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There has never been a greater focus on Children’s Services in Oldham than right now, making it an exciting place to take the next step in your career.

We put the needs of children and young people in Oldham at the heart of everything we do and that takes amazing professionals who share our determination to make a real difference to their lives.

Our social workers deliver effective frontline services that safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people, and we are proud of the services we deliver for our children and young people who are looked after.

We want the best professionals and you will be rewarded for your expertise – at a time where the council is making significant investment.

We can offer you a choice of different working arrangements giving you the work-life balance you want.

We are looking for experienced social workers to work within a range of teams in our service. Click here to apply.

Attractive salary packages (up to £38,052 per annum) are in place which includes a clear career progression scheme from Assessed and Supported Year in Employment - ASYE - on the Professional Capability Framework - PCF - to Advanced Practitioner. We want you to learn today, lead tomorrow.

Oldham is a great place to live, just a short distance from Manchester city centre and the beautiful countryside of Saddleworth. We are an employer with a clear and strong set of values and behaviours who can offer you an extensive package of staff benefits, as well as one of the finest social worker support offers in the country.

If you come to work for us you can expect:

  • One of the most effective inductions  in the industry
  • Competitive rates of pay and reward
  • A commitment to ensuring you have access to the best support, development and training opportunities to continually improve your practice and progression
  • Access to Reflective Supervision and relationship–based therapeutic group supervision
  • Clearly defined Practice Standards and Manager’s Standards.
  • Effective and supportive line management
  • Manageable caseloads
  • The right technology to do the job
  • Support to complete the National Assessment and Accreditation System (NAAS)

Induction

We understand the importance of a thorough induction as it provides a firm foundation for your future practice.

All our new social workers are warmly welcomed and provided with a structured and carefully planned introduction to the job.

Our induction process has four dimensions:

  • Establishing relationships with your immediate team and supervisor
  • Building relationships with those who support your practice both within and outside the organisation
  • Clarifying your role and responsibilities and any procedures you must follow
  • Identifying and mobilising resources to support you in your role and an introduction to the council’s wider objectives.

Learning, development and progression

Your time with us is of paramount importance.

We offer a clear career progression pathway, providing internal and external development opportunities, such as academic lectures and masterclass programmes to enhance your knowledge and skills enabling you to plan your future career direction to support your progression from newly qualified to specialist or manager.  

Newly qualified social workers undertake a comprehensive programme of supported learning in their Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE), under the support of Practice Learning Mentors. This provides access to increased supervision and a protected caseload. Following a portfolio submission (aligned to the Professional Capability Framework and the Knowledge and Skills statement for children and family social workers), and threshold panel, newly-qualified social workers are offered permanent contracts and progression to the post-qualifying (PQ) pathway.

Experienced social workers can progress on the basis of undertaking an approved post-qualifying award, demonstrating learning in practice and helping children to achieve improved outcomes. This results in progressing through a threshold panel to the status of senior social worker.

Senior social workers can progress on the basis of demonstrating learning in practice and helping children to achieve improved outcomes. Senior social workers will be supported to develop a specialism in an area of practice, then share that knowledge and skills with colleagues, through mentoring and informal supervision.

National Assessment and Accreditation Scheme (NAAS)

Oldham social workers are leading the way on the National Assessment and Accreditation Scheme and we now have a cohort of our workers who are the first accredited social workers in the country.

As early adopters of the scheme, Oldham have enabled our social workers to successfully develop and gain the recognition for their practice that they deserve.

We have also been able to develop an excellent learning and development programme as a result of being involved in the pilot, which you will be guided through with the support of an accredited practice learning mentor.

Oldham have developed great relationships with local universities and other partners enabling us to provide a range of accredited professional development support for our newly qualified and experienced social workers, senior practitioners and managers:

  • We are currently working in partnership with Greater Manchester Teaching Partnership to develop and enhance our supervision offer, to include group and peer supervision.
  • Martin Calder a renowned academic and trainer, has provided all of our social workers with assessment training.
  • Our experienced workers have been provided with coaching training to enable them to effectively support the practice of others and to mentor newly-qualified social workers.

Supervision

We understand that regular, planned and competent supervision is a right and a requirement for all of our social work team, and we are investing in two approaches to supervision, Critical Reflective Supervision (CRS) and relationship-based supervision:

We believe Critical Reflective Supervision (CRS) is an excellent way of ensuring Continued Professional Development in line with our standards, the Health and Care Professions Council’s (HCPC) expectations and the overall regulation of professional practice. We’ve invested in CRS training for all managers and senior practitioners to ensure they have the skills they need and CRS is embedded across the service.

Oldham is committed to creating the right environment to ensure social workers spend more time undertaking direct work with children and families, and are promoting the reflective spaces required in order to facilitate this work. Oldham, in partnership with the Centre for Social Work Practice and the Tavistock Centre, are promoting relationship based supervision and are training lead practitioners to become internal facilitators to deliver therapeutically informed group supervision in order to ensure safe, effective and constructive social work practice.

Practice standards

Our ambition is not just to be the best borough for children and young people but to be the best borough for the staff and services that work with them.

As a result, we’ve produced a comprehensive set of Practice Standards.

Adherence to those standards will play a vital role in making Oldham a ‘child friendly borough’ and helping to drive up the quality of the service we provide to the vulnerable children and young people of Oldham and their families.

The standards set out safe and effective practice and includes key aspects and expectations for working with children and families subject to a variety of situations through a variety of processes.

Managers Practice standards.

Manager’s standards describe and establish the standard required of managers with regards to leadership, oversight and supervision. The Managers Practice Standards are intended to assist managers in evidencing consistent scrutiny and support.

Caseloads

We know that having a manageable caseload is one of the top priorities for team members.

As a result, we’ve undertaken a whole service review, evaluating our staff caseloads and ensuring they are set at the right levels.

Newly qualified social workers and those in their ASYE will have protected caseloads and additional support with complex cases.

In order for our social workers to develop their knowledge and skills, we provide access to complex casework. Our managers provide excellent oversight on these cases to ensure robust support.

Opportunities to influence

Our Principal Social Worker holds a Social Work Forum which meets monthly and provides an opportunity for our social workers to meet informally and ensure their voice is heard. The social work forum is a positive development in Oldham, enabling our social workers to have an influential voice in practice and service improvement which has contributed to creating an environment in which staff can thrive and deliver excellence.

Effective management

As a social worker in Oldham, you will benefit from the expertise of an experienced management team, committed to holistic practice that is firmly embedded in research, in partnership with practitioners and service users. All our managers have opportunities to access good quality training, delivered by our in-house training academy and through our partnerships with First Line and Research in Practice. This excellent training means managers gain a deep and systematic understanding of current knowledge about effective practice in leadership, management and supervision.

Technology

As with any job, it’s hard to perform at a high level without the right tools.

We ensure you have modern, up-to-date mobile working solutions along with the appropriate software and training to ensure technology is a help and not a hindrance.

Health, well-being and work-life balance

We recognise the emotionally demanding nature of children’s social work and we are committed to supporting you to lead a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

As well as our overall staff well-being programme Fit for Oldham, we also offer bespoke social worker emotional well-being and resilience training and support, including training in and access to therapeutically informed group supervision.

As an organisation we promote staff well-being and encourage staff to take regular breaks, stop for lunch, leave on time and take their full holiday entitlement.

Click here to take a look at the jobs available and join a workforce that is on an exciting journey to help our most vulnerable children thrive.