Opportunities in Children's Services

back to top Love your job again

In 2014, we increased the salaries in our Assessment, Family Support & LAC teams for Experienced Social Workers (£37,967 to £39,357) and Senior Practitioners (£40,708 to £43,550) and Team Managers (£52,916 to £56,452).

We did this alongside opening our Academy, ensuring low managed caseloads, creating small teams with empowered managers, to attract and retain the finest social workers.

We are committed to creating the best possible environment for people to practice and develop their careers. But don't just take our word for it. If you want the inside track on everything from caseloads 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.

Organisation Chart

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

Sandeep,
Family Support

Newly Qualified Social Workers - Information and to Apply

Social Worker ASYE

Apply here

We are excited to offer opportunities for Newly Qualified Social Workers in Central Bedfordshire Council. We are looking for the best Social Workers to join our progressive teams and offer you the chance to develop and progress your career.

Newly qualified staff have protected caseloads and an individual training programme in their assessed and supported year of employment (ASYE) as well as additional reflective supervision and the support of a mentor & independent assessor throughout your first year.

We will give you plenty of opportunity to stretch your skills and we’ll provide plenty of support to help you develop your knowledge. At the same time, you will ensure we maintain the highest safeguarding standards and quality.

We’re looking for people with a Social Work degree at 2:1 or above/expected or a Masters, who will practice to our CBC values: respect & empowerment, stewardship & efficiency, results focused and collaboration. We need people who are committed, enthusiastic & passionate with innovative ideas and base knowledge to improve outcomes for children and families of CBC. If you are interested in applying please follow the apply link above to be taken to the current vacancy advert.

Access & Assessment - Information and to Apply Enhanced Salaries

"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

Access & Referral Hub Social Worker (Dunstable)

Apply here

 Enhanced Salaries:

Experienced Social Workers (£37,967 to £39,537)

Senior Practitioners (£40,708 to £43,550)

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.

Assessment Senior Practitioner (Dunstable)

Apply here

 Enhanced Salaries:

As Senior Practitioners we undertake social work duties involving complex cases and in addition we:

Model good practice to all other front line workers in the services. We lead practice development through a Senior Practitioner working group, facilitate group supervision and each have an area of expertise and develop practice in this area such as domestic abuse.

Assessment Social Worker (Dunstable)

Apply here

 Enhanced Salaries:

In the assessment teams (6-8 workers and admin) we work with children and families during the assessment process, (single assessment maximum of 45 working days). We ensure that children are seen alone, their wishes and feelings are ascertained and this is reflected in the assessment and case recordings.

We address the reasons for referral with the care givers and capture these in the Single Assessment. We support families via child in need and child protection processes, undertaking section 47 child protection investigations and also when required request removal of children from their families via Public Law Processes. We are responsible for assessing and ensuring the right outcomes are realised for the family in the interim – case closure, step down to early help, transfer via child in need, child protection or child looked after processes. We inform referrers and other involved professionals the outcome of the assessment where appropriate. 

Family Support - Information and to Apply Enhanced Salaries

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

Sandeep, Family Support

Family Support Team (Dunstable)

Apply here

 Enhanced Salaries:

Experienced Social Workers (£37,967 to £39,357)

Senior Practitioners (£40,708 to £43,550)

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 - Quote

Courtwork / Looked After Children - Information and to Apply Enhanced Salaries

"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.

We are currently fully staffed in the Looked after Children teams, for Fostering & Adoption vacancies please see the next section.

"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

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

Beverley, Looked After 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.

Step Up to Social Work - Information and to Apply

Step Up to Social Work

Apply here

The Department for Education (DfE) is supporting local authorities to train and support those who wish to be a social worker on an 14 month taught and practice based programme. Step Up to Social Work is an intensive full-time training programme that covers everything trainee social workers need to know in 14 months.

Do you meet the following requirements for the programme?

Applicants must have 1 of the following in any discipline except social work from a UK higher education institution (or an approved overseas equivalent):
•a minimum 2:1 level 6 degree qualification
•a minimum 2:2 honours degree plus a higher degree (level 7 or above, which can include a master’s degree or a Postgraduate Certificate in Education)

Applicants must also have all of the following:
•GCSEs in English or English language and mathematics at grade C or above (or approved equivalent )
•experience of voluntary or paid work with children, young people and families
•the right to remain and work in the UK

Non-British, European Union (EU) nationals without the appropriate study visa at the point of applying to the Step Up programme must have been an EU national for 3 years or longer.

In addition to the necessary qualifications and permission to work in the UK, Step Up students must have the emotional resilience to become an effective social worker.

Applicants should:
•understand and be able to apply social work theory and research
•be aware of the risk indicators of different forms of harm to children
•demonstrate intuition and logic in decision-making
•show the ability to record accurate child and family assessments

If so, and you wish to know more please follow the apply link above to be redirected to the gov.uk website where you can register your interest.

Central Bedfordshire Council await the confirmed plan from the DfE but expect that application process will take place in Spring 2017. Those applicants who show they are able to meet the initial assessment for entry into social work will be shortlisted to attend an interview at an assessment centre locally.

The assessment centre will offer applicants a range of activities to demonstrate their knowledge and experience whilst showcasing their skills. Those who meet the national criteria will be put forward for a place on the programme. The induction into local authorities and the university providing the Post Graduate Diploma in Social Work at Masters level will commence in 2018. A bursary towards fees and living costs will be given to each successful applicant.

Central Bedfordshire Council will be one of the local authorities who will be working in partnership with the contracted university to support the trainee to practise social work under supervision. Trainees will work with a team of social workers that assess vulnerable children, young people and families who are at risk of harm or in need of support.

Trainees will be required to attend a taught programme delivered locally by the contracted university five days per week for a period of three months. Following this they will be assessed against the ‘Readiness for Practice’ social work capabilities. If successful, trainees will have the opportunity to practise their skills while working with vulnerable adults in teams/agencies that provide services and assessment of need and risk. They will be educated and assessed by a social worker to help them apply theory to practice for 70 days and to meet the social work professional capabilities expected at the end of the first placement.

Further training with the university will take place before trainees complete a 100 day placement to practise skills within a team working with children, young people and their families. This is provided locally. The Step Up curriculum supports trainees to meet the professional capabilities of social workers and meet the Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC) standards of proficiencies.

Trainees who successfully complete the Step Up Programme are encouraged to apply for social worker positions within Central Bedfordshire Council. All newly qualified social workers will be supported for their first year to consolidate their practice and skills by being offered opportunities to work with children, young people and their families and carers.

 

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

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

Central Youth Audit

Central Corporate Parenting

Central New DCS

LGA Case Study - Central Bedfordshire Council: improving the support package for Social Workers

Tracie up for national award

Career Fast Track at Central Bedfordshire

The College of Socialwork

This organisation has been endorsed by TCSW as working to an agreed set of quality criteria and offers provision that meets the CPD learning needs of social workers