Head of Children's Service

Nineteen Recruitment
West Yorkshire
08 Jun 2019
18 Jun 2019
Professional / Specialist
Public Sector
Contract Type
On behalf of a local authority client, we are recruiting an experienced Head of service (MASH and locality social work) for a contract scheduled to run until the end of the year.

In conjunction with the Service Director, the purpose of the Head of Service role is develop the operation of the safeguarding and family support service to establish a coherent and connected service for children and families in the area.

In conjunction with the Service Director, the Head of Service will develop high quality services for children so that clear and deliberate decision making underpins social work practice, and that consistent management oversight leads to good and timely social work.

The successful candidate will line Manage four Service Managers responsible for: contact and referral at the Front Door including the multiagency safeguarding hub and EDT; CIN/CP fieldwork teams; Placements including fostering and adoption and children in care and care leaving teams.

The Head of Service is responsible for ensuring that the voice of children in need of help and protection, children looked after and those leaving care is heard, that they are support and that signs of safety methodology is embedded in 'the way we do things around her.' Lead the delivery of the Strengthening Practice programme for all social workers.

Adoption services for Wakefield children are delivered by One Adoption, West Yorkshire, and the post holder will sit on the Management Board.

The Head of Service will connect Safeguarding and Family Support with the rest of the Directorate including re Early Help, complex care and virtual school.

They will also be connecting with partners in relation to front door and continuum of need, LSCB and CYP Partnership, ADM and responsible person roles.

They must ensure performance is managed in accordance with the council's performance management framework including for relevant budgets.

They will ensure delivery of high quality cost effective services through management of the Teams and support the Service Director in delivering continuous improvement and delivery of excellent quality services.

Key Responsibilities of the role

Service Delivery

Manage the services to support the Council in delivering the District Outcomes Framework, Children and young people Priorities, Community Strategy, Corporate Performance Plan and the Council's Strategic Objectives.

Ensure that the services meet the governance arrangements, as stated in the Council's constitution, policies and procedures.

Ensure that the Council carry out all their statutory functions to required standards through clear procedures and guidance to senior management and staff.

To lead Operational Teams in delivering effective and efficient services through working with a range of partners to secure improved outcomes, including:

1. Protecting the safety and welfare of children,

2. Contracting for care with the private and voluntary sector,

3. Providing the best possible support to children leaving care,

4. Application of safe and appropriate adoption policies and procedures,

5. Maintaining positive relationships with schools / education providers.

To lead operational services in identifying, initiating and implementing new opportunities to further strengthen and enhance the services provided, maintaining a high level of awareness of local and national policy and regulation.

Establish and foster a culture of continuous improvement and partnership working across all areas of the services.

Effectively manage and monitor performance and budgets across the service areas whilst ensuring that the Council maximise resources.

Ensure that operational services meet the data capture requirements to evidence outcomes against an Assurance Framework of performance indicators and key outcomes associated with the services to ensure effective measurement of success.

Develop and sustain a culture that consistently meets the needs of and engages with citizens requiring support, their families, communities, employees, and the business needs of the Directorate.

Maintain awareness of changing legislation and national/regional policy developments highlighting these within the Council in a timely and appropriate manner implementing relevant changes as necessary.

Deliver effective partnership working where benefits to improved service delivery can be identified.

Manage Health, Safety and Welfare effectively, ensuring that all staff are aware of both statutory and the Council's requirements to ensure staff work within a safe environment.

Provide effective supervision and performance management reviews and plan training in accordance with identified need.

Deputise for the Service Director as required.

Corporate Responsibilities

Provide professional advice to the Council's Cabinet and Corporate management team.

Embed a performance culture which ensures the service delivers agreed objectives consistently, effectively and efficiently.

Under the direction of the Service Director, to contribute to the delivery of objectives and Government Policy.

Contribute to wider Council agendas and ensure service delivery is aligned to corporate priorities outlined in the Corporate Performance Plan and the Community Strategy.

Support, develop, promote and maintain constructive cross agency and multi-agency working to ensure the Council delivers its overall aims and objectives.

Promote open and effective communications with the Council's key partners and stakeholders supporting key relationships and establishing strong, externally focussed relationships with partner organisations.

Promoting equal opportunities, access to services and tackling discrimination both within and outside the Council. To mainstream equality within all the activities of the service area and ensuring Equality Impact Assessments are undertaken.

Assisting in Emergency Planning activities, as required, and participating in the management of emergency situations.

The duties and responsibilities highlighted in this Job Specification are indicative and may vary over time. Post holders are expected to undertake other duties and responsibilities relevant to the nature, level and scope of the post and the grade has been established on this basis.

Person Specification

We are looking to hear from candidates with the following:

Professional qualification in Social Work.

Evidence of continuous professional and managerial development.

Thorough understanding of local government; and the public sector in the context of the care and safeguarding of children.

Knowledge and understanding of legislation and national policy around safeguarding and the impact at sub regional, regional and local level.

Thorough understanding of corporate and partnership working.

Extensive senior management experience within a large and complex organisation.

Experience of managing services for support to the care and safeguarding of children.

Working effectively in a political environment and engaging with cabinet/members as appropriate.

A proven track record of successful management of staff and achievement of targets and objectives.

Experience of sound financial management.

Experience of working in a multi- agency environment and forging and driving successful partnerships.

Experience of managing, engaging and developing a large multi-disciplinary and geographically dispersed workforce.

Excellent communication skills with the ability to influence, negotiate and establish credibility for the Service, to enhance its reputation, and to form positive relationships.

Able to plan and structure work to ensure objectives are achieved within required timescales, anticipating contingencies and making best use of available resources.

Evidence of building teams with complementary roles, skills and expertise, enabling people to perform as part of a team whilst achieving their full potential.

Able to review and monitor the performance of services, systems, budgets, teams and individuals against standards and agreed outcomes.

Ability to find and implement creative and innovative solutions to complex problems.

Creates a customer service focussed culture, ensuring continuous improvements which will give the greatest benefit to customers/citizens.

Ability to accurately analyse information and make timely well-judged decisions in order to achieve successful outcomes.

Evidence of working in a multi-agency environment to promote collaboration and achieve efficiencies through effective partnership working.

Ability to work flexibly, which may require evening/night and weekend work as required.

The postholder will need to exercise discretion in handling highly confidential information.

The postholder will need to be able to lead project teams and to establish good working relationships at all levels both internally and externally.

This is a politically restricted post.

This position is subject to a satisfactory Enhanced DBS due to the nature of the role.

Does this sound like a suitable opportunity for you? If so, apply without delay. Due to the forthcoming start date, we urge all interested candidates to apply now to avoid missing out on the opportunity