In York, we have a reputation for delivering high quality Children’s Services but we're not complacent:
- we work with true Yorkshire resilience and constantly strive for further improvement
- we're working hard to maintain our ‘Good’ Ofsted rating whilst aspiring to be 'Outstanding' across the board
- we've been recognised by the Department of Education for our creative and innovative practice
Our vision for social work is simple: social workers must have the approach, skills, resilience and management support to ensure we safeguard children effectively.
- We understand social work
- Our social workers are 'valued, safe and supported'
- Providing a child-centered service
- Being a social worker in York
- Join our Children's Social Care team
- What a career working in Children's Social Care can offer you
We understand social work
We know social workers strive to do their best for the children and young people they work with, every day.
We understand that:
- social workers are under much scrutiny
- social workers deserve an employer that acknowledges the pressures of their role
- social work is a valuable and honourable profession
Within our Referral and Assessment Service, we know social workers play a critical role in responding to 'Child in Need' and safeguarding referrals. We therefore ensure all first contact with Children's Services is with a social worker - we don’t have a Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH). When we identify a child in need, our nationally acclaimed service makes the very best use of our resources to identify when a qualified social worker is needed, allowing them to concentrate on what they do best.
All our 'Child in Need' plans are also overseen by an independent reviewing officer.
Our social workers are 'valued, safe and supported'
We understand that vulnerable children often need help to improve the pivotal relationships they have with parents and family members, and believe social workers play an important role as a catalyst for change in these situations. We recognise that it's a highly demanding role, so we work hard to ensure our social workers get the support they need.
During our recent Ofsted inspection, our social workers told inspectors they felt “valued, safe and supported”. Here are some additional comments:
"There are great opportunities for training and development within this supportive service, working with a varied and interesting caseload; no two days are ever the same."
“Supervision gives me the opportunity to examine my practice and any issues arising in a safe and controlled environment. I get a lot of support and encouragement from my manager during supervision and it helps me realise that I am doing a good job under stressful conditions."
Providing a child-centered service
We want to ensure all children and young people receive an excellent 'child-centred' service. For children in local authority care, we know they're more likely to succeed if they live within their local area with minimal disruption to family links, health and schooling.
We believe that developing sound and supportive relationships with children and young people is the fundamental basis of effective practice, and we're introducing new evidence-based psycho-social assessment models which will support our 'relationship-based' approach.
Children and young people know what a difference our social workers make; they told us:
“Steph was amazing because she did such a good job; she really knew everything about me and went out of her way to help me,”
Tiffany, age 17
“Review meetings were extremely stressful for me when I was younger. I found that everyone was very supportive during these meetings and that’s something I appreciate.”
Alex, age 19
“I’ve been so lucky, my carers and workers have always been there for me. I wouldn’t be who I am today if it wasn’t for them.”
Michelle, age 18
Our ‘Making York Home’ partnership seeks to provide the right emotional, practical and professional support to foster carers to ensure they can provide safe, stable and caring homes. These principles have resulted in a fresh way of working and the creation of our integrated 'Achieving Permanence' service.
Being a social worker in York
Our Referral and Assessment service is made up of three teams, working as one service.
They're co-located with police and health teams and have:
- caseloads small enough to allow good practice
- regular and effective supervision, and a culture that lets you handle cases independently
- clear progression pathways, and room to develop professional interests
- service development days to improve practice and promote a team culture
- the support of an advanced social work practitioner and Immediate Intervention Team
- an open-plan office with approachable leaders and managers
Our multiagency working relationships are also very strong - we host a Regional Adoption Agency and have robust working relationships with schools and partners.
Chris and Melissa, both Referral and Assessment service social workers, talk about their experiences of working with us:
Why did you decide to work within the Referral and Assessment service?
Chris: "What really attracted me is that you don’t quite know what is going to be thrown at you. I can be dealing with enquiries from a member of the public about the relationship between their child and their partner, or a school ringing up to say a child’s presented with an injury. You do everything from Section 17 assessments all the way to taking cases to court - it’s the whole spectrum."
What other challenges do you face in this role?
Melissa: "Emotional resilience. You come across a lot of different families and have to make a lot of decisions. You constantly have to think on your feet and be resilient. It’s not pleasant seeing children in distress or knowing that something is going on behind closed doors that you can’t evidence. You need resilience to deal with that and not take it home with you."
What are working relationships with other agencies like?
Melissa: "There are good agencies that we work closely with here like IDAS, the Independent Domestic Abuse Service. The agencies you work with in York are never very far away so it’s quite easy to get information and work together. When you get a case, you’ve got to gather as much evidence as quickly as you can to make a decision - it makes the job a lot easier when you're not out there or waiting for a phone call back and those kinds of things. We’re also co-located with police and health."
What do you like about working and living in York?
Melissa: "I moved here for this job so it was a double whammy of living in a brand new place I didn’t know and starting a role I hadn’t done before. But York’s a small city and easy to find your way around. You never have to travel far. I used to travel a lot in my previous job, so it’s a big bonus that you don’t ever have to go far for meetings or for visits to children and families."
Join our Children's Social Care team
We're proud of what our social workers have achieved so far, but we're only at the beginning of this exciting journey. We want you to join our Children's Social Care team, and make a lasting difference to children’s lives in York, each and every day.
Ofsted rated York's Children's Services as 'Good' in its recent inspection and said:
"Social workers know children well, and senior managers are aware of individual children where there is a high degree of risk or complexity."
It’s really important to us to have capable, confident people working for us, in line with our key values:
- we work together
- we improve
- we make a difference
What a career working in Children's Social Care can offer you
Here is a list of the benefits of working for us:
- a competitive salary - £28,785 to £33,446 per annum (Grade 9) - pro rata for part time staff
- a 'Golden hello' payment of £2,500 (pro rata for part time staff)** for roles within the Referral and Assessment Service
- local government pension scheme
- manageable, monitored caseloads
- regular supervision
- opportunities to learn and develop as a professional
- strong leadership and supportive management, who enable you to thrive and fulfil your potential
- excellent workplace benefits including assistance with travel to work, childcare costs and family friendly policies
- health and wellbeing services
** subject to terms and conditions
On top of this, you’d be working in a vibrant and attractive city, with fantastic cultural and leisure opportunities on your doorstep.
Find out more about working for the council and our current opportunities within Children's Social Care.