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Training and Development Officer (Foster Care Plus)

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

The Role

Do you relish the opportunity to make a difference?

Can you help us to train and support carers to offer the best support for our children?

If yes, we have the perfect role for you!

What we want

An experienced social worker for the role of training and development officer for our foster carers and kinships carers. We need someone who is strongly committed to the highest quality of care for those of our children and young people who cannot be with their parents. Our foster carers, special guardians, connected persons and family links are special to us, because without them we would not be able to provide the best care for the children we have responsibility for in Wandsworth. 

So, we have a vacancy in our friendly and lively Academy for a part-time training officer (2 days per week). If you join us you will have responsibility for both the direct delivery and commissioning of training and development to our carers in their different roles. 

The post will involve working collaboratively with our fostering, post permanency and family links teams to understand the training and development priorities for their carers, analysing which training can be provided jointly and which training might need to be bespoke for different types of carer. 

About the service

At Wandsworth, we believe that carers who are well supported, skilled and motivated will provide the best possible care for our children. This requires a first class training and development offer for our carers The Academy will support you in your training commissioning and delivery, and the specialist teams you work with will work collaboratively with you to identify the knowledge and skills areas where we seek improvement and growth among our carers.

Children’s Services are implementing Family Safeguarding in 2022 which will change how we work with children & families and will embed specialist adult practitioners within Family Safeguarding teams of social workers. They will support a whole-system change to our child protection approach up to adolescence, focusing on supporting the needs of children and adults in order that children can safely remain within their families.

Where children need to be placed in alternative care we are committed to ensuring that care is as inclusive of birth families as possible. We understand that we have a responsibility to help our carers understand the ongoing links with their families of origin that many children carry and value throughout their lives.  

Our work with children and families is further strengthened through training and development that underpins our commitment to developing skills in systemic practice and a relational approach to work with families.

About the role

This role requires an understanding of the differences and nuances of a range of carer roles, from foster carers, to friends and family carers of children who cannot live with their parents, sometimes in the short term and sometimes longer, to carers who specialise in offering short breaks to children with disabilities.

The post holder will combine their knowledge of effective training and workforce development techniques with their understanding of this specialist sector to plan and provide an appealing and effective programme that will stimulate carers to participate and apply new learning to the care they offer.  You will lead the identification of training needs and ensuring that there is a suitable training offer available for all carers.

In working together with the Fostering Manager you will play a key part in co-ordinating Foster Carer forums and there will be an expectation of occasional evening or weekend work.

You will be joining an experienced training team who enjoy different areas of responsibility but who welcome the opportunity to work together to provide the best services. Regular reflective supervision is available to all staff, together with relevant professional development opportunities.

Wandsworth subscribes to Research in Practice and to Making Research Count.  It also belongs to the South West London and Surrey Social Work Teaching Partnership promoting links between theory, research and practice.

About you

  • You are an experienced social worker who can demonstrate an in depth understanding of fostering and kinship care, including the legislation and guidance which regulates the provision of care for children who are not being looked after by their parents.
  • You have the knowledge and skills to both deliver and commission training and will work with both the specialist teams and the Academy to make decisions as to when either of those options would be preferable.
  • You have a 'can do' attitude and are prepared to be accountable for achieving the best possible outcomes.  
  • You work collaboratively and enthusiastically with other professionals and with young people to deliver high quality training.
  • You have a social work qualification and SWE registration, good verbal and written communication skills and the capability to produce reports within your area of expertise.

Contact details

If you would like to have an informal conversation about this opportunity, please contact Louise Jones, Head of Children's Social Care Academy (louise.jones@richmondandwandsworth.gov.uk)  or Tina Baker, Training and Development Manager, Children’s Social Care Academy (tina.baker@richmondandwandsworth.gov.uk)

Benefits

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.

Indicative recruitment timeline

  • Closing date: 11:59pm on Sunday 10th October 2021
  • Shortlisting date: Monday 11th October 2021
  • Interview date: Friday 22nd October 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 is 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.

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).

Richmond and Wandsworth Councils

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