Head of Professional Standards

Bexleyheath, London (Greater)
Up to £70,938
12 Feb 2019
15 Feb 2019
Contract Type
Full time

Head of Professional Standards, Workforce Development & Quality Assurance and Principal Child & Family Social Worker

Management Grouping: Children’s Services

Service: Children’s Social Care

Location: Civic Offices, Bexleyheath

Total Salary Package: Up to £70,938 (inclusive of Choices Flexible Benefits: of £3,864 pa)

Contract: Permanent/36 hours per week

Closing Date: 15 February 2019 at noon

Anticipated Interview Date: w/c 25 February 2019

Job reference: ECS0000382


“Bexley is a safe and supportive place to work with highly creative work undertaken by a skilled and well supported workforce – Ofsted 2018”

The Council, its staff and partners, were delighted in August last year when Ofsted judged the overall effectiveness of children’s social care services to be ‘outstanding’!  We were especially pleased that our investment in practitioners and managers was recognised alongside our strong oversight of practice.

We have been working for four years to create an environment where our staff can do the work they came into the profession to do - to support and help families to stay together where this is in children’s best interests and it is safe enough for it to happen. This intention forms the spine of our vision for children, young people, families and carers in Bexley. You will find here, that our social work practice, our training, our daily conversations and decisions, our supervision, our leadership, our innovation and our future plans are all highly dependent on the Children Act 1989 principle, that families should be first and foremost supported to bring up their own children with help from a children’s service when it is required . Of course, we act to protect children and young people quickly when they are not safe. Sometimes that means they cannot remain within their families, but we work quickly to establish permanent alternatives or a return to their family networks.

Our Head of Service for Professional Practice, Workforce Development and Quality Assurance is a critical promoter, leader and barometer for whether we are getting things right for families in Bexley. Whether we are helping practitioners to be the best they can be, whether we are listening to and learning from families, whether we promote the best practice environment for our staff, whether as leaders we model and lead with high expectations and exceptional support and whether our knowledge and oversight of practice is used to reach for further improvement and respect for those we are trying to help.

We are looking for a senior leader who has exceptional passion and commitment for brilliant social work practice and preferably sound knowledge of ‘Signs of Safety’ or a similar practice framework driving hard at relationship based work.  You will hold the title of Principal Social Worker, setting the standards we need for practice in an outstanding children’s service, but also leading relentlessly to retain our strong permanent staff whilst attracting the best to come to Bexley. You will want to know and engage every day in conversations and collaborations about what is working and what needs to improve . You will be an appreciative enquirer, taking a position of interest and curiosity about the performance of our teams and the evidence in practice. We have high expectations about accountability for judgements and decision making but we know high challenge must be met with strong coaching and management support. 

First and foremost, we need you to be deeply interested in the conditions that make for the best social care practice and leadership. You must believe firmly in the rights of families to bring up their children safely and where they need support and be able to help the Director and senior team to develop respectful and authentic offers of help, protection and care. You will need to believe in the value of collaborative reviews of practice, have experience in supporting independent review and child protection functions as well as the capacity to produce high quality reports about standards of practice and priorities for improvement.

In Bexley, we pride ourselves on innovation, close partnerships, a strong implementation of Signs of Safety, respectful practice and an accurate account of what we do well and what needs to improve. You will already be an experienced service manager with consolidated experience of overseeing and reporting on the quality of social work practice and leadership. In addition, you will be creative and collaborative as a leader working closely with colleagues across a multi-agency practice system.

If this sounds exciting, stretching and reassuring, we want you to get in touch with us. Our workforce is stable with over 90% permanent staff, but we are always looking for leaders, practitioners and managers wanting to come and practice confidently as part of our team making a difference for families and children.

If you are interested, call and speak directly to our retained consultants, Solace (contact Sharon Davies on 020 7976 3311.  Jacky Tiotto, our Director of Children’s Services and Allison Parkinson, Deputy Director would also like to offer you the opportunity to speak to them in advance of an application, to arrange this please call 0203 045 4090.

We will invest deeply in you in return for your investment and commitment to our families, children, carers and staff.

Appointment to this post will be subject to the outcome of an Enhanced Disclosure obtained through the Disclosure and Barring Service. 

What we offer:

  • An excellent working environment at our fantastic offices
  • Professional supervision
  • Mentoring/coaching
  • Opportunities for flexible working with excellent ICT facilities
  • Bexley has a flexible and generous package to support you moving to work in Bexley.  We will pay up to £8k which you can use as you wish, e.g. to pay a deposit or mortgage, to meet housing costs, fees and other expenses.
  • Career progression pathways for training and continuous professional development
  • Signs of Safety Training and the opportunity to become an SOS Practice Lead
  • Opportunity to engage in our Aspiring Leaders Programme
  • Reimbursement of HCPC subscription
  • Our Choices Benefits include a lease car or cash options to the value of £3,864 per annum
  • Excellent local government pension scheme
  • Performance related pay with the opportunity to earn a 5% bonus each year
  • MyChoice Staff Benefit Scheme – Includes Childcare vouchers, cycle to work scheme, access to high street shopping vouchers and online discount codes.
  • Annual Leave Purchase Scheme

View more about our employment deal here.

About Bexley

Bexley is an outer London Borough with the best of both worlds, located between the hustle and bustle of London and the Garden of England, Kent. Within the Borough we have award winning parks, open spaces and listed heritage sites.                                   

How to Apply

Please submit an up-to-date CV supported by a personal statement (not to exceed four pages of A4) that outlines, your motivation for applying and how your knowledge and experience meet the requirements of the role.

Please submit your application to applications@solace.org.uk  by no later than noon on 15 February 2019.

You will receive an acknowledgement of safe receipt within one working day but if you have any concerns please call Solace in Business on 020 7976 3311.

Alternatively you can send a hard copy application to:

Solace in Business

Off Southgate


West Yorkshire


This authority is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and vulnerable adults and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.

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