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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 am the Director of Children’s Services for the London Borough of Havering.

My lifelong interest and enthusiasm for work with children, families and young people was sparked through volunteering within my native city of Manchester over 25 years ago.  My experience with supporting vulnerable young people, as well as through my own family’s commitment to fostering children in care inspired my passion for working with vulnerable children and young people, and effecting positive change through hope filled conversations, empowerment and relationship based early education/help, and social care interventions.

Since 2016, the London Borough of Havering has provided me with exciting daily opportunities, to work with service users, in partnership with colleagues across the council, the previous DCS and an empowered group of managers and dedicated staff to successfully develop and implement the Face-to-Face Havering approach. This systemic, strengths based and relational model of practice has had marked impact upon improving outcomes for children, young people and families in the Borough by privileging direct work and partnership with families.

We support all of our staff and practitioners, from administrators to senior managers, with first class systemic training and the day to day input of our own team of clinical systemic practitioners. Caseloads are set to support a model designed to deliver consistently purposeful, planned and focused work for each intervention, which aids the empowerment and agency of individual children and families.

The difference made to practice and outcomes was formally recognised by Ofsted during the Service’s ILACS inspection in June 2018 when the Borough’s provision was seen to have progressed rapidly, moving from a grading of “Requires Improvement” to “Good” in under 2 years.

Children’s Services continues to receive significant investment from the Local Authority to drive targeted service improvement, creativity and opportunities for innovation from within our own teams and through local, regional and national partnerships.

Havering leads on a range of regional initiatives including the Adopt London East Regional Adoption Agency, the North East London Commissioning Partnership (DFE Innovation funded), the North East London Teaching Partnership, and the East London Regional Improvement Alliance.

The Service has supported tremendous progress across the education sector in Havering – particularly in the Early Years and Primary phases – and there are recent signs of progress across the Secondary phase too. Our aim is to strengthen the partnership arrangements with a focus on Leadership, Inclusion and Curriculum. Our HES traded services and Academy of Leadership are very well respected and support improving outcomes for our children and young people.

Through this process of improvement we have also developed the culture of the organisation – we aim to provide the support, challenge and theoretical framework to support your professional development and enable you to reach your career goals here in Havering.

Robert South

Acting Director of Children’s Services
Face to Face

Who We Are

About The Council

Havering is currently undergoing significant change that will see the face of the borough transformed. We are investing in our borough making it Cleaner, Safer, Prouder, Together.

Spearheaded by the impending introduction of the Crossrail, we’re experiencing a time of momentous growth.

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 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.


Annual Leave

Generous annual leave entitlement


We participate in the Cycle To Work scheme

Car Pooling

We run a Car Pool Scheme


We offer reduced gym membership


We offer childcare vouchers


Get discounts on adult education courses

Car Loan

We offer a Car Loan Scheme


Local government pension scheme

What We Do


"Face to Face" Working

Face to Face

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

In Havering Children’s Services, our Early Help Service focusses on providing universal and targeted services to families in need of support, from a range of different perspectives and approaches.

Whilst the offer is delivered by a specific area of the service, early help and intervention is an ethos which threads throughout the directorate. One of the principles of the Face to Face model of practice is to provide the right services to the family at the right time, and much of this is facilitated via the Early Help Services alongside statutory social care and education services.

Children’s Centres are a universal services that is available to all and delivered in collaboration with partners in health, education and third sector to ensure that every child is provided the best start in life.

Universal Plus is an early identification of low level need to prevent escalation to targeted support. Multi-disciplinary team meets fortnightly to provide a wraparound service which responds to need. Support offered for a maximum of 12 weeks.

Targeted Intervention is direct work with families undertaken by a Family Practitioner set out in a holistic Early Help Assessment. Whole family interventions are offered, based in systemic practice and supported by a family therapist. Working in partnership with other agencies and services to provide solutions and empower families to develop their skills and confidence.

Parenting Support provides a comprehensive parenting offer that delivers evidenced based programmes from pregnancy to adolescence. We also currently deliver the Empowering Parents, Empowering Communities (EPEC) parenting offer. This is a volunteer lead parenting programme that promotes community resilience.

Attendance, Behaviour and Traveller Support is an area of the service that works to support schools, parents to enable children to stay in school when issues occur and break down barriers to children accessing education.

Volunteering work across different areas of the service including; youth offending service, looked after children, step down from early help, parent group leaders and supporting children’s centre activities. We also provide a professional level training offer to our volunteers, ensuring they are developing skills and confidence.

MASH & Assessment

The Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) is a single point of contact for all safeguarding concerns regarding children and young people in Havering which includes front door access for Early Help.

It brings together expert professionals, from services that have contact with children, young people and families, and makes the best possible use of their combined knowledge and resources to keep children safe from harm and promote these and their families wellbeing.

The MASH will do this by:

  • Acting as a front door to manage all safeguarding concerns
  • Researching information held on professional databases to inform decisions
  • Continuing to provide support to professionals working in Early Help.
  • Providing a secure and confidential environment for professionals to share information
  • Identifying low –level repeat referrals which taken in isolation may not appear concerning, but do when the child’s journey is reviewed

Our assessment teams offer parenting and family assessments for families who have complex and additional needs. We work with our partner agencies to help families to keep children safe. The families we assess often present with a range of complex issues and an important part of our approach is an understanding of intergenerational factors affecting parental capacity and using our systemic model of practice to build resilience within families. The assessment service has a full time systemic family therapist who jointly assesses family’s needs and provides focused and bespoke pieces of family intervention to effect change.

Care Resources

The Care Resources service consists of Fostering, Adoption, Leaving Care and Contact teams. This is an exciting vibrant area that works across a number of different service areas.

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 Special Guardianship team undertakes SGO assessments including some viability assessments. Work within this team has to be timely to meet court timescales.

The Leaving Care team works with young adults from 18-25. They also link young people from 14-18 in order to support transition. The team consists of Pathway Co-ordinators, some of whom are social workers and YPA’s. There are two teams who start work to support the Cocoon (Monday-Saturday). Work covers transition to full independence, links into Adult Mental Health, Adult Services CAD, YOS, Youth Services, Probation, DWP, housing, police etc.

The Contact Team is a small team that support most of the contact arrangements for Havering LAC. They are based at Elm Park however they do provide contact in different locations.

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 also conduct all of the legal proceedings work.

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 seven teams which all include Social Workers, Advanced Practitioners and ASYE Social Workers. The service is overseen by seven Team Managers, two Group Managers and the Head of Service.

Children & Adults with Disabilities (CAD)

Our Children and Adults with Disabilities Service (CAD) was established in 2015 and we work in an integrated way to bring about the best outcomes for our children and young people.

Within the CAD service are a range of professionals including Educational Psychologists, Specialist Teachers, Social Workers, Family Support Workers, Case Officers, Specialist Assistants Area SENDCos and Early Support Key Worker’s, working collaboratively to meet needs and seek solution focused outcomes for settings, families and children/young people.

The service consists of 4 teams 0-5 CAD Team, 5-19 CAD Team, Assessment and Placement Team and the Social Work CAD Team which supports children and young people including Short Breaks and Preparing for Adulthood.

Business Support Team

The Business Support Service is 73, Business Support Officers and Business Support Assistants who fulfil many roles throughout the service.

The model of working provides fluidity and flexibility to the whole of the 14 CYPS teams and Education services, Children and Adults with disabilities, consisting of 457 staff working to support the families in Havering.

The service was created in December 2015 and the team provides administrative, organisational and strategic support throughout all of the social work teams. The whole service has embarked on a programme of bespoke Systemic training which has given a shared language between practitioners and the administrators. This has significantly supported the beneficial positioning of the administrators as active participants in the co-production of the work the service does.

Safeguarding and Service Standards Unit

The Safeguarding and Service Standards Unit has two 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.

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

Apply Now

If you have any queries and would like to contact us, please email socialrecruit@havering.gov.uk

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