In Children and Families, you’ll find all of our Childrens Services roles such as Social Workers and Senior Practitioners, Educational Psychologists and SEND Keyworkers and roles relating to the commissioning work we do with our different partnerships.
Interim Director for Children and Families
Neelam Bhardwaja has recently joined us in June 2022 as Interim Director of Children and Families and looks forward to continuing the great work already happening in this Directorate.
We’re here to make lives better. It’s what motivates, inspires and connects us. That’s what we aim to do every single day. And as the eighth largest county in England, and with pockets of deprivation, we’re working with an increasing number of families who need our support.
We’re incredibly proud that our Children’s Services are rated as ‘Good’ by Ofsted. This highlights the excellent work we do in supporting children who go missing, unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and our prevention service. It’s all down to the hard work, determination and passion of our people. But we never stop striving for improvement.
That’s why we’re investing over £1million in our social work teams. So, when you join us, you’ll help us to become even better. Find out more about our work, and how we’ll support you at every stage of your social work career.
We want to build family and community resilience at the earliest possible point. It’s an approach based on our Building Resilient Families Programme, where we aim to address root issues. As a result of the success of this programme, we’ve now launched a new practice model which focuses on relationships and connections.
We’re also dedicated to learning, developing and adopting innovative practices. As part of our Social Workers in Schools Programme, we piloted the introduction of adult specialist workers into our teams. Now we’re looking to apply our knowledge and expertise throughout the country. We’ll offer earlier support, encourage better relationships and create even better outcomes. This way, we’ll have more time to change and improve the lives of our most vulnerable families.
Sometimes professional support is needed to keep children safe. But we also want to promote independence and resilience. Together with our partners in Staffordshire’s Family Strategic Partnership, we’re building great relationships with our families and other organisations who support them.
We want to reduce the number of children and families who need our support and intervention. That’s why we’re working as innovatively as possible, helping to reduce reliance and prevent care interventions. To achieve this, we’ve invested in our Family Group Conference, our Intensive Prevention Service and our Breathing Space Teams. All these innovative services help to keep families together.
If you want to become part of the next generation of social workers, we’ve several different schemes to help you. These include:
- ‘Step Up’ to Social Work
- Social Work apprenticeships
- Frontline programmes
And for practicing social workers, we’re part of the National Assessment and Accreditation System (NAAS). This focuses on promoting excellent learning and development, and aims to help everyone achieve the career they deserve – and the outcomes children deserve. Plus, we’re members of the West Midlands Teaching Partnership, which supports on-going development.
To offer even more development, we’ve launched an ‘Aspiring Team Manager Programme’. This helps experienced social workers to understand - and move into - a management role. For those who want to build on their skills and knowledge, we offer funding for recognised qualifications, such as a post-qualified graduate certificate in Social Work Practice or a graduate certificate in Practice Assessment. To support this, we can also arrange flexible working.
We’ll be there for you however you need us. So no matter where you are in your career, you’ll have tailored opportunities to develop. You might grow in a discipline, lead the development of cutting-edge practice or become an inspirational leader. Importantly, everything has been carefully designed so that you’ll meet the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) descriptors and the Social Work England requirements of practice.
Space to reflect
Supervision is a key part of our social work approach. It helps everyone to become their very best. Through one-to-one and group supervision, you’ll have the space to reflect on your work and learn from others. By focusing on the relationships we have with each other, we’re able to focus on the relationships we have with our children and families.
Mental wellness and work-life balance
Being there for everyone isn’t easy. We know it can be a challenge, both professionally and personally. So if you ever need to talk to someone, you can access dedicated support. You can find more information on our Health and wellbeing page. We also offer a number of flexible working options, so you can achieve a healthy work-life balance. Read more about these on our flexible working page.
Children’s wellbeing and partnerships
We work with communities and a range of partners and providers to lead effective commissioning arrangements for children and families. This work delivers against our statutory duties and overall corporate plan.
Some of the key area’s services we commission are:
- Children’s Centres
- Health Visitors
- School Nurses
- Healthy Weights Services
- Joint commissioning for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) which includes the services we commission for children such as Community Short Breaks for disabled children (including Aiming High)
- Family Support provided by Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations across Staffordshire
- Emotional Wellbeing Support
- Child Sexual Exploitation and Missing Services
- Holiday Activities and Food Programme
- Youth Services and support including VASP
- Resettlement Scheme
Education strategy and improvment
Education Strategy and Improvement works with schools, elected members, local partners and government bodies to ensure good quality care and education for all children and young people. It has a particular focus on supporting children and young people with SEND.
Roles within this business unit include SEND keyworkers, School Improvement Officers, School Admissions Officers and more.
Economy, Infrastructure and Skills
Work experience and volunteering
- Two Staffordshire companies have been recognised for their contribution to business in the 2023 King's Awards for Enterprise.
- A Staffordshire business who has benefitted from borrowing a carbon dioxide monitor to improve ventilation within their workplace, is urging others to take advantage of the free scheme.
- A Stafford school that moved into a brand-new location in 2020 has had its official opening celebration today (Wednesday).
- Staffordshire residents can play their part in minimising the spread of Covid-19 this summer, by getting fully vaccinated and taking sensible precautions.