Croydon Children’s Social Care Service
Our vision is that children and young people in Croydon will be safe, healthy, happy and will aspire to be the best they can be. The future is theirs.
As part of our valued team of staff you will be supported to contribute to this vision, and be part of a culture where relationships are integral to how we work.
Social workers in our service are supported by a wider focus on good systemic practice, a culture of delivering high quality timely supervision and a range of training and development opportunities including membership of Research in Practice. First line managers are proud of their reputation for having oversight of the case work for every child and young person.
We have a range of different services working together under one Director, which create great opportunities for social work career progression and development:
Best Start Early Help
The Best Start Social Work Team is an integrated team within the Best Start Partnership which provides social work interventions and support to children, young people and their families. The key objective of the service is to offer practical advice, support and direct case work to prevent issues escalating and requiring statutory intervention
Best Start aims to intervene ‘early’ in terms of the age of a child, and when issues arise within families. The team works closely with a range of statutory services (including health and statutory children’s social care teams), voluntary organisations, Children’s Centres, schools and early years settings implementing a Team around the Child (TAC) approach, with designated lead professionals responsible for the co-ordination of case work.
Assessment Units are responsible for achieving positive well-being and safety outcomes for children by undertaking assessments of children who meet the threshold for a Children’s Social Care assessment, making initial interventions, and judgments as to appropriate disposal, including the development of outcomes-based intervention plans. This involves direct work with the children and families, applying evidence-based models of help within clear theoretical frameworks.
This is in respect of children in need, including those in need of protection and those who need to become looked after.
Care Planning Service
Care Planning Units are responsible for implementing child in need and child protection plans, and building relationships with children and families which achieve positive changes aimed at keeping the child safe within the family. Where necessary to safeguard the child we work with our legal colleagues to secure their future through court work and legal proceedings.
The Units work with looked after children through any legal processes up to the Permanence Planning Meeting within three weeks of the second statutory review; the primary outcome of this work is the achievement of permanence for the child.
Looked After Children and Permanence
Work with Looked After Children in Croydon is unique and rewarding. We focus strongly on the quality of relationships between our staff and the children, young people and foster carers and adopters. Nearly 50% of our Looked After Children are Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children, which has led us to developing significant expertise and a national profile in this area of work.
We support and develop our social workers, personal advisors and managers to put children and young people at the heart of all of our decision making. We especially focus on the creation and maintenance of permanence for our children and young people. We have a strong track record in keeping children in stable placements but we are nonetheless working to improve this further. We continue to improve our practice in matching children to adopters and permanent carers at the earliest possible stage. We have the largest Fostering Service in London. All of these services, including the Leaving Care Service, work under the same Head of Service, making this work streamlined and coherent.
Children with Disabilities
CWD is a social work service undertaking safeguarding, children in need and care planning for children between the ages of 0-18. CWD is part of the wider 0-25 SEND service which includes a transition service from ages 18-25 and SEN. CWD offers Social Workers the opportunity to complete Direct Work with Children, and to work in creative ways in order to ensure that Children and Young People with complex needs are included in their planning and assessment. We are looking for confident, highly skilled and passionate social workers who want to join us and truly want to make a real difference to the lives and outcomes for the most vulnerable in Croydon.