Head of Service – 18+ Care Leavers service

Social Care
£450 to £600 Per Day
Contract Type:

Evergood Associates are currently supporting our client based in Kent in recruiting for a Head of Service to join their 18+ Care Leavers service.


  • Social Work Qualification
  • HCPC Registration

Start Date

For more information please contact Mark on 01992 513777 (Option 3) or by email Mark.Thompson@evergoodassociates.co.uk

Purpose of the Job:

  • To be responsible for the strategic direction of the 18+ Care Leaver service, establishing priorities for the strategic development of ongoing service delivery and implementation of the strategic decisions of the Specialist Children’s Service.
  • To lead and manage a large service ensuring that managers and staff are clear in relation to their roles and responsibilities ensuring there is a strong focus on practice and delivering a young person focused service.
  • The role will require the post holder to apply their acquired in depth knowledge/experience of the Care Leaver service to deliver good and outstanding services to care leavers.
  • Provide a relentless focus on service delivery, which provides timely advice, guidance and care planning in relation to the decision making and care provision for all care leavers.
  • To work strategically with multi-agency partners, elected members and other key stakeholders including voluntary organisations to establish and maintain joint working policies and practices, understanding and assessing significant risk for any decisions made with the aim of enabling the transition of care leaver to a state of independent living.
  • Have or be prepared to undertake appropriate training and learning to gain expertise for the management of UASC. To ensure an equal service is in place for all care leavers regardless of how they came to be looked after.
  • Plan, commission and deliver responsive and cost effective services for Care Leavers working jointly with all key partners to ensure services are delivered effectively and comply with legislation and National, Corporate and Directorate policies and procedures.
  • Provide day-to-day management of the Care Leavers Management team to provide professional expertise, skills and advice to enable the provision of a safe, effective and high quality service that meets existing and new policies and practices.

Main duties and responsibilities:

  • Influence the strategic policy direction of the Care Leaver service within Specialist Children’s Services and work across directorates as necessary. Head of Service will ensure all service developments are in line with national and international laws, conventions, EU directives and policies.
  • Direct the development, management and implementation of service delivery for Care Leavers to ensure that service provision is flexible, responsive and delivered to the required legislative and policy frameworks and within allocated cash limits.
  • Manage Care Leaver Team Managers to enable the provision of a service to Care Leavers in accordance with legislation, existing and new policies and practice that meet the needs of Care Leavers within given resources.
  • Ensure effective participation and appropriate involvement of Care Leavers in the planning and development of services that meet their needs and enable the transition to independent living.
  • Develop, as appropriate, joint planning, development and delivery mechanisms with the Health Service, the Education Authority, District Councils, Criminal Justice Agencies and commercial and private sector and Voluntary Organisations/Agencies to maximise resources and promote joint working. 
  • Develop and progress risk assessments to ensure that care leaving adults are safeguarded with appropriate referrals to adults services (mental health and community adults services) in place. Escalating where necessary to ensure that the services are provided to meet the needs of vulnerable care leavers.
  • Ensure appropriate contracts and service level agreements are in place with working arrangements that include Kent’s commissioning departments. Systems to be in place and managed with regular reviews. There is an expectation that services are provided in partnership with other agencies and service users in order to respond effectively to Care Leaver needs and Strategic Directorate aims.
  • Contribute to the strategic recruitment, training, development and retention of staff within the Care Leaver service ensuring staff are informed of key information in changes to the service, national and international laws, conventions, EU directives and policies.
  • Undertake the strategic lead for the Care Leaver service on behalf of the Extended Specialist Children’s Services management team to ensure effective and improved service delivery.
  • Plan and monitor levels of budget allocation across the Care Leaver provision, taking remedial action as required to enable cost effective services to be provided which meet the needs of the client and optimize the use of all resources. Devolve budgets to Team Leaders (where appropriate).
  • Identify and secure additional monies through grants, bids, joint funding etc. in order to optimise the use of all resources and maximise income generation opportunities. 
  • Ensure effective staffing resource allocation across the Care Leaver service to ensure flexible and responsive service delivery, taking into account demands on the service and compliance with Health and Safety policies and practices and other legislative requirements.
  • Recruit, develop and motivate staff groups to fulfill the changing demands of the service, through day to day support and high quality supervision enabling the team to be responsive to care leaver who are assessed as in need.
  • Ensure effective County representation at all appropriate multi-agency groups related to Care Leavers.
  • Undertake effective performance management to ensure that the performance assessment framework and other agreed targets are met. This includes provision and delivery of a service that is ambitious and reaches at least an Ofsted good.
  • Prepare an annual Business Plan, identifying agreed priorities, targets and outcomes and mechanisms for effective service delivery with the allocated cash limit.
  • Develop strategies for effective service delivery applying acquired knowledge and experience in the Care Leaver arena and making evaluative judgements to ensure the ongoing development and provision of best value Care Leaver services.
  • Monitor professional standards in liaison with Team Managers and other colleagues to ensure that practice procedures are appropriately adhered to throughout the service and take necessary action to remedy any areas of concern. Performance management structures will inform the delivery of services this will include appraisals, supervision and audit, the post holder will ensure that standards are met and maintained, where necessary take remedial action.
  • Respond to situations of crisis and emergency by coordinating service provision with other Directorate colleagues to meet the needs of a group of people requiring the service whilst maintaining the existing service.