Professional Support

Induction

A comprehensive Induction to Children’s Social Care is offered to all new staff including experienced Social Workers, Team Managers and Service Managers. The induction offers guidance on the expectations of the role as well as information about other teams within the service and partner other involved agencies. This information provides all staff with opportunities to network in order to form positive working relationships.

There is a section in the induction which is to be utilised for every worker’s professional development. This section has seven learning outcomes and you will need to evidence you have met these outcomes in the first three months of your employment.

The induction also details training opportunities and how to access the corporate membership of Research in Practice as well as The College of Social Work.

Supervision

Cheshire East has a robust supervision policy which is geared towards achieving positive outcomes for you as a worker and for the children and families we work with. You will have regular, quality supervision with your line manager.

Cheshire East’s Children and Families Service is committed to ensuring that all staff receive good quality, effective and regular supervision in line with their needs and the requirements of their post. This includes those working on a temporary (including Agency staff), permanent, part time or full time basis. Whilst this policy is applicable to all staff working within the Children and Families Service, it highlights the specific requirements for practitioners and staff who work directly with children and their families.

supervision

performance

Performance Development Review (PDR) process

Performance Development Reviews are undertaken every six months to assess and rate achievements against the organisations values, behaviours and objectives and to agree future objectives both for you personally and the organisations priorities and improvements for the coming twelve months. This is also an opportunity to discuss your career aspirations and professional development.

Practice Champions Group

The Practice Champions are made up of workers at all levels in Cheshire East Children’s Services.
They meet in order to discuss ways to improve practice and to champion new developments across the service and in their respective teams.

Practice and Performance Workshops

Practice and Performance Workshops are held quarterly and provide an opportunity for staff to network and to keep abreast of developments across the service. In addition to formal inputs, there a regular ‘market place’ is organised so that workers can learn more about different parts of the service as well as other agencies.

Practice Standards

Cheshire East has clear Practice Standards and Organisational Standards as well as a Social Worker’s Charter.

High quality social work is vital to safeguarding the most vulnerable children and young people in Cheshire East. The Munro Review, Working Together 2013 and government policy are now, quite rightly, recognising the importance of social work, and the need to free the profession from unnecessary bureaucracy to enable us all to take a leading, learning role in developing practice and improving the lives of children and young people. It is our role to set out the future of a child-centred system of care.

The practice standards have been developed by social work staff through the Transforming Social Work Practice Group in Cheshire East and sets out standards that relate to good practice in social work. Adherence to the standards will play a vital role in making Cheshire East a Child Friendly community where children feel safe, and help lead joint working to improve outcomes for the most vulnerable children. At the heart of this document is a new, restorative philosophy that seeks to work with children, young people and families, building on their strengths to better manage the risks and challenges they face.

Our ambition is not just to be the best for children and young people, but to be the best council for the staff and services that work with them. This is a great opportunity for us to work together to make Cheshire East a centre of leading practice in social work.

Training and Development for Children’s Social Care Workers

Workforce Development offer a comprehensive range of statutory, mandatory and CPD learning and development activities. This includes training courses, seminars and work shops as well as access to e-learning and webinars in order to meet identified needs and priorities. In addition the LCSB offers a programme of multi agency safeguarding training.

Career Development

Cheshire East Council is committed to developing the careers of its social workers through learning and development opportunities, including vocational and academic routes, which allow social workers to demonstrate their professional progression within the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF).  A clear Social Work Career Pathway has been established enabling progression from NQSW (Grade 8) to Grade 9 and 10.

training

  • ASYE Programme

A comprehensive Induction to Children’s Social Care is offered to all new staff including experienced Social Workers, Team Managers and Service Managers.

In addition a Team Manager has been appointed with a specific remit of supporting social workers on the ASYE programme and facilitating networking sessions to respond to identified needs.

  • Progression Year 2 Programme – leading to Grade 9

This programme is available to all social workers on completion of ASYE and is also relevant to more experienced workers joining Cheshire East who have not yet ‘progressed’. The programme offers access to further learning and development activities including a University taught module and involves completion of a portfolio to demonstrate readiness for progression to grade 9.

  • Grade 10 Progression

The opportunity to achieve progression from a grade 9 to grade 10 social worker is linked to achievement of a Post Graduate Diploma in Applied Social Work Practice (or PQ Specialist Social Work Award/PQ Child Care Award/BAAF Award under the previous PQ Frameworks) and Practice Educator status, alongside demonstrable practice competence at an enhanced (grade 10) level.

Eligibility to undertake the PG Diploma is informed by the Performance Development Review process and all social workers are encouraged to aspire to this level of practice.

Management Development opportunities

An Aspiring Team Managers Programme has been developed for experienced social workers considering their first steps into management.

Team Managers and Service Managers are able to access Level 5 ILM Management qualifications as well as CPD relevant to their role and responsibilities.