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Practice Specialist Social Worker

Please Note: The application deadline for this job has now passed.

The Role

Do you see yourself as a leader of inclusive, relationship-based social work practice?

Are you passionate about improving outcomes for children?

Would you like to join a service committed to innovation and transformation of the way we work with children and families?

If yes, we have the perfect role for you!

Our Children’s Social Care Services are looking to recruit a Practice Specialist Social Worker that will each work within different services to play a central role in achieving positive outcomes for children in Wandsworth!

About the service

Here in Wandsworth we are on an exciting journey of transformation to become an outstanding service for children and families. We have developed our new Outstanding Practice Framework built on systemic practice and the implementation of Family Safeguarding this autumn. Family Safeguarding is a way of keeping families together where it is safe to do so. It was developed and promoted by Hertfordshire and is funded by the Department for Education. Wandsworth will be the first Local Authority in London to implement this new way of working.

Motivational Interviewing is a key component of the approach and all staff are being trained with the aim of working collaboratively with families, empowering and engaging parents to make positive changes for their children and themselves.

We are investing massively in our workforce, our leaders as well as partners to enable us to make our engagement with families and communities in Wandsworth a success. We have strong and visionary leadership from our Director and Deputy Director of Children’s Services who have the highest commitment to transform the help and support we provide to the children & families of Wandsworth.

About the role

We are looking for Practice Specialist Social Workers to join our services at a time of exciting and positive change in Wandsworth. We are on a journey to be an outstanding local authority and are looking for applicants who wish to join us on this exciting journey.

These are new roles that  form part of our enhanced career progression pathway, enabling excellent social work practitioners to remain in direct practice with families whilst also coaching and championing excellent practice across their service.

About You

We are looking for Practice Specialists Social Workers that are passionate about transforming the lives of vulnerable children and their families, who can both work alongside families to understand what a good life looks like for them and how we can work together creatively to achieve it, as well as coach and mentor others to work in this way.

You will be skilled in building trusting relationships, talking to families about what matters most to them, making sure children’s wishes and feelings are central to decision making, increasing people’s hope, self-esteem and potential and connecting families to networks of support. You will draw on theoretical ideas and evidence based approaches to inform your work and first and foremost you will be an outstanding child and family social worker yourself. You will play a pivotal role in developing outstanding practitioners and outstanding practices in your service area.

This role will be varied and exciting and no two days are likely to be the same. You will work closely with managers within the service to co-work complex cases, support practitioners to have creative conversations with families and improve practice  that has been identified through quality assurance mechanisms. You will be able to lead and inspire, work with teams to think through practice dilemmas as well as with individual practitioners. You will have the confidence and creativity to come up with creative ideas to improve practice, be highly reflective and committed to developing the workforce so they can be very best in their practice with families.


We recognise the importance of a good balance between work and home life so we do everything we can to accommodate flexible working including, working from home, compressed or part-time hours, term time only, job shares and other arrangements. Please just let us know in your application or at any stage throughout the process (and beyond) if these are options you’d like to explore. We also offer a generous holiday allowance of 39 paid days (pro rata) including bank holidays and a wide range of learning and development opportunities.

In addition, we offer a comprehensive range of staff benefits such as membership of the Local Government pension scheme, childcare vouchers, new technology scheme, interest-free loans on annual travel cards, discounts with many leisure activities, restaurants, shops, and other establishments. You will also be availed of all training available to the service.

Indicative Recruitment Timeline

  • Closing date: 11:59pm on Sunday 5th December 2021
  • Shortlisting date: week commencing 6th December 2021
  • Interview date: 13th and 16th December 2021

Useful Information: The closing date is given as a guide. We reserve the right to close this vacancy once a sufficient number of applications has been received. We strongly advise you to complete your application as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Please note that the advertised dates for interviews may change due to the current Covid-19 situation. If they do, we will let you know as soon as possible. Your health and wellbeing are our top priority. Should you become unwell due to Covid-19 during the recruitment process we would very much appreciate receiving an update from you as soon as possible.

At Wandsworth, we particularly welcome applications from sections of the community who are currently underrepresented within our teams, including black, asian and ethnic minority communities. We understand the value of what a diverse workforce brings to our local authority and therefore, strongly encouraging candidates from these backgrounds to apply to this position. We will keep applications open until we have satisfactory representation on the shortlist.

Equality Statement

Richmond and Wandsworth Councils are committed to making our recruitment practices as inclusive as possible for everyone. We are committed to promoting equality and diversity and developing a culture that values differences, recognising that employees from a variety of backgrounds bring important and positive contributions to the Councils and can improve the way we deliver services. We are proud to be a Disability Confident employer.

Important Information

This post is exempted under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and as such appointment to this post will be conditional upon the receipt of a satisfactory response to a check of police records via Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children. It replaces the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA).

How to apply?

To be considered for interview your CV and supporting statement must highlight your knowledge, skills and experience listed in the Job Profile located at the bottom of the advert.

For an informal discussion about the role please contact Louise Jones, Principal Social Worker,

Richmond and Wandsworth Councils

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