As the operational and strategic lead this role comes with significant budget responsibility (approx. £30m) and will test your knowledge of fostering and adoption services, social work practice and the national landscape.
Responsible for the development and delivery of a permanency, placement and sufficiency strategy and associated services, this is a rare chance to put your social care expertise to excellent use in a role with a truly broad remit. As well as providing strategic leadership across the full spectrum of our services, you will work locally, regionally and nationally as you collaborate with other local authorities, placement providers and commissioning groups. You will be accountable for the development and delivery of a high quality countywide fostering, adoption and Special Guardianship service offer that meets the outcomes defined by the Leadership team and national indicators and standards and be responsible for leading the Placement function, identifying suitable placements across the private and voluntary sector. You will lead on the delivery of the Sufficiency Strategy alongside commissioners, ensuring that the right placements are available at the right time for children and young people in and leaving care now and into the future. As such you will play a pivotal role in permanency planning.
Essex County Council is one of the largest, most dynamic local authorities in the UK, with a strong reputation for innovation and positively embracing change. Join our Children and Families division and you will find a culture of collaboration, integrity and a dedication to ensuring high quality, value led services that meet the current and future needs of children and families. Having recently been announced as a Partner in Practice by the Department of Education and with the government’s regional adoption initiative on the horizon, this is an exciting time to join us.
Knowledge, skills and experience
A qualified social worker, you will have significant experience in and strong knowledge of management, development and delivery of fostering and adoption services, care planning, related permanency services and associated statutory and legislative frameworks and current social care issues. What is more, your significant experience has given you the resilience to succeed within a rapidly changing and ambiguous environment while managing conflicting priorities. The ability to proactively lead and deliver cultural change to improve quality of service is important too, as are excellent influencing skills. Adept at collaborating effectively with internal and external partners and stakeholders, you are also comfortable leading, managing and motivating a team of senior and middle managers.
At Essex County Council we have a vision to be a county where innovation brings prosperity and we are dedicated to improving the lives of our residents. With a total workforce of around 7,500, Essex County Council is one of the largest county councils in the country and we truly believe our greatest asset is our people. They are fundamentally key to our current and future success.
We offer an excellent benefits package to all our employees. It’s important to us that you have a healthy work/life balance, which is why we offer flexible working solutions. The package also includes a great central location, which is easily accessible to all road and rail links, a clear career path which will encourage gifted, committed individuals to grow with the opportunity for progression and promotion, relocation package - up to £8,000, a local government pension scheme, annual leave of up to 29 days per year, discounted shopping and much more.
The role requires you to be mobile throughout a wide operational area including travelling around the County of Essex and beyond. Driving licence and car or ability to meet the mobility requirements of the role through other means is essential.