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Senior Practitioner OCC7705

Job Details:


Salary Range: £37,107 - £39,961 per annum

Work Location: Abbey House, Abingdon

Hours per week: 37

Contract type: Permanent

Closing date: 29 March 2019



An exciting opportunity has arisen for a permanent, full-time, Senior Practitioner in the Family Placement Team in Abingdon.


This role will focus on kinship work but will also provide support to the wider fostering team.


Please see below for further details.

Job Purpose:


It is expected that a Senior Practitioner in Family Placement Fostering will:

  • Fulfil the basic requirements of the Fostering Team job description, for the majority of the time the work will require more experience;
  • Fulfil the general requirements of the Family Placement Senior Practitioner job description;


Additional job information:

  • The job may involve a development role.  As a Senior Practitioner, you will be expected to deal with the more complex cases. A Senior Practitioner will be expected to demonstrate a capacity to carry a heavier workload than basic grade Supervising Social Workers
  • The post holder will supervise Social Worker/Social Workers in the Fostering Team
  • It could be that over time, other development roles are identified and/or that those currently seen as important become lower priority


This post holder is responsible for ensuring that all relevant County policies and procedures are adhered to and concerns are raised in accordance with these policies.

Role Responsibilities:


  • To deputise for the Team Manager, Fostering, as required
  • In conjunction with and under the direction of, the Team Manager, Fostering, to provide consultation, advice and support to Social Workers dealing with Family Placement problems and issues
  • To assist the Team Manager, Fostering, in the development and maintenance of relevant systems to manage the Team's work, as required
  • To contribute to the development and maintenance of the Fostering Service, county wide, as required, to meet the prioritised needs of the service
  • To Chair Placement Planning meetings



  • It is envisaged that there may be times when the Senior Practitioner is required to undertake service development work. This will be subject to periodic review and that it will change as the needs of the service change and as far as possible, in line with the development needs of the post holder
  • The Senior Practitioner role will be subject to an early review, once post holders have taken up their post, and while changes will need to be discussed and agreed, it is important to recognise that as the Departmental financial and organisational context changes, so the requirements of the post will inevitably change
  • The nature of this post will require flexibility to meet urgent work needs, as they arise. This will inevitably entail some work outside normal office hours
  • The job description, therefore, is not intended to be exhaustive. The post holder will be expected to adopt a flexible attitude to the duties which may have to be varied after discussion, subject to the needs of the Service and in keeping with the general profile of the post
  • A review of this job description will be carried out as part of the annual appraisal


Care posts

If you are appointed to this post, you will be expected to abide by the Code of Practice for Social Care Workers, which will be issued to you. If you wish to have further information, prior to your interview, please go to the website at

Essential Criteria:


Educational achievement, Qualifications, Training and Knowledge

  • CQSW/CSS/DipSW or equivalent Social Work qualification
  • HCPC registration
  • Knowledge of fostering legislation and standards
  • Willingness to undertake the Child Care Award and PQ1 or other relevant qualification
  • Understanding of Children's Rights issues
  • Knowledge and understanding of children and young people in the care system
  • Knowledge and training to include legislation, statutory procedure and duties, including child protection, adoption and leaving care
  • Understanding of range of assessments, including BAAF Form Fs, core assessments and risk assessments
  • Effective practice



  • Substantial experience in a children and families team, plus post qualifying experience in a fostering team is essential
  • Committed to working in partnership with children and young people, foster carers and adoptive families
  • Experience of statutory working, post qualification, with children or adolescents
  • Team working
  • Experience of inter-agency partnership working
  • Experience of court work, permanency planning, panel work
  • Experience of making wide range of assessments, plans, including assessments of prospective foster carers and/or adopters
  • Consultation/advice to students/less experienced staff


Job related aptitude and skills

  • Ability to communicate effectively with adults and children
  • Ability to write a range of reports to a high standard and keep up to date records
  • Ability to work independently, to give and be given delegated tasks
  • Ability to keep up-to-date on latest research matter related to the post
  • Skills in working with children, young people and their families, including group
  • Ability to address issues of anti-discriminatory practice within supervisory role
  • Commitment to high standards of professionalism
  • Ability to deputise for Team manager, as required, giving advice and support, while managing own caseload and dealing with emergencies
  • Belief in child focused work
  • Ability to work with a diverse client group and support colleagues
  • Ability to develop community networks and access and service these on behalf of clients
  • Ability to attend work regularly and on time
  • High level of IT skills


Personal qualities

  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Can work as part of a team
  • Can work in a busy, sometimes stressful environment, supported by our priority and workload system
  • Ability to carry a heavier and more complex caseload
  • Committed to ensuring that a child's welfare is paramount and to taking necessary to protect children
  • Flexibility and ability to use their initiative, whilst accepting the need to work within policies and procedures
  • Represent department in positive way
  • Open, creative, willing to explore new ways of working


Special requirements

  • The ability to visit clients and attend meetings across the county and at short notice.  Many of the locations do not have access to public transport; therefore you will need to have access to a car in order to meet business needs.
  • Ability to work evenings and some weekends, where appropriate
  • Flexibility regarding office base


Equal opportunities

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

Desirable Criteria:


Educational achievements, Qualifications, Training and Knowledge

  • Training in Restorative Justice, Children's Rights, Risk Management, Effective Practice, Supervisory Skills, Permanency Planning
  • Has pursued additional training or personal study of relevant subjects
  • PQ1 holder/Child Care Award holder

Vetting Requirements:


This post is subject to a Criminal Records Check.

Please note, references will be sought prior to interview.

Contact details for an informal discussion:


Please contact Sally Tallents on 01865 897986



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 part time working and job share arrangements.

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