Kent County Council
Category Supporter: Team Leader of the Year, Children's Services
Tel: 03000 41 41 41
Kent County Council is proud to be a part of the Social Worker of the Year Awards, giving people the chance to recognise the great work done by social workers in their communities.
Kent is changing and it is an exciting time for us as we turn our ambitions into realities. We are proud to offer a supportive environment in which our staff can work with confidence and inspiring leadership and development opportunities which empower them to make a real difference to children’s lives.
At KCC, we are ambitious for all the children we work with and want to build the best children’s service we can. We want to go further in transforming both the performance and the culture of our staff and as part of that we have updated our innovative ‘Social Work Contract’. This is a new approach to achieving excellence in social work practice.
We recognise that social work is one of the hardest jobs in the public sector. We need our social workers to build effective relationships with families in very difficult circumstances and we want them to use those relationships to bring about change for children. However, this contract also recognises that in order to be able to do that job to the best of their ability, our staff have to expect that we, as an organisation and as managers, will enable, empower and support them to do it. This means the best supervision, managed caseloads, opportunities for professional development and career progression, as well as committed leadership.
We have a clear vision for children's services, which is that every child and young person in Kent should achieve their full potential in life, whatever their background.
This is only possible in a culture which fosters excellence, where staff are encouraged to be creative and share ideas, and where collaboration for the good of Kent's children happens naturally.
As we aspire towards becoming a true learning organisation, our Practice Development Team focuses on ongoing development of practice skills and knowledge, discussion about the latest research and methodologies, and provides critical time for reflection.
We are also introducing 'Signs of Safety', covering Early Help and Specialist Children’s Services as our county wide practice model. We believe that this will support children and their families to have a consistent and seamless journey through our services. The model provides a clear method to risk assess cases and enables children and their families to be involved in their assessment and safety planning.
Recommended by Eileen Munro in The Munro Review of Child Protection, this model of practice requires “those working in child protection to be given more scope to exercise professional judgment in deciding how best to help children and their families” moving towards a learning culture in child protection.
Our goal is to promote confident, knowledgeable and well-supported social care staff working to the highest standards of practice. Only then can we achieve our ultimate goal – each child in Kent happy, healthy and safe in a permanent home.