Brighter Futures for Children
29.6 hours per week (0.8 FTE) Contract
Brighter Futures for Children is an independent, not-for-profit-company, wholly owned by Reading Borough Council. Our responsibility is to deliver quality children's services, early help, education and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) services to children and families in Reading.
We are an independent, not-for-profit-company, wholly owned by Reading Borough Council. Our responsibility is to deliver quality children's services, early help, education and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) services in the borough.
We have recently created a new Adoption & Permanence Service within our Children’s Social Care Service which brings together a number of our permanency planning services including, but not limited to:
- Permanency Planning for all Children Looked After aged under 15 years;
- Family finding for children with Care Plans of permanent fostering;
- The assessment of Connected Carers and Special Guardians;
- Supervision of and support to Connected Carers;
- The provision of Special Guardianship Support Services;
- The registration of Private Foster Carers and monitoring and supporting private fostering arrangements;
- The management of the BFfC Permanence Allowance Scheme;
- Liaison with our Reginal Adoption Agency (RAA) and the day-to-day management of our RAA contract;
- The provision of support and advise to social workers and managers across the local authority, with regards to achieving and maintaining permanent placements for Children Looked After.
As a family finder for children and young people requiring placement with permanent foster carers you will manage an allocated case load focussing on identifying appropriate carers for children and young people in the care of Brighter Futures for Children whose Care Plans are for long-term fostering.
Dependent on your level of experience, you will be responsible for all aspects of family finding for children and young people who require permanent fostering. This will involve you working with the social workers for our Children in Care who require permanent fostering, and with our Placements Team, to ascertain children’s individual placement needs and to then identify suitable carers, with a focus on achieving well-matched placements with ‘in-house’ carers when this is appropriate and when it will not result in undue delay in achieving permanence for the child(ren) concerned. Once suitable placements are identified you will then be responsible for working alongside other involved professionals to achieve the ‘matching’ and placement process, in line with the Fostering Regulations, and working in accordance with Brighter Futures for Children’s policies and procedures.
The Family Finder role will include:
- Holding a family finding caseload.
- In consultation with the children’s social workers, undertaking comprehensive assessments of individual children’s permanence needs, to inform family finding activities.
- Gathering information from children, foster carers, birth parents [as appropriate] and other relevant agencies (including health and education professionals); in order to achieve a holistic assessment and understanding of each individual child’s care and ‘parenting’ needs; including the potential challenges for carers in meeting these needs in both the immediate and the longer term.
- Compiling, providing and where required presenting written reports, at internal meetings and to the Brighter Futures for Children’s Fostering Panel and the Court, which are concise, informative, based on analysis and research and of a high professional standard.
- Providing advice and support to children’s social workers regarding their completion of reports for the Brighter Futures for Children Fostering Panel and the Court.
- When required, chairing permanency planning meetings and matching / introductions meetings, and contributing to reviews of children’s permanency plans.
- Creating profiles of children for advertising on relevant platforms.
- Ensuring timely referrals are made to the Brighter Futures for Children Placements Team.
- Liaising with the relevant parties, reading and sharing assessment reports (Form Fs) on potential carers and generally supporting children’s social workers in identifying potentially suitable long-term foster families for specific children.
- Completing visits to potential long-term foster carers alongside children’s social workers, in order to assist decision making and the identification of potentially suitable long-term ‘matches’ for Brighter Futures for Children Children in Care.
- Supporting service developments and the management of permanence planning within Brighter Futures for Children, including undertaking specific project work appropriate to the grading of the post.
- Ensuring that appropriate case recording is completed in a timely manner and to a good standard, in line with Brighter Futures for Children’s associated policies and procedures.
- Developing and maintaining positive working relationships with service users, foster carers, other professionals and partner agencies.
- Being involved in and contributing to the monitoring of practice standards, engaging in internal quality case audits and the statutory inspection processes as required.
- Contributing to the wider development of the Adoption & Permanence Service.
Training and Support available to the successful applicant(s):
Training will be made available to the successful applicants around:
- The BFfC Policy and Practice Guidance relating to both fostering and permanence;
- The BFfC Mosaic records system.
Professional supervision will be available.
Essential Qualifications & Education:
- Professional Social Work qualification (CQSW, CSW, DipSW, BA, MA or equivalent);
- Registration with Social Work England;
- Up-to-date knowledge and understanding of current childcare legislation and statutory guidance;
- Up-to-date knowledge and training in safeguarding and children’s rights issues;
- Basic computer and keyboard skills;
- Understanding of the importance of confidentiality in working with substitute carers and undertaking permanence work.
- Knowledge of fostering legislation, regulations, National Minimum Standards and best practice guidance;
- Knowledge of attachment theory, therapeutic parenting models / approaches, and issues affecting children growing up in permanent fostering arrangements;
- Knowledge around placement support for children in substitute family care arrangements and their carers.
- Experience of working with children and young people;
- Experience of working with families.
- Experience of working with substitute carers: foster carers, adopters and/or special guardians;
- Experience of working with Children Looked After and of placing them with substitute carers;
- Experience of multi-disciplinary and interagency working, and of advocating for children’s needs.
Essential Skills, Abilities & Competencies:
- Excellent communication skills (verbal and written), including the ability to write concise, well-reasoned and well-presented reports;
- Strong and effective Interpersonal, communication and negotiation skills including the ability to establish positive and helpful working relationships with colleagues and the ability to deal with complex issues in a sensitive and appropriate manner;
- The ability to create a rapport and build relationships with children and parents / carers;
- The ability to assimilate and analyse complex information and to draw out appropriate points to inform planning;
- The ability to diffuse conflict;
- The ability to organise and deliver a complex set of tasks and to prioritise demands;
- Good time management skills, including the ability to manage conflicting priorities, to meet agreed time-lines and to cope with work related stress;
- Computer literate with good keyboard skills;
- Committed to non-discriminatory practice; delivering services to the public that are in line with Brighter Futures for Children’s equality and diversity policy and procedures;
- A commitment to actively engage in one’s own continuing professional development and to support the development of others.
- The ability to challenge others in a constructive manner and to make informed decisions that if challenged can be substantiated.
Additional Working Requirements:
- Car driver with use of a car.
For more information and a confidential discussion please contact Hilary Loades
Any question regarding application please contact, email@example.com
Closing date for applications – Monday 1st March
Interviews – Thursday 11th March