Assessing Social Worker

Job Description

Job Title: Assessing Social Worker
Service: Fostering Service
Agency: LiKa Family Fostering
Reporting to: LiKa Family Fostering Registered Manager
Supervisory responsibilities: None
Contract type: Sessional worker- set rate
Salary Range: £1,500 per assessment (plus travel expenses)

Context

  • LiKa is a new and growing foster agency based in Croydon, South London.
  • LiKa recruits foster carers for children in local authority care, and supports foster carers to develop their skills and knowledge to care appropriately for these children.
  • The aim is to recruit carers from the community which these vulnerable children have lived in, to bring back a sense of family and cohesion to their journey through foster care.
  • The applicant carers will be met on the Initial Visit by the Directors to ensure that there is a match with LiKa’s value base, around providing excellent care to all children and their birth families. LiKa also believe that dedication to self development and self reflection is a central premise of becoming an outstanding foster carer and this will be gauged at this stage and throughout the fostering assessment.

Purpose of the role:

  • To carry out assessments on applicant carers in London, in order to provide LiKa Family Fostering with professional carers who are reflective, responsive and creative, who can offer love and support to looked after children.
  • LiKa have developed an assessment matrix to support the match of applicant to agency, with key attributes being needed to ensure that a child experiences a safe and nurturing family environment.
  • The fostering assessment is inspired by The Fostering Network, but has been developed by LiKa Family Fostering using Systemic Family Therapy ideas and techniques.
  • You will be expected to attend supervision with the Registered Manager to reflect on how you are making sense of the applicant families, and what your recommendations may be.
  • If the applicants are recommended for approval, you will be expected to attend fostering panel with your applicants. LiKa has one fostering panel based in Croydon, which currently runs twice a year.

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Main Duties and Responsibilities:

  • To meet with the registered manager and draw up an agreed work plan detailing timescales etc.
  • To respect confidentiality and to comply with LiKa Family Fostering confidentiality agreement. Keep all information in relation to applicants in a designated Dropbox file, securely and confidentially. Return all relevant information to LiKa Family Fostering after the Panel and ensure all work has been signed off.
  • Send all statutory checks out as part of Phase 1 (Stage 1 DfE) and relevant checks and file views for previous applications / assessments for fostering and adoption, use these in your critical analysis.
  • To provide the registered manager with an evidence log of your visits, the recording of each area covered, together with a log of all other contacts (telephone calls, letters, etc) made in connection with the assessment. (Again stored on Dropbox file for that family)
  • Joint applicants seen together and also separately (on at least one occasion). To use systemic techniques such as genograms, circular and reflexive questions, discussions around gender, religion, race, class, culture, age, ability, education, ethnicity, spirituality and sexuality/sexual orientation.
  • Applicant’s own children seen individually, dependent on age, consider using. It is important to evaluate their understanding of the need for self protection.
  • Visit support networks and referees, to interview them and broaden the narrative they provide (in writing) on the family. Use parts of these stories within the full assessment to create a full picture of the applicants and their family within different contexts.
  • Arrange and chair a network meeting with all significant adults or family members, dependent on their involvements in the future plans of applicants to look after children, to evaluate their input and understanding of the task.
  • Assist the applicants completing a family Safe Caring Policy, this should be signed and dated by the applicants.
  • Include an assessment of Health and Safety, ensure relevant documents are seen and scanned onto the applicants Dropbox file.
  • Carry out observations of applicants interacting with children to incorporate into your analysis of their parental skills and capacity.
  • Create summative, critical evaluation of strengths and weaknesses in terms of parenting capacity and ability to form attachments; evaluating what behaviours they have/can potentially handle, their understanding of sexual abuse and their ability/capacity for safe caring/self protection. Evidence this with specific examples where possible.
  • Create a suggested Personal Development Plan to support applicants in developing where they may have skill gaps, lack of experience or appear to have weaknesses.
  • Recommendation in terms of children to be placed should be specific in terms of age and number. The assessment should include reasons for this recommendation, which should be assessed in relation to their previous fostering or related experience. It is also important to evaluate applicant’s understanding/attitude to contact with birth family.
  • Work with the applicants to prepare them for fostering Panel attendance after the assessment is completed.
  • Meet deadline for submitting signed reports to LiKa Family Fostering’s Panel (3-4 weeks before panel day).
  • Attend with applicants and present the assessment to LiKa Family Fostering’s Panel

To engender a culture of safe working practice to ensure LiKa Family Fostering’s compliance to its health and safety responsibilities, you are required to ensure that your own actions ensure your own safety and does not put other people at risk by reason of your own acts or omissions (Section 7 of the Health and Safety at Work Act).

Person Specification:

The successful candidate must be able to demonstrate the following qualifications, skills and experience:

The successful candidate must be able to demonstrate the following qualifications, skills and experience:

Experience and Qualifications

  • Social Work qualification (i.e. Dip.S.W., CQSW plus relevant Post Qualifying training)
  • Qualifications in Systemic Family Therapy are desirable, experience in using the techniques or ideas professional are essential.
  • A minimum of two years qualified social work practice including direct fieldwork experience of child care planning and fostering.
  • Experience either professionally or personally or both, of the placement of children in foster homes and of children being cared for away from their birth family.
  • Experience of analytical and critical report writing.

Knowledge

  • An appreciation of the effect of separation and loss on children.
  • Awareness of the richness of diverse kinds of families and their potential for meeting children’s needs.
  • An understanding of the Regulations and National Minimum Standards, and a motivation to seek out applicants who can excel these for vulnerable children.
  • An understanding of the Children Act 1989 and the relevant laws / regulations underpinning fostering.
  • How fostering panels operate and how to prepare applicant families for attending.

Abilities

  • The authority and competence to operate as an independent assessor, in accordance with Regulations, Guidance and the policies and procedures of the Agency.
  • Excellent interpersonal and listening skills.
  • The ability to communicate well and clearly both orally and in writing
  • The ability to process and analyse large amounts of complex and sometimes distressing information.
  • The ability to identify key issues and possible solutions and to communicate these clearly.
  • The ability to facilitate the active participation of all applicants and family members in the assessment process.
  • The ability to make well-informed, decisive recommendations about applicants, which work towards providing the best possible placements for vulnerable children and young people.

Attitudes

  • A commitment to ensure that the best possible Every Child Matters outcomes are achieved for children looked after.
  • A commitment to ensure Foster Carers are well supported in their role of caring for children with complex needs.
  • A valuing of diversity in relation to issues of ethnicity, religion, gender, disability and sexual orientation.
  • An understanding of and a commitment to the need for confidentiality.
  • A willingness to increase knowledge and understanding of issues through reading, discussion and supervision.

Interested?

Great! Please download and complete our application form and then email it to us via the email button.