.

Training

Training and development is so important to us.

We have set out a clear aim to become a centre for social work learning and excellence, an authority that is recognised as the ‘go-to teaching borough in east London’, if not the entire capital.

The success of our service is completely dependent on our social workers’ ability to deliver our systemic approach to care. We invest heavily in delivering systemic training to all those required, ensuring that they are fully equipped to deliver the highest level of care.

The upcoming launch of our social work academy will play a key role in the development of social work professionals at all levels. Whether it’s taking recent graduates through their ASYE year or guiding new leaders into their first management roles, our academy will provide comprehensive and effective training for everyone throughout our Children’s Services.

We have also received additional funding from the Department of Education (DfE) as an innovation grant to further support our innovative approach to learning and development.

Our ability to grow people from within and develop already talented professionals is what makes us special. This is why we continue to put significant investment into our various training and learning initiatives.

If you are looking to develop your own knowledge and skills then Havering could be just the place for you.

Our Offer

At Havering, we are only looking for the best – the commitment we have made to our service users requires dedication, hard work and the upmost professionalism.

In recognition of the weight of our expectations, we have put together a fantastic benefits package.

Not only do we offer highly competitive salaries but we also offer some fantastic benefits.

We offer a £4k progression scheme – providing access to comprehensive training programmes to support professional development and career progression.

We are also able to sponsor non-European Economic Area migrants looking to train and work in the UK – providing the role is on the skills shortage occupation list.

Benefits

Annual Leave

Generous annual leave entitlement

Cycling

We participate in the Cycle To Work scheme

Car Pooling

We run a Car Pool Scheme

Fitness

We offer reduced gym membership

Childcare

We offer childcare vouchers

Education

Get discounts on adult education courses

Car Loan

We offer a Car Loan Scheme

Pension

Local government pension scheme

What We Do

Projects

"Face to Face" Working

The systemic approach to family care was adopted as part of a top to bottom redesign of our Children’s Service. It is based around supporting more face to face time between workers and children and families.

The practice is rooted in evidence based intervention in order to provide long term outcomes. We invest in our team so that they are fully trained and qualified in systemic practice – empowering them to reduce the number of families who re-enter the system and ultimately the number of children in care.   This training is not only available to manager and practitioners but also our business support team to ensure that this practice is full embedded in our teams.

This approach centres around developed relationships being the key to sustainable results. It also provides practitioners more support – freeing them up to spend more time in face to face contact with clients.

Adopting this new approach has been made possible from support from the Department for Education funding a two-year innovation programme.

To ensure the continued success of the programme, a Face to Face Champions scheme has been put in place to maintain continuous cross-team communication. Meeting every six weeks, the 50 champions address the key opportunities and challenges in the programme.

Momo App

Using the innovative Momo app has revolutionised the way that our Children’s social workers interact with service users, build relationships and enable communication.

The Momo (Mind of my Own) app is designed to make it easier for young people to express their views and feelings- both during and in between sessions with their social worker.

By relieving the pressure on a child or young person to communicate directly in sessions, the app encourages an open dialogue in an easily accessible and contemporary method of communication. It also provides young people with an increased involvement in the decision-making process as opinions and feelings expressed are included in reviews.

There are also significant benefits for the social worker as they’re given a better understanding of how the young person feels and therefore a platform on which to build further trust.

On top of this, information captured through the app is stored and therefore workers don’t have to spend the time after the session writing it up.

Meet The Teams

Children's Services Teams

Early Help Service

This team provides universal services through children’s centres and early years support workers. More targeted support and intervention is delivered by the Family Practitioners within the Early Help Service. This is for families identified as being in need of support but do not meet the threshold for statutory intervention.

Also within the Early Help Service is the Families Together Team. These Family Practitioners provide intensive support to families with young people already in the care system with a plan to return home or at risk of becoming looked after. Also included is Family Group Conferencing services and the Youth Offending Team as well as responsibility for delivering against the Troubled Families agenda.

MASH & Assessment

The MASH – the Multi- Agency Safeguarding Hub – is the front door for child protection and vulnerable children referrals. The team collates information from partner agencies including police, health professionals, and probation with other partners, such as education, being available in a virtual capacity.

The MASH provides proportionate information to assist in the assessment of risk and harm to children. Havering developed one of the first four MASH teams in London and has the first integrated MASH for Children and Adults in London. Social Workers in the assessment team undertake short assessments, following the decision that a referral meets the threshold for child protection or child in need. They will also undertake S47 enquiries and strategy meetings when a referral identifies that a child is at immediate risk of significant harm.

Intervention & Support Service (ISS)

The Intervention and Support Service works with young children, teenagers and their families where there is an identified need for on-going intervention. The service works with looked after children, children on child protection plans and those on child-in-need plans.

We work on the principle that, wherever possible, we should preserve continuity of a social worker for children. The service places a strong emphasis on permanency whether that can be achieved through good parenting within the family, or through a stable placement outside the family, normally adoption for younger children.

This service is made up of eight pods which all include Social Workers, Advanced Practitioners, ASYE Social Workers and Deputy Team Managers. The service is overseen by 4 Team Managers, 2 Group Managers and the Head of Service.

Children & Adults with Disabilities (CAD)

The CAD service supports children with disabilities and works closely with Adult Services throughout the transition period to adulthood. It is an integrated, multi-disciplinary service providing specialist educational and social care support for children with special educational needs and disability.

The social workers within CAD are integrated into three teams; the Assessment and Placement Team, the 0-5 Team and the 5-19 Team. The social workers in the service are responsible for single assessments and contributing to Education, Health and Care plans, organising short breaks and other support and safeguarding services, including child in need, child protection and looked after children duties in accordance with the Children Act 1989.

Care Resources

The Care Resources service consists of Fostering, Adoption and Leaving Care Teams.

The Fostering Team holds a wide and interesting remit. The recruitment & assessment team works to promote fostering and recruit prospective foster carers. The Social Workers then support them through the recruitment and training process until they are approved at panel. The team of supervising Social Workers then supervise foster carers once they have children placed with them (including Regulation 24 placements and private fostering arrangements) and provide on-going support.

The Adoption Team undertakes many roles including; responding to enquiries from potential adopters, matching children with adopters and post adoption support. As well as this, a pod within the adoption team focusses on assessing and supporting special guardians including providing some financial support.

The Leaving Care service supports those young people who are transitioning from being in care to independence (adulthood). This team is in the process of evolving and expanding in order to extend our offer to our care leavers. This team primarily consists of seven Young Persons Advisors who work directly with care leavers to ensure that they are well supported and are aware of their entitlements. Also within this team are the participation workers who work directly with young people to ensure that their voice is heard and that the achievements of our young people are celebrated. The Children in Care Council is also run within this service.

Safeguarding and Service Standards Unit

The Safeguarding and Service Standards Unit has three main functions. The first is to provide oversight and quality assurance and audit for Looked after Children and Children on Child Protection plans through Independent Reviewing Officers (IRO’s). Second is to provide the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) functions in respect of allegations against staff, carers and volunteers working with children. Third is to support the functions of the Havering Safeguarding Children Board (HSCB).

Business Support Team

The Business Support Team provides administrative, organisational and strategic support throughout all of the social work teams. The service is organised as a matrix management style of working which enables the provision of a professional and seamless system. Business Support Officers and Business Support Assistants fulfil many roles throughout the service and the matrix of working provides fluidity and flexibility in the service that is provided.

Clinical Team

The Clinical Team consists of Family Therapists who work alongside social workers or family practitioners to provide therapeutic input. Our clinical team also offer case consultations with social workers or family practitioners on cases which are particularly complex or are at risk of drift or delay. These consultations review the case from a systemic perspective and help the social worker explore and form new ways of thinking with regards to a case.

Innovation and Improvement Team

The Innovation and Improvement Team is a project team which focuses on service improvement and innovation. It works alongside the different teams within the Children’s Services department to identify potential new ways of working that could help increase the efficiency and quality of the service provided.

Living Here

Standing as one of the largest boroughs in London, Havering has so much to offer residents, workers and visitors alike.

Our largest town, Romford, has become an increasingly popular destination with exciting developments on the horizon.  This is a prime opportunity to move to Havering where house prices are still affordable, there’s, great schools, stunning nature and thriving culture throughout the borough.

Significant development is changing the face of Havering for the better but our unique character will be retained throughout.

There is so much to discover here, but don’t just take our word for it. Find out for yourself.

Getting Around Havering

Havering has never been better connected – both within the borough and with our neighbours and the rest of the country.

We have always had fantastic connections through our bus and train services and as we continue to grow, we will continuously look at ways that these can be expanded.

The highly anticipated Cross Rail system is set to revolutionise the way that our residents can travel in and out of central London.

Our fantastic road system not only makes getting around the borough incredibly easy but also provides simple access to the nearby motorways.

Whichever way you get around, you’ll find travel in Havering to be as easy as can be.

Getting Around Havering