Opportunities in Children's Services

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You're reading this because you want to practice and develop your career in a better environment. Well you've come to the right place.

At Central Bedfordshire Council, we realise that the only way to protect the area's most vulnerable children is to appreciate and value the people that work here.

We've worked hard to ensure that our Social Workers feel supported so they can get the most out of a challenging, fulfilling profession. But don't just take our word for it. If you want the inside track on everything from workloads to training, please read on to find out more.

Our people

"I've been a
qualified Social Worker
for 12 years and worked
for many different local
authorities. This is the
only place where I haven't
felt that I had to take
work home with me."

Mandy, Intake
& Assessment

Once, everyone here was in your shoes, trying to find the best home for their skills. Find out why they chose Central Bedfordshire.

"The social work is of a high quality and social workers are clear about the role and requirements - good quality supervision is the key component of this." Andrea, Family Support

"There's a positive, supportive and friendly atmosphere within the team." Lesley, Children with Disabilities

Andrew Connor

Social Worker

Intake & Assessment

Jobs and Services

We're growing fast to meet demand. And to keep child-focused at all times, each Service Area has expanded and been significantly restructured so that caseloads are safe and supervision ratios are effective – it's best practice after all.

Download our organisation chart

"The changes made
– and being made –
have enabled practice to
be effective and improve
outcomes for children."

Sandeep,
Family Support

Intake & Family Support Service - Information and to Apply

"Senior management have recruited more staff and restructured the Teams so we can work more effectively. Recent changes have resulted in lower caseloads. More stability in the teams."

Simon, Intake & Assessment

Apply here

Intake & Assessment Team (Dunstable)

If a child is referred as being in need or to be at risk of significant harm, it's our Intake & Assessment team that gets involved. Our service delivers short-term interventions meeting statutory requirements for assessment, ensuring needs and risks are identified, and, subject to assessments, formulating plans to resolve them.

"The Service is very committed to achieving the best possible outcomes for children."

Sandeep, Family Support

Apply here

Family Support Team (Dunstable & Biggleswade)

Our Family Support Team help families with the actions set out in child assessment plans. They make sure that resources are accessible and ensure children and young people are safe. Duties are determined by legislation and the success of the intervention depends on co-operation and support from parents, carers and partnership agencies. Target caseloads are 22.

The Intake & Assessment Team and Family Support Team are co-dependent. If we are to avoid delays in case management, smooth transitions between the two are crucial. Our Teams successfully manage this process, ensuring we are all clear and focussed about the intervention: who is managing it and what the expected outcomes are.

"CBC invest in their permanent staff members and appear to value the comments and opinions of frontline workers."

Andrea, Family Support

Looked After Children - Information and to Apply

"My manager is very thorough, professional and very supportive."

Karen, Looked After Children

To maximise support for Looked After Children (LAC) and their carers, the LAC and Fostering & Adoption teams are being brought together in 2014. We'll be based in the same modern building in a business park.

We work closely with our Children in Care Council to make sure we understand what it is like to be cared for by Central Bedfordshire. We also have our own pledge setting out what we will do to ensure that these children and young people have the very best opportunities that can be provided.

Apply here

0-12 (Courtwork) Team (Bedford)

  • The Team undertake assessments and progress plans as identified within the legal framework including preparation of written evidence; court attendance; attendance at advocate/professional meetings and exploration of extended family including assessments of these at an early stage in proceedings and liaison with legal services. We also deliver long term support to Looked After Children, their families and their primary carers, to ensure that wherever possible they have access to the same life chances as children who remain within their birth families.
  • Providing this long term support requires close partnership with the Fostering and Adoption Staff, Education, Health and numerous voluntary and private sector organisations.
  • Target caseloads are 10.

"It's a large and busy team but everyone is friendly and supportive, the atmosphere in the office is vibrant and there is usually laughter to be heard."

Linda, Looked After Children

Apply here

13+ Transition and Leaving Care Team (Bedford)

  • The team discharges statutory duties under the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2002, to ensure that all young people have on-going support to help with the transition into adulthood, and that they continue to have the opportunities to maximise their life chances. The support is financial, practical and often emotional in its nature. Like all aspects of the service its success depends very much on co-operation and service provision from partner agencies.
  • Target caseloads are 15

"The partnership with the Child & Adolescent Mental Health service is very good."

Beverley, Looked After Children

Children with Disabilities - Information and to Apply

"The Head of Service is truly inspirational in his vision for disabled children and his drive to make services for disabled children in CBC as good as they can possibly be."

Bev, Children with Disabilities

"There's a positive, supportive and friendly atmosphere within the team."

Lesley, Children with Disabilities

"The diversity of families that we work with is what makes practice interesting."

Bev, Children with Disabilities

Apply here

Children with Disabilities Team - (Biggleswade & Dunstable)

The Council has invested heavily in our Children with Disabilities Service to enable us to work more closely with colleagues in education and health, and to provide a more integrated local service to families.

Our teams are based at hubs alongside special schools, respite provisions and NHS colleagues. Together they:

  • Undertake Assessment and Care Planning for disabled children and their families.
  • Arrange for parents to take a range of short breaks from caring.
  • Arrange for disabled children and young people to take part in leisure activities.
  • Promote and monitor welfare and safeguarding for disabled children.
  • Help to meet the health needs of the area's children.

Adoption & Fostering - Information and to Apply

In Adoption & Fostering, our Social Workers get a manageable caseload and access to excellent personalised training, so they have every opportunity to make a difference.

To maximise support for Looked After Children (LAC) and their carers, the LAC and Fostering & Adoption teams are being brought together in 2014. We'll be based in the same modern building in a business park.

Apply here

Fostering Team (Bedford)

Our Fostering Team recruits and assesses foster carers, to provide short-term, long-term, respite and emergency foster placements. The team supervises and supports approved foster carers; provides a duty service to find foster placements; gives foster carers training and development opportunities; and manages payments to all carers.

Our Team also manages the Council's private fostering duty. This means ensuring the authority is notified of any private fostering arrangements so we can assess them for suitability.

Apply here

Adoption Team (Bedford)

The Adoption Service's remit is broad: to recruit adopters for those children with an Adoption Plan; to arrange for a permanent family for those children; to provide support for children and families subject to an Adoption order or Special Guardianship Order; and to give counselling and support to adults who are looking to find out more about their own adoption. We also support birth families who want to know more about the adoption of a birth relative.

Conference & Review - Information and to Apply

Apply here

Review Managers (Dunstable, from March 2014)

This is a combined role covering the Conference Chair and Independent Reviewing Officer.

Our service has expanded to ensure safe caseloads and effective supervision ratios as demand for services increases locally and nationally, and both senior management and the Council are committed to maintaining safe caseloads as the basis for good practice.

The Conference & Review service is responsible for ensuring the chairing of child protection conferences and statutory reviews for looked after children. We focus on ensuring that practice is child centred, that multi-agency arrangements are effective and that children's views and wishes are appropriately represented in meetings and plans which directly involve them.

Your passion and commitment to ensuring children are safeguarded and receiving high quality services through robust care planning will be evidenced by your ability to formulate outcome focussed plans for children at risk and those looked after.

Positive working relationships with our Children in Care Council; Social Work Teams and other agencies.

Let our people tell you about their Service Areas.

Request a call back

 

Locations

Central Bedfordshire may not be well known, but it's got plenty to recommend it. If you live outside the area, you may be able to take advantage of the Council's relocation package. You can find out more about that here.

"Parking is free and close to the office." Gill, Intake & Assessment

"The multi-cultural and diverse population is what's best about the area." Andrea, Family Support

"It's a wonderful area
with lovely countryside
and close to towns
and London."

Andrew,
Intake & Assessment

"I love Central Bedfordshire, it has a rural feel whilst being close to some great facilities. Centre Parcs is about to open and this will have a big impact on job opportunities for young people and those who want to work part time. Milton Keynes is on your doorstep for shopping and skiing! The local country parks such as Sharpenhoe Clappers are truly amazing."
Bev, Children with Disabilities

Training & Rewards

"Excellent training, relevant to the role." Gill, Intake & Assessment

Learning & Development

We have access to a broad range of learning and development activities that are designed to suit our needs and those of our team. The Council's L&D programme is constantly evolving (and regularly reviewed) so you'll always benefit from the latest thinking, opportunities and qualifications.

"The training is focused on positive outcomes for the children and families that we work with and also demonstrates that the organisation values staff." Andrea, Family Support

"Social Workers seen by Inspectors report that they are well-managed and supported. They have good access to practical training that helps them to develop their practice, and have appropriate opportunities for continuous professional development." Ofsted, February 2012

We have a commitment to provide rigorous and relevant Continuing Professional Development courses for social workers to enable qualified practitioners to be effective in both academic and practice contexts in contemporary social work. In partnership with the University of Bedfordshire, we provide Post Qualifying (PQ) opportunities at Masters degree level in:

Masters Applied Social Work: Children and Families
Masters Applied Social Work: Leadership and Management
Masters Applied Social Work: Practice Education

These courses combine practical experience and academic study, and offer social workers opportunities to extend and develop their expertise in the challenging field of children’s social work.

Induction Programme

We welcome all new starters to attend our Children's Services Induction Programme in the first week of their employment. This helps provide you with information on the Corporate & Directorate Overview, Learning & Development, Health & Safety and dedicated time to familiarise yourself with our IT systems such as Framework-I System Training.

Career Progression

At Central Bedfordshire, we have a career progression scheme that's designed to help everyone here reach their potential. It's now being linked to the Professional Capabilities Framework, which means that it will remain up-to-date and relevant in the future. As part of this scheme, the Council encourages unqualified staff to study for further qualifications up to and including degrees. The Council also operates an ASYE and an Early Professional Development programme in conjunction with a local university. If you're a manager, you can achieve diplomas and Masters-level qualifications.

Social Workers have the opportunity to apply for promotion from Social Worker Level 1 to Social Worker Level 2 without changing job roles. Most Senior Practitioner or management vacancies are advertised internally, before being made public.

"There are plenty of
training opportunities
and support to develop
my careers."
Simon,
Intake & Assessment

"The training that CBC
offers is relevant to my role
in Children's Services and it
has allowed me to gain more
knowledge around the different
aspects of working with children,
families and professionals.
As a result it has helped build
my confidence."

Samantha,
Intake & Assessment

"I have been supported to do a Masters degree alongside my work"
Rachel, Looked after children

Benefits

The benefits at Central Bedfordshire are extensive. You can find out more by clicking on the links below.

News & Info

Want to know what's happening within the Council? Get the recent information here.

Hitting Tough Targets for Adoption