Devon County Council. Social Work Career Structure

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1 Devon County Council Social Work Career Structure September 2010

2 Introduction The Career Structure for Social Workers is intended for all qualified and Registered Social Workers employed by Devon County Council (DCC) as a Social Worker. It is intended to provide clarity and structure around the career progression opportunities for qualified Social Work staff and the development opportunities afforded to them. It also reflects the national Taskforce Career Structure and is intended to help ensure both employees and DCC meet the Professional Body code of practice for employers. The titles of roles used by the Taskforce will be used in the future for social work roles in DCC and will therefore replace some of the existing titles currently being used. This document compliments, rather than replaces, the job descriptions for the social work roles in DCC. A number of corporate policies, such as supervision and market supplement policies are referred to in this document and again this does not replace those policies. Models of supervision have been described in the Social Care Governance Framework so for more information of different approaches please refer to that document. It is recognised that Social Workers increasingly work in a Multi Agency and Multi Professional environment and in some cases social work managers are from other professional backgrounds such as mental health and Occupational Therapy (ACS). The career structure does not attempt to apply to other professional groups of staff and instead seeks to support this multi agency and professional context working effectively. Scope This structure is intended for Devon County Council employees and is not intended to apply to Social Workers employed by other agencies, who work in partnership or integrated teams with Devon County Council. Lead Social Workers In addition to the Social Work roles described in the career structure below, there will also be a new role of Lead Social Worker in both ACS and CYPS, whose role it will be to lead Social Care governance, social work quality and improvement in both the directorates. Governance The Career Structure is a corporate initiative applying to both Adult and Children services employees and will be owned by the Lead Social Workers in Adult and Community Services (ACS) and Children and Young People s

3 Services (CYPS). The structure will be reviewed annually by these post holders in conjunction with Human Resources and Workforce Development. For monitoring of the on going viability of the structure the two leads, or their named representatives, will sit on the joint CYPS and ACS Human Resources and Workforce Development group. It is important to note that this Social Work Career structure forms part of the wider Social Care Governance framework and agenda. For more information about this please see the Social Care Governance framework. Market Supplement The payment of a market supplement is a way to deal with difficult recruitment and retention problems where it is not possible to recruit or retain particular staff or categories of staff. A market supplement is defined as an addition to the basic pay of a post which temporarily increases the pay awarded to the post without altering the job evaluation determined grade for that post. It may be necessary to pay a market supplement from time to time given the known recruitment and retention difficulties experienced within the social work workforce. Should this be deemed necessary then the Market Supplement policy would apply. For more information please see the policy located on the intranet. Competency Profiles Competency profiles for each social work role will ensure that managers and employees can focus their supervision and appraisal discussions allowing them to identify development needs successfully. The profiles will also be used in recruitment processes for both internal progression and external recruitment to assess an employee s suitability for a role. They will be used in conjunction with the Post Qualifying (PQ) training that is provided for staff and which is, in some cases, a requirement of the roles. All qualified and registered Social Work staff must maintain their Continuous Professional Development portfolios, which will aid them demonstrate competence in their social work role. Workforce Strategies This career structure is intended to provide consistency in roles across DCC, however the service demands for the different level of role may vary. Each Directorate, ACS and CYPS, will produce their own workforce strategy determining numbers of each post required for their operational service.

4 Probationary Social Workers Probationary social workers will work to the generic Job Descriptions at grade F but will have a protected case load for the period of the probation and successful completion of the assessment will be a condition of employment.

5 Advanced Professional (ACS & CYPS) Emergency Duty Team (ACS & CYPS) Senior AMHP (ACS) Independent Reviewing Officer (CYPS) Safeguarding Officer (ACS) Clear relationship to standards informing education, employment etc Job Evaluation Grade H Job Evaluation Grade G Job Evaluation Grade F Job Evaluation Grade F (SCP 29) ADVANCED PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE EDUCATOR (Senior WD Advisor x2) SENIOR SOCIAL WORKER SOCIAL WORKER PROBATIONARY SOCIAL WORKER SOCIAL WORK STUDENT SOCIAL WORK MANAGER (Practice/Team Manager) Further specialist roles including Mental health Safeguarding Emergency Duty Assessment Graduate Social Worker completing an assessed first year in employment Graduation Entry Criteria

6 Probationary Social Worker Manage and monitor a workload of cases, consistent with experience, and the function of the team, and to organise work activities taking into account the need to prioritise tasks and priorities. Probationary Social Workers will have a protected level of case work for the period they remain a Newly Qualified Social Worker (NQSW). All other roles and responsibilities remain the same as a Social Worker. Progression process/employee and managers responsibility Probationary Social Workers will be line managed by the Advanced Professional/ Practice Manager/Team Manager/Clinical Team Leader. Mentoring and practice supervision will be provided by the Senior Social Worker or the Advanced Professional, where appropriate. Once employment has commenced Probationary Social Workers will receive weekly practice supervision and or mentoring for the first 6 weeks and fortnightly supervision for 6 months after that. Probationary Social Workers will receive management supervision at least monthly for the first 12 months of employment and all supervision sessions will last approximately 1.5 hours depending on need. Probationary Social Workers will commence employment on the bottom scale point of grade F. Once employment has commenced the Probationary Social Worker will start the NQSW or Assessed Year in Employment (AYE) programme at the next available intake. It is a condition of employment that the Probationary Social Worker successfully completes the NQSW/AYE programme. A documented and consistent package of support will be available to staff who fail the first assessment and they will be given an opportunity to retake the assessment. If an NQSW fails to successfully complete the NQSW programme and/or AYE their probationary period is failed and employment terminated. Practice Learning and Development Officers will provide specific learning support for Probationary Social Workers. Once the Probationary Social Worker has successfully completed the AYE then they automatically become a Social Worker and can progress up scale points on Grade F. The Probationary Social Worker s protected case level ends when they have successfully completed the NQSW/AYE. They have at this point successfully completed the probationary period.

7 Social Worker To provide a high quality and effective social work service to respond to the needs of service users and carers/children and their families in a timely manner and within statutory guidelines, Directorate policies, standards and guidelines. Promoting integrated agency approaches for the benefit of service users, carers and families to ensure the best possible outcomes for children, young people, families and adults. Social Workers must take a person-centred approach, which seeks to be inclusive, anti-discriminatory, and anti-oppressive. Manage and monitor a workload of complex, specialist and generic cases and organise work activities taking into account the need to prioritise tasks and responsibilities. To undertake interviews, assessments, observations and gather information from service users, carers and families and formulate plans to meet assessed needs consistent with the function of the team. Use the Safeguarding procedures to investigate and manage risk where individuals have suffered or are likely to suffer significant harm. Social Workers will be line managed by Practice Managers/Team Managers/Clinical Team Leaders. Social Workers will receive supervision monthly and not less than 10 times a year and all supervision sessions will last approximately hours depending on need (see supervision policy). Social Workers that are not managed by a qualified social worker will receive practice supervision and mentoring support from an Advanced Professional/Senior Social Worker on a monthly basis or as required (This only Applies to ACS). The Social Worker can apply to commence the PQ programme at specialist level (Consolidation module followed by PQ part 2). Places may be limited and applicants would be subject to a selection process. 1 Time away from the workplace for PQ training would be provided and supported by the line manager. A documented and consistent package of support will be available to staff through the programme. Staff who fail a first assessment will be given an opportunity to retake the assessment. Senior Social Workers (Practice Learning and Development Officers) will provide specific learning support for Social Workers. 1 Current specialist level PQ awards will in time be replaced by awards at higher specialist level.

8 If a Social Worker fails to successfully complete the PQ programme they will remain a Social Worker. Only when Social Workers have completed the PQ Consolidation module and have completed or are working towards PQ part 2 can they apply for a promotional post of Senior Social Worker. Vacancies at Senior Social Work level will be open in the first instance to internal applicants. If an external recruitment process is required, applicants will be required to demonstrate the same level of competence and/or equivalent experience as an internal applicant. Applicants for the Senior Social Worker - Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) role must have completed the PQ AMHP award before being able to practice at Senior Social Worker level. This is a statutory requirement. Senior Social Worker In addition to the Social Worker role the Senior Social Worker will: Manage and monitor a workload of complex cases as directed and organise work activities taking into account the need to prioritise tasks and responsibilities, ensuring statutory responsibilities are undertaken for service users and carers/children including visiting, arranging reviews, reporting to court (where relevant), delivering within timescales and meeting other national and local performance targets. Under direction of the Practice Manager undertake specific pieces of work in relation to customer feedback or representations, complaints, multi-agency projects or service developments Senior Social Workers will provide a level of professional supervision and development for less experienced Social Workers and trainees in accordance with the Professional Body requirements for continuous professional development and the needs for the Professional Body registration as required by the Advanced Professional. The role holder will supervise Social Work students whilst on work placement and mentor newly qualified Social Workers where directed. Active participation will be required during supervision to encourage Continuous Professional Development. Senior Social Workers will be line managed by Practice Managers/Team Managers/Clinical Team Leaders. Senior Social Workers will receive supervision monthly and not less than 10 times a year and all supervision sessions will last approximately hours depending on need (see supervision policy).

9 Senior Social Workers that are not managed by a qualified social worker (This will only apply to ACS), or where it has been identified as a development need, will receive practice supervision and mentoring support from an Advanced Professional/Senior Social Worker on a monthly basis or as required. Senior Social Workers will be eligible to apply for an opportunity to undertake a further PQ award at specialist or higher specialist level in leadership and management, practice educator or the Advanced Professional qualification. This will be dependant on availability of places, which may be limited. If an external applicant can demonstrate equivalent experience and competence but has not yet completed or started a PQ programme they will be required to start within 12 months of employment at specialist level. It is a condition of employment that the Senior Social Worker successfully completes the PQ programme at specialist level. Once started Senior Social Workers must complete within 3 years. If employees fail the PQ award then close support will be provided for second assessment. NB currently awards are assessed a module at a time If the second assessment is failed the employee would revert to a Social Worker at grade F. Should an external applicant fail the assessment for a second time then they would either move into a Social Worker role at Grade F if a vacancy is available, or they would either be redeployed, or, where neither former option is available, then their employment would be terminated. Senior Social Worker (Practice Learning and Development Officer) To ensure the quality of professionally qualified social workers in the Authority. To support the Continuous Professional Development (CPD) of social workers, within both ACS and CYPS directorates and with partners where required, to maintain their qualified status. To support the learning and development of Social care staff (within both ACS and CYPS directorates) in order to maintain their professional status. To take primary responsibility for the formal Management, Teaching and Assessment of social work students carrying out practice learning in Devon s CYPS and ACS Directorates, and in Voluntary and Independent Sector placements supported by the Authority. Senior Social Workers (PLDO) will be managed by the Social Work Education Team Manager.

10 Senior Social Workers (PLDO) will receive supervision monthly and not less than 10 times a year and all supervision sessions will last approximately hours depending on need (see supervision policy). Senior Social Workers (PLDO) will receive practice and mentoring support from an Advanced Professional/Practice Educator/Practice Manager/Senior Workforce Development Advisor. Mentoring and reflective practice support will be additional to the management Senior Social Workers (PLDO) will be required to undertake a further PQ award at specialist/higher specialist level in practice education. If an external applicant can demonstrate equivalent experience but has not yet completed or started the PQ programme they will be required to start within 12 months of employment. It is a condition of employment that the Senior Social Worker (PLDO) successfully completes the PQ programme. If applicants fail the PQ award then close support provided for second assessment. If the Senior Social Worker (PLDO) fails the second assessment the employee would be demoted to Social Worker at Grade F. Should an external applicant fail the assessment for the second time then they would either move into a Social Worker role at Grade F if a vacancy is available, or they would either be redeployed, or, where neither former option is available, then their employment would be terminated. Senior Social Worker (Approved Mental Health Professional) Responsible for taking an active and regular role in the daytime Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) rota, which covers all age groups. Undertake statutory assessments under the Mental Health Act, 1983 (MHA) for consideration of compulsory admission to hospital, Community Treatment Orders, Guardianship and related duties. Provide specific support and advice to the team, nearest relatives and wider professional community around mental health legislation; primarily the MHA and the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA). The post holder will have clear responsibilities for the safeguarding of adults and children and for operating in a manner consistent with Human Rights legislation. Hold a mental health case load, of varied complexity providing care or services for people who may have co-morbid, drug, alcohol or personality disorders, coordinated in line with the Care Programme Approach (CPA); Progression process / employee and managers responsibility Senior Social Workers (AMHP) will be line managed by Practice/Team Managers/Clinical Team Leaders.

11 Senior Social Workers (AMHP) will receive supervision monthly and not less than 10 times a year and all supervision sessions will last approximately hours depending on need (see supervision policy). Senior Social Workers (AMHP) that are not managed by a qualified social worker or identify as a development need will receive practice supervision and mentoring support from an Advanced Professional/Senior Social Worker on a monthly basis. Senior Social Workers (AMHP) must have completed the higher specialist level PQ AMHP training before they can practice as, and be paid as, an AMHP. Social Workers or other eligible professionals wishing to train to be an AMHP must apply for a training place, which are limited, and must successfully complete the PQ award before becoming a Senior Social Worker AMHP. For the period of training Trainee AMHPs will be paid as the grade of their substantive post or as a Social Worker. It is a condition of employment that the Senior Social Worker (AMHP) successfully completes the PQ programme and maintains competence through the CPD programme for AMHPs. Should a trainee AMHP fail their academic assessment then close support will be provided for a second assessment. If a Trainee AMHP fails the second assessment the employee would remain in their substantive role or as a social worker at grade F. External applicants must demonstrate competence in the role of AMHP and have already completed the AMHP training. If they have not yet completed or started a PQ programme then they will be required to start immediately and would remain in a Social work role until they have completed the AMHP training. Should an external applicant fail the assessment for the second time then they would either move into a Social Work role if a vacancy is available, or they would be redeployed, or, where neither former option is available, then their employment would be terminated. Advanced Professional Lead and develop behaviour and practice of team members and other colleagues to ensure high quality and effective social work practice, as part of Devon s Social Care Governance agenda. The post holder will be professionally responsible for a small group of Social Workers for their professional performance and practice quality. Operate as a senior social care professional, providing professional support, Continual Professional Development (CPD) within the context of the Social Work task force report. Lead continuous quality improvement and performance management to other team members/ colleagues as well as handling complex casework.

12 Promote innovative leading edge and innovative practice as an exemplar of best practice across all tiers of the workforce. Take responsibility for the management, teaching and assessment of social work students carrying out practice learning in Devon as required. Provide consultation and support regarding high profile/risk and complex cases. Advanced Professionals will be line managed by the Lead Professional/Operations Manager Advanced Professionals will receive supervision monthly and not less than 10 times a year and all supervision sessions will last approximately hours depending on need (see supervision policy). Advanced Professionals must complete the PQ award for Advanced Professionals (this is in development through the Professional Body for Social Care and Skills for Care, in the meantime the leadership and management PQ will be the required standard). Posts will be advertised when a vacancy arises. Candidates must demonstrate they have completed a PQ award at specialist level and are working towards the Advanced Professional qualification and/or Leadership and Management PQ or PQ Educator award. Process is the same for other career routes into Practice Manager or Practice Learning and Development Officer. Advanced Professional (Senior AMHP) The post holder will be professionally responsible for a small group of DPT and DCC AMHP s / Social Workers for their professional performance and practice quality. Support the development of behaviour and practice of team members and other colleagues to ensure high quality and effective social work practice, as part of Devon s Social Care Governance agenda. The post holder will be a core member of a multi-disciplinary Mental Health team and be responsible for taking an active and regular role in the daytime Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) rota. The post holder will provide specific support and advice to the team around mental health legislation; primarily the MHA and the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA). The post holder will have clear responsibilities for the safeguarding of adults and children and for operating in a manner consistent with Human Rights legislation.

13 To provide support and advice to colleagues in relation to statutory work; including Community Treatment Orders, Guardianship, Mental Health Tribunals and MCA issues. Advanced Professionals (Senior AMHP) will be line managed by the Clinical Team Leader. Advanced Professionals (Senior AMHP) will receive supervision monthly and not less than 10 times a year and all supervision sessions will last approximately hours depending on need (see supervision policy). Governance framework for different types for supervision). Posts will be advertised when a vacancy arises. Candidates must demonstrate they have completed PQ award at specialist level and must have completed the higher specialist level PQ AMHP training. Process is the same for other career routes into Advanced Professional roles. Advanced Professional (Emergency Duty Team) Support the development of behaviour and practice of team members and other colleagues to ensure high quality and effective social work practice, as part of Devon s Social Care Governance agenda. The post holder will be professionally responsible for a small group of Social Workers for their professional performance and practice quality. To provide the local authority out of hours, emergency generic social work service in accordance with the local authority's statutory duties, responsibilities, policies and procedures. This involves responding to urgent situations involving all client groups, on a county-wide basis, outside of normal operational hours. To provide professional leadership and supervision for locum Social Workers, Community Support Workers and volunteers whilst on shift. To act as senior social work practitioner ensuring the smooth running of shifts and that all the local authority's statutory duties are met. To ensure that the health and safety of Emergency Duty Service workers and volunteers is promoted at all times whilst on shift. Advanced Professionals (EDT) will be line managed by the EDT Manager.

14 Advanced Professionals (EDT) will receive supervision monthly and not less than 10 times a year and all supervision sessions will last approximately hours depending on need (see supervision policy). Posts will be advertised when a vacancy arises. Candidates must demonstrate they have completed PQ award at specialist level and must have completed the higher specialist level PQ AMHP training. Process is the same for other career routes into Advanced Professional roles. Advanced Professional (Independent Reviewing Officer CYPS) Support the development of behaviour and practice of team members and other colleagues to ensure high quality and effective social work practice, as part of Devon s Social Care Governance agenda. To ensure that DCC fulfils its statutory obligations with regard to management and review of cases of children in care and children who are subject to a child protection plan Support the development of behaviour and practice of team members and other colleagues to ensure high quality and effective social work practice, as part of Devon s Social Care Governance agenda. To ensure that safeguarding responsibilities for children and young people are prioritised and that service delivery is monitored, audited and evaluated for effective safeguarding practice To chair statutory reviews for children looked after, fulfilling the Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) function on behalf of the Local Authority To chair initial and review child protection conferences, strategy meetings, including those concerning allegations against professionals working with children, and secure order meetings To provide a robust monitoring, audit, practice challenge and improvement role in relation to CYPS and multi-agency practice for children subject to child protection plans and children subject to statutory looked after children reviews

15 Advanced Professionals (IRO) will be line managed by the Operations Manager. Advanced Professionals (IRO) will receive supervision monthly and not less than 10 times a year and all supervision sessions will last approximately hours depending on need (see supervision policy). Posts will be advertised when a vacancy arises. Candidates must demonstrate they have completed PQ award at specialist level. Process is the same for other career routes into Advanced Professional roles. Advanced Professional (Safeguarding Adults Officer) Support the development of behaviour and practice of team members and other colleagues to ensure high quality and effective social work practice, as part of Devon s Social Care Governance agenda. The post holder will be professionally responsible for a small group of Social Workers for their professional performance and practice quality. To work in partnership with all agencies providing a service to vulnerable adults ( No Secrets definition), in line with the Multi-agency Code of Practice for the Protection of Vulnerable Adults from Abuse. Provide independent specialist advice and consultancy to ACS staff and other relevant agencies on matters pertaining to Safeguarding Adults and the implementation of the Multi-agency Code of Practice Advanced Professionals (SAO) will be line managed by the Safeguarding Adults Manager. Advanced Professionals (SAO) will receive supervision monthly and not less than 10 times a year and all supervision sessions will last approximately hours depending on need (see supervision policy). Posts will be advertised when a vacancy arises. Candidates must demonstrate they have completed PQ award at specialist level and must have completed the higher specialist level PQ AMHP training. Process is the same for other career routes into Advanced Professional roles.

16 Practice Educator (Senior Workforce Development Advisor) To provide a high quality, competitive, commercially aware and cost effective Workforce Development (WD) service to managers, staff and Members of the Local Authority and to external customers in support of their business plans. Demonstrate and develop professional practice excellence within the team or teams, through the provision of staff coaching & mentoring, workload management, consultation and practice developments. In some instances this will include staff management and supervision. To take primary responsibility for the management, development and implementation of social work education for all qualified Social Work (SW) staff within Devon County Council in accordance with directorate workforce plans, and awarding body frameworks. To provide a Workforce Development service to staff within Devon County Council s Adult and Community Services and Children and Young Peoples Directorates. This includes taking strategic lead for the development and implementation of post qualifying awards and continuous professional development of qualified social work staff in the Authority. Practice Educator (SWDA) will be line managed by the WD Team Manager. Practice Educator (SWDA) will receive supervision monthly and not less than 10 times a year and all supervision sessions will last approximately hours depending on need (see supervision policy). Posts will be advertised when a vacancy arises. Practice Educator (SWDA) will be required to hold the PQ award at specialist/higher specialist level in practice education. Process is the same for other career routes into Advanced Professional roles. Social Work Manager (Practice Manager/Clinical Team Leader/Team Leader) Contribute to service improvement and strategic direction of Social Work and the service within DCC as required. Support the development of behaviour and practice of team members and other colleagues to ensure high quality and effective social work practice, as part of Devon s Social Care Governance agenda.

17 Provide respectful leadership, line manage and supervise staff within relevant County Council and Human Resource policies, including induction, absence, performance and leave, and thereby ensure staff health, safety and well being. Direct responsibility for robust performance and financial management of their service ensuring that budgets are not overspent. To manage the day to day work allocation, workflows, staff and service performance in accordance with Directorate policy and risk assessment. Deploy staff to meet these requirements. Ensure professional practice excellence through the provision of line management, supervision, casework monitoring, consultation and practice development, which focuses on promoting excellence in both assessment and attainment of care planning outcomes. Social Work Managers will be line managed by the Operations Manager/Cluster Manager. Social Work Managers will receive supervision monthly and not less than 10 times a year and all supervision sessions will last approximately hours depending on need (see supervision policy). Posts will be advertised when a vacancy arises. Candidates must demonstrate they have completed a PQ award at specialist level and working towards the Advanced Professional qualification and/or Leadership and Management PQ. It is a requirement that successful applicants undertake a further PQ award at specialist or higher specialist level in management and leadership if they do not already hold it. If an external applicant can demonstrate equivalent experience but has not yet completed or started a PQ programme they will be required to start within 12 months of employment. It is a condition of employment that the Practice Manager successfully completes the PQ programme. If applicants fail a PQ award then close support provided for second assessment. If a Practice Manager has failed a second assessment the employee would be demoted to Senior Social Worker at grade G. Should an external applicant fail the assessment for the second time then they would move into a Social Work role if a vacancy is available, or they would be redeployed, or, where neither former option is available, then their employment would be terminated.

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