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Clinical Psychologist (Adopt Thames Valley) OCC13013

Job Details:


Salary Range: £45,591 - £48,526 pro-rata, per annum

Work Location: Abbey House, Abingdon

Hours per week: 18.5

Contract type: Permanent

Closing date: 13 November 2019




Are you a passionate, qualified Clinical Psychologist with experience of working with LAC, Adopted and/or SGO families? Do you have a keen interest in attachment and developmental trauma? Are you adept at building relationships and working with a broad range of colleagues across multiple agencies?




Adopt Thames Valley (ATV) are looking for an individual to play a dynamic role in shaping a new psychological service working alongside a Clinical Psychologist and Social work colleagues across the region (Bracknell, West Berkshire, Windsor and Maidenhead, Wokingham, Reading, Swindon and Oxfordshire). Underpinned by a commitment to meeting the needs of Adoptive and Special Guardianship families ATV has a vision to develop in-house psychological services.


Social workers across the region work both on 'the front line', undertaking short-term crisis work and working with placements at risk of disruption, whilst also undertaking longer-term work with a strong preventative and therapeutic focus.


The post provides an exciting opportunity to work in partnership with a Clinical Psychologist and Social Work colleagues to deliver groups already embedded within Oxfordshire’s ATTACH service. Initially delivering The Nurturing Attachments and Non-Violent Resistance groups the post holder will develop and evaluate this emerging role, offering training, consultation and supervision to colleagues across the region in addition to exploring the viability and effectiveness of a model of brief consultation to Adoptive parents and SGO carers.


Whilst working across the region the successful applicant will be based within Oxfordshire’s ATTACH team, offering an opportunity for continuing professional development, supervision and support from Clinical Psychology and Senior Practitioner colleagues in the team.


We are looking for an individual with experience of working within and delivering integrated models of care, drawing on theories of neurodevelopment, attachment, systemic, cognitive and behavioural understanding.


If you believe you have the skills, energy and drive necessary to be successful in this role then for further information or to arrange an informal visit please contact - Dr Claire Holdaway (Consultant Clinical Psychologist) on or 01865 897093.

Job purpose

To develop the provision of a specialist psychological service for adopted and SGO families across Adopt Thames Valley (ATV).


Such a service would require the post holder;


  • To develop and run a group programme alongside ATV staff. Groups to include; Nurturing Attachments Group; Non-Violent Resistance Group; Therapeutic groups for young people.
  • To develop and provide a brief model of consultation to adopters and special guardians.
  • To work collaboratively with ATV staff. To develop and provide consultation and training to ATV staff relating to permanence and therapeutic needs.
  • To play a strategic role in developing a view across the service of broader issues and needs.
  • To take a lead within ATV in developing links with CAMHS and Paediatric services.



Main duties



  • Offer a psychological and mental health perspective on the needs of adopted children and those in special guardianship families. To develop the expertise of colleagues and families across the region in relation to these needs.
  • Plan and deliver a group programme across the region (depending on need). To facilitate groups alongside ATV staff thereby indirectly offering support and training to colleagues. 
  • Identity and review brief models of working with both staff and families across ATV
  • Provide highly specialist psychological assessments of clients based upon the appropriate use, interpretation and integration of complex data from a variety of sources including; assessments of attachment security; psychological (and neuropsychological) tests; self-report measures; rating scales; direct and indirect structured observations and semi-structured interviews with clients, their family and carers, and others (e.g. social workers) involved in the client’s care.  
  • Make highly skilled evaluations and decisions about treatment options considering both theoretical and therapeutic models and highly complex factors concerning historical and developmental processes that have shaped the individual, family or group.
  • Work alongside colleagues in ATTACH to develop clinical skills.




  • Provide expertise and specialist psychological advice, guidance and consultation to other professionals both within and outside of the service, contributing directly to clients’ formulation, diagnosis and care or treatment plan.

Management, Policy and Service Development


  • Contribute to the development of a high quality, responsive and accessible service for clients, their carers and families
  • Act immediately on any safeguarding concerns, or issues that may affect the safety of a child, young person and family or appropriate/safe operation of the service and to support colleagues in this process.



Supervision, Continued Professional Development and Teaching


  • Develop and implement training programmes for ATV staff to increase worker’s competence and skill in working from a psychological perspective with adoptive and SGO families. To deliver training to a range of staff with differing levels of qualification and professional background.
  • Provide specialist clinical placements for trainee clinical and/or counseling psychologists of the Oxford Doctoral Course in Clinical Psychology, ensuring that they acquire the necessary clinical and research skills to doctoral level where appropriate, and competencies and experience to contribute effectively to good psychological practice, and contributing to the assessment and evaluation of those competencies. 
  • Provide specialist advice, consultation, training and clinical supervision to staff working within ATV and within other agencies.
  • Provide pre and post-qualification teaching of clinical and/or counseling psychology as appropriate.
  • Participate in CPD opportunities within ATTACH
  • Receive regular supervision from Clinical Psychologist within ATTACH
  • Seek opportunities to be updated in the development of the applied and scientific knowledge base of the profession, particularly as it relates to children and young people who are adopted or in special guardianship families.
  • Ensure all training provided is carried out in line with Equal Opportunities Policies
Research, Development and Service Evaluation


  • Map, monitor and review the psychological needs of adopted and SGO families across ATV.
  • Take a lead on planning and implementing systems for the evaluation, monitoring and development of this role, through the deployment of professional skills in research, service evaluation and audit and ensuring incorporation of psychological frameworks for understanding and provision of high-quality care.
  • Utilize theory, evidence-based literature and research to support evidence-based practice in clinical work, work with other team members and across the pathway.
  • Undertake appropriate research and provide research advice to other staff undertaking research.
  • Supervise doctoral research conducted by trainee clinical psychologists.
  • Report to and be responsive to the needs of ATV senior management team


  • Ensure the development, maintenance and dissemination of the highest professional standards of practice, through active participation in internal and external CPD training and development programmes.
  • Ensure the development and articulation of best practice in psychology within the service area and contribute across the service by exercising the skills of a reflexive and reflective scientist practitioner, taking part in regular professional supervision and appraisal and maintaining an active engagement with current developments in the field of clinical psychology and related disciplines.
  • Ensure the highest standards of clinical record keeping including electronic data entry and recording, report writing and the responsible exercise of professional self-governance in accordance with professional codes of practice of the British Psychological Society and Children Young People and Families policies and procedures.
  • Maintain up to date knowledge of legislation, national and local policies and issues in relation to both the specific client group and mental health.
  • Write such reports as are required by the Department, by other local authorities, by the Courts, and by other agencies.
  • Ensure the highest standards of clinical record keeping including electronic data entry and recording, report writing and responsible exercise of professional self-governance in accordance with professional codes of practice
  • To maintain up to date knowledge of legislation, national and local policies and practices in relation to working with looked after children, their families and carers.
  • To promote people’s equality, diversity, rights and responsibilities
  • To promote anti-oppressive and anti-discriminatory practice
  • To undertake any other duties appropriate to this post
  • The post holder is expected to comply with all relevant policies, procedures and guidelines, including those relating to Equal Opportunities, Health and Safety and Confidentiality of Information
  • The ability to travel independently to a variety of premises, sometimes at short notice
Essential Role Requirements


Educational achievements, Qualifications, Training and Knowledge:


  • Postgraduate qualification in Clinical Psychology as accredited by BPS
  • Membership of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
  • Experience as a Clinical Psychologist
  • Good working knowledge of attachment theory and its application to clinical practice.
  • Good working knowledge of the needs of adopted and SGO families.





  • Experience of working as a qualified psychologist within CAMHS, Looked After services or services related to safeguarding and/or complex families which could include the Local Authority, Forensic Services or relevant Third Sector organisations. 
  • Experience of working with a wide variety of client groups, across the whole life course and presenting with the full range of clinical severity across the full range of care settings.  
  • Experience of working with family systems where children have emotional, behavioral and developmental difficulties
  • Experience of exercising full clinical responsibility for clients’ psychological care and treatment. 
  • Experience of teaching, training and/or supervision.
  • Ability to supervise and consult on cases which have at times rapidly changing needs and to be able to offer structured supervision in the face of this
  • Skills in the use of highly complex methods of psychological assessment commensurate with doctoral level training, including specialist clinical interviewing, behavioral observation, complex psychometric testing and specialist neuropsychological testing. 


  • Enthusiasm for achieving the best outcomes for children and families.
  • A capacity to engage and communicate with parents and carers.
  • Ability to interact effectively with staff from all disciplines and to work collaboratively with a team to achieve common objectives. 
  • Ability to maintain a high degree of professionalism, and to reflect on and manage own emotions and those of others, when faced by highly distressing material, problems and circumstances on a frequent basis.
  • Capacity for tolerating high levels of demand with an ability to work effectively and independently under pressure.
  • Awareness of own strengths and limitations.
  • Willingness to work flexibly and to integrate theoretical models from a range of disciplines.
  • Ability to attend and concentrate in an intense and sustained manner on a frequent basis when using specialist and complex methods of psychological assessment and treatment, or when completing research activity.

Special Requirements:


  • Satisfactory Enhanced Criminal Records Bureau disclosure.



Equal Opportunities:


  • Commitment to and understanding of, the principles of Equal Opportunities for all, in employment and the delivery of services.
Desirable Role Requirements


  • Experience of delivering group interventions
  • Experience of offering consultation to staff and carers/parents
  • Post graduate training in attachment models. E.g. Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy.
  • Experience and/ or knowledge of working with children in the looked after system either pre or post qualification.
  • Experience of working with children and families within Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service or equivalent specialist service.
  • Experience of the clinical application of psychological theories of trauma, attachment and/or systemic theory
  • Knowledge and skills in relation to delivering attachment focused interventions
  • The ability to produce written reports of a standard suitable for submission to court proceedings.
  • The ability to provide expert testimony under cross examination. 
  • A commitment to the evaluation of services, enthusiasm for both multi-professional and uni-professional audit, and a wish to continue to develop expertise in the service area.
  • Is flexible and able to use their initiative, whilst accepting the need to work within policies and procedures.
Contact details for an informal discussion:


If you would like to discuss this role further please contact Dr Claire Holdaway (Consultant Clinical Psychologist) on or 01865 897093.


Our Organisation is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and adults. We expect all employees, workers and volunteers to share this commitment. We will ensure that all our recruitment and selection practices reflect this commitment.

As a Disability Confident employer we guarantee an interview for disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for the job. We also guarantee interviews to care leavers who have completed further education and who meet the essential criteria for the job. For those leaving care without any further education we guarantee an interview for our apprenticeships. 

All posts, unless stated otherwise, are open to flexible working arrangements.

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