We have a rare opportunity for you to join us as a pod manager. The role is to lead a social work team, providing support and containment to social workers, so that they can help build safety and stability for children in the city. You will play a key role in modelling our vision of excellent social work practice.
“Social workers’ morale is high and they enjoy working in Brighton & Hove.”
(Ofsted’s ILACS report)
"88% of social workers said that they felt safe and supported despite the impact of Covid-19
91% of social workers felt they were well supported by their managers and had been supported with their individual circumstances during Covid" (Your Voice, our version of the social work health check, 2020)
We have developed a whole system that provides containment for social workers so that they can build ongoing relationships with families and use these relationships to make a difference for children and young people. This system is made up of small teams, or pods, of workers who get to know each other and the families they are supporting.
Five years ago, we re-designed our Children’s Social Work service based on feedback from families, young people and our practitioners. The changes we introduced have had a positive impact for social workers and their ability to provide consistent and purposeful support to children and young people. More recently, this included making sure that social workers have support during COVID and a flexible approach to support families and keep children safe. The principles behind our model and how we have brought about positive change are subject to an ongoing evaluation. This was published as a report with the University of Sussex’s Centre for Social Work Innovation and Research in July 2017 – ‘Empathy, tenacity & compassion'.
“Social workers have a good understanding of the children they work with. They build meaningful relationships with children through direct work and regular visiting.”
The most recent Ofsted report rated our services as good and recognised the difference that the model of practice has made for children and young people in terms of greater continuity of social work relationships, improved outcomes and reduced risks.
The report also highlights that senior leaders have worked purposefully to build a skilled and stable workforce with manageable caseloads and that the decision not to employ agency staff has been a key part of this.
We know that our social workers are our greatest asset and we strive to give them the time and active support they need so that they can make a real difference to children’s lives and realise our vision for social work.
Our pod model is based on providing emotional containment for social workers and, as well as not using agency social workers, we have developed a supervision model which includes weekly group supervision, 1:1 supervision, and Reflective Practice Groups for practitioners and managers at every level.
The Reflective Practice Groups have been developed with the Centre for Social Work Practice, who have completed an evaluation of these groups. This is an example of how we are leading in the development of innovative models of social work delivery and sharing this learning with the wider system.
We have recognised that we need to do further work to support families and communities who experience racism in the city and to support our Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff. As a council we have made a commitment to being an anti-racist organisation and we have set up an Anti-Racist Project to make sure we achieve this within children's social work services. We have also appointed a Lead Practitioner for Anti-Racist Practice and we are one of the Local Authorities piloting the Workforce Race Equality Standards for social care in 2021. We would particularly encourage applications from candidates who identify as Black, Asian or from a minority ethnic background.
Closing date midnight on Thursday 21 October 2021
Interviews to be held Thursday 4 November 2021
For further information on this role please contact Julie Dreher (Head of Service) on Julie.Dreher@brighton-hove.gov.uk
About the role
We are seeking to appoint a pod manager who can promote our relationship-based model of practice, in their management and leadership of a social work pod, who are working to safeguard and care for children in Brighton and Hove.
You will be responsible for a team of social workers, who will be working with families from assessment through to child in need or child protection plans, court proceedings, children in care, adoption and permanence.
You will need to be able to model relationship-based practice and leadership and have proven management skills and experience in child care legislation.
Your starting salary will be pro rata if the above position is part-time or term-time only.
Work Permits: We may be able to obtain a Work Permit for this post but this is subject to meeting the requirements of the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) Points-based Immigration System. Please see Gov.uk for more information on the Skilled Worker Visa.
Please note that this post is exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, and is subject to a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) Check.
We welcome applications from all sections of the community but particularly encourage applicants from a BME or White Other background as well as those who identify as disabled, LGB, male or trans as these groups are currently under-represented in our Directorate workforce.