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Children’s Social Work Careers

Our teams

Image of children’s services staff

To meet the needs of children’s services across Lincolnshire, we have a wide number of specialist teams ready to respond to the diverse challenges of our county.

From our family assessment and support team to our fostering team, the adoption team to our children with disability team, there’s a wealth of skills and experiences across our ranks. Our teams are full of people from all walks of life. And, uniting us all, is a drive to make a difference in the lives of children, young people and families.

Adoption

We are a county-wide team of 17 social workers that are part of Family Adoption Links – a regional adoption agency incorporating Lincolnshire and Rutland, North Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Leicester City and Northamptonshire Children’s Trust.

We work alongside the FAST team, twin tracking all children who have a plan of adoption to ensure the process is completed at the earliest stage. The aim is to ensure that children can be placed in a safe and secure family as soon as possible following a court decision. The team are then responsible for the life story book, later in life letter and ‘letterbox’ arrangements.

Our supervising social worker (SSW) team is responsible for the recruitment, preparation / training, and assessment of prospective adopters in line with the regulations. Our team complete the permanence assessment reports and accompany adopters to the adoption panel. They remain are involved in supporting adoptive families until the adoption order is made. Our team also complete stepparent adoptions.

Our adoption/special guardianship order (SGO) support team is involved in assessing post adoption/SGO support needs, delivering therapies either through the team or through the adoption support fund, running support groups for adopters/SGO carers, and activities/groups for adopted/SGO children.

Our team manages the birth records counselling service, the ‘letterbox’ for adoptive families, newsletters, and training opportunities for adopters and SGO carers.

Fostering

Image of Fostering teamOur fostering social workers are known as supervising social workers (SSW). 

This is a key position that brings together children and young people in care. Our SSW act as a link between foster carers and children’s social workers, and they are there to support the child/young person by providing a placement that can meet their needs.

Our SSW team is vital in helping us secure a sufficient number of trained mainstream foster carers.

As well as mainstream carers, our SSWs also carry out assessments of ‘kinship carers’ and are instrumental in completing both Regulation 24 assessments and special guardianship court reports.

Our SSWs recruit, assess, support and develop foster carers to be able to meet the needs of our children in care. Our SSWs rely on support from all social workers to be part of the team around any foster placement.

Our SSWs carry out stringent assessments, including ‘Form F’ assessments, to recognised standards. SSWs also present reports to panel that prove their commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. The fostering duty desk is also a key part of children’s services; they are responsible for managing and overseeing placement requests.

Our foster carers are a valuable part of the team around the child. Our way of keeping connected with fostering families is through support and supervision, and a monthly newsletter, which is sent to all fostering households and all teams across children’s services.

Children in care

We have two children in care teams that are based in Lincoln and Sleaford.

Our social workers support children and young people who have been accommodated under Section 20 or where care orders have been granted and support  those children in private fostering arrangements.  We also work with unaccompanied children seeking asylum.

Integral to our work is facilitating continued work with of the families we support. Social workers operate within the Public Law Outline Process, which means they can discharge a care order when children or a young person returns home or is looking at special guardianship orders.

They are also involved in court work, applications for secure welfare orders and deprivation of liberty matters.

Signs of Safety, restorative practice and social pedagogy are important models incorporated in our work.  Both teams have a life story worker who work very hard to create life story books for children in our care.

Residential

Image of the Residential team

Our residential care teams look after the children and young people who live in our homes.

We have two short breaks homes, one in Lincoln and one in Boston for children with disabilities. We also have a residential home caring for up to 11 children who have disabilities in Grantham.

We have three homes (in Gainsborough, Sleaford and Spalding) that care for up six children and young people each. The children are carefully matched to their homes and can stay until just beyond their 18th birthday.

In addition, our secure children’s home in Sleaford looks after up to 12 young people and our newest home in Lincoln – Robin House – has opened. Robin House has four beds and is aimed at children aged from 6 years up to their 16th birthday.

We are in the process of expanding our residential estate with a further home in Louth under construction and due to open in 2024.

 

Children with disabilities

Our children with disabilities (CWD) social work team is a county-wide but based in Lincoln and Sleaford. The team is responsible for the assessment of children and young people, aged between 0-18 years, that have severe and profound disabilities through child in need, child protection, children in care and court work.

Our head of service is responsible for special education needs and disability (SEND) and provides the strategic lead while the team manager is responsible for managing the practice supervisors, and social workers.

The team works closely with the SEND service through the educational health and care plan process.

Front Door

Our children’s social care screening team comprises social work advanced practitioners and practice supervisors. Our team makes decisions about next actions required on safeguarding concerns.

These concerns are reported to the customer service centre by members of the public and agencies that have worries about children in Lincolnshire. They work closely with our early help colleagues who are also within our integrated front door.

Youth Offending/Futures for me

Image of the Futures for me team

Future4Me (F4M) is part of our early help service and was established across Lincolnshire five years ago. Our team works with a 14-18-year-old cohort of young people who are at risk of homelessness, criminalisation, exploitation or who are being accommodated by the local authority.

Our case-holding staff members are located within the localities to promote a community focus and locality relationships with extended support from the central hub team.

Within this hub, additional posts have been created, including clinical psychologists, assistant psychologists, a joint diversionary panel co-ordinator, a youth housing officer and a child exploitation officer.

F4M also comprises a community & intervention team together with commissioned specialist services including a speech & language therapist and CAMHS practitioners.  

Our community & interventions staff members have a focus on positive activities for young people which can be delivered within communities or as bespoke one-to-one intervention. 

Emergency duty team

There are four of us that provide out-of-hours cover. We are the first point of contact for members of the public and professionals outside of normal office hours. We are responsible for the identification, assessment, and care planning required to meet the needs of children and young people who need an emergency service that cannot wait until the next normal working day.

We assess the situation and determine appropriate courses of action. The aim of the service is to achieve a safe and practical outcome until daytime services are available.

FAST

Image of the FAST team

We have eight locality FAST teams based across the county in Lincoln, Louth, Horncastle, Gainsborough, Grantham, Spalding, Boston and North Hykeham. They are responsible for child in need, child protection and court work.

Our teams are led by a team manager who line manages practice supervisors. The practice supervisors in turn, supervise the social workers in the team and social work apprentices. There are four locality heads of service who provide leadership to the locality social work and early help teams.