Working in Medway

Ann Domeney’s Welcome

Thank you for your interest in working in Medway. Once you’ve read about some of the developments we’ve made over recent years, I hope you’ll agree that it’s becoming a great place to be a social worker!

Medway is committed to improving the lives and opportunities of children and young people in the local area and to do that we need equally committed social workers.

Over the past few years we have made significant changes in Medway which are designed to foster highly skilled and motivated social workers, capable of giving the children in their caseload the best service around.

These changes have included:

•  Small pods of 4 social workers and a manager, ensuring a high degree of management oversight and support

•  The creation of an internal Social Work Academy which supports the continuing professional development of social workers from their days as a student up to senior management.

•  Forming a Teaching Partnership with the Social Work schools in two universities (University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University) and KCC to ensure that our social workers have access to the latest academic research-based training and that local social work students’ education adequately prepares them for practise.

•  Designing a unique ASYE Programme which follows the journey of the child ensuring that in their first year of practise Social Workers become familiar with all aspects of social work in Children’s Safeguarding.

Developing a programme of training workshops in response to identified departmental learning needs.  We have surveyed staff and listened to their expressions of interest and have incorporated this into a series of workshops and training days.

•  Partnering with the Centre for Systemic Social Work to ensure that all staff obtain a nationally recognised qualification in Systemic Practice within two years of joining us (or within two years of finishing their ASYE)

The Medway towns – Strood, Rochester, Chatham and Gillingham – are an increasingly popular place to live. They have easy access to the coast and countryside of Kent, less than an hour from central London via the high-speed link (38 minutes from Chatham to St Pancras) and even easy access to mainland Europe via Ashford and Ebbsfleet. We offer a competitive salary, great benefits and a management team dedicated to supporting you in your work supporting the children and families of Medway!

Ann Domeney - Deputy Director Children & Adults

Getting it right first time

  • COLLABORATION & SHARING
    Working collaboratively in partnership and sharing resources
  • EARLY INTERVENTION
    Intervening and acting early
  • CHILD-FOCUSED
    Using evidence based and child focused practice
  • A SKILLED WORKFORCE
    Having a stable, skilled and confident workforce
  • LEARNING & DEVELOPMENT
    Being a learning and development organisation
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Our Service

Medway Children's Safeguarding

Over the past few years Medway Children’s Safeguarding has undertake a journey of improvement, from which we are now starting to see the benefits. This last phase of implementation is a great time to join us as you will be able to take advantage of our learning and development partnerships and the resourcing we are putting in place to embed these. We have a highly motivated and creative staff team who are committed to improving outcomes for the children and families we support.

Aim

All looked after children are matched to the best possible placement which meets their needs and promotes educational achievement.

Fostering

The Fostering Service comprises the following teams: Recruitment and Assessment: Generic Fostering which supports and supervises carer : Connected Carers which manages assessments of connected carers: Supported Lodgings and Private Fostering workers also sit within the service.

Adoption

The Adoption Team covers all aspects of adoption work, including recruitment and assessment of adopters, family finding for children in need of permanent families and adoption support

Residential Care

Medway Council have two children’s homes which are both rated as Good by Ofsted. One home provides residential respite for disabled children alongside day care/after school and holiday care for disabled children. The other home provides accommodation for up to 8 young people with emotional and behavioural difficulties.

Care Leavers

There is a dedicated care leaver’s team which offers a wide range of support across all levels of need and issues, working in partnership with health, Education and other providers of support services to meet the needs of care leavers up to the age of 25.

Virtual School Medway(VSM)

The VSM is a small team of dedicated education professionals who work to support the education of Medway’s Children in Care and care leavers. The team track educational progress: implement and monitor interventions to help young people in care to achieve their full potential and make a strong contribution towards supporting schools, social workers and foster carers .

Support structure

Our 5-member pod structure (1 manager, 3 experienced SWs and 1 ASYE) embodies our commitment to relationships between the department and our families. While families have a primary worker, they will also have a relationship with the rest of the pod so that they are always able to speak to someone they know and who knows their case. The pod structure allows social workers to collaborate on cases with their colleagues, providing mutual support and access to combined skills and experience.

First Response and MASH

Our First Response Team takes in contacts from professionals and members of the community, which are then checked via our partners in our Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) before being passed over to our experienced assessment teams for initial assessment and intervention.

Local Area Based Teams

Our pods are split between 4 geographic area teams so you will have the chance to get to know the other professionals working with your families as they will usually be from the same schools, health visiting teams, children’s centres and other local agencies. Our emphasis on relationships mean that we promote consistency of social worker throughout the families’ involvement with Children’s Services. Whether children are supported through a Child in Need plan, or protected through a Child Protection or Child Looked After plan, the same SW pod will keep working with the families, reducing the number of changes in their lives.

Group Supervision

Each pod has weekly reflective Group Supervision in which the SWs discuss their cases using the ‘Strengthening Families’ approach. This enables each member of the pod to become familiar with all the cases held within the pod, to ensure that they are able to respond quickly and appropriately in the absence of the primary worker. This model promotes a collaborative approach to working with children and their families and allows social workers to benefit from each other’s skills and experience.

Download Team Structure Chart

Our Service

Medway Children's Safeguarding

Over the past few years Medway Children’s Safeguarding has undertake a journey of improvement, from which we are now starting to see the benefits. This last phase of implementation is a great time to join us as you will be able to take advantage of our learning and development partnerships and the resourcing we are putting in place to embed these. We have a highly motivated and creative staff team who are committed to improving outcomes for the children and families we support.

Aim

All looked after children are matched to the best possible placement which meets their needs and promotes educational achievement.

Fostering

The Fostering Service comprises the following teams: Recruitment and Assessment: Generic Fostering which supports and supervises carer : Connected Carers which manages assessments of connected carers: Supported Lodgings and Private Fostering workers also sit within the service.

Adoption

The Adoption Team covers all aspects of adoption work, including recruitment and assessment of adopters, family finding for children in need of permanent families and adoption support

Residential Care

Medway Council have two children’s homes which are both rated as Good by Ofsted. One home provides residential respite for disabled children alongside day care/after school and holiday care for disabled children. The other home provides accommodation for up to 8 young people with emotional and behavioural difficulties.

Care Leavers

There is a dedicated care leaver’s team which offers a wide range of support across all levels of need and issues, working in partnership with health, Education and other providers of support services to meet the needs of care leavers up to the age of 25.

Virtual School Medway(VSM)

The VSM is a small team of dedicated education professionals who work to support the education of Medway’s Children in Care and care leavers. The team track educational progress: implement and monitor interventions to help young people in care to achieve their full potential and make a strong contribution towards supporting schools, social workers and foster carers .

Support structure

Our 5-member pod structure (1 manager, 3 experienced SWs and 1 ASYE) embodies our commitment to relationships between the department and our families. While families have a primary worker, they will also have a relationship with the rest of the pod so that they are always able to speak to someone they know and who knows their case. The pod structure allows social workers to collaborate on cases with their colleagues, providing mutual support and access to combined skills and experience.

First Response and MASH

Our First Response Team takes in contacts from professionals and members of the community, which are then checked via our partners in our Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) before being passed over to our experienced assessment teams for initial assessment and intervention.

Local Area Based Teams

Our pods are split between 4 geographic area teams so you will have the chance to get to know the other professionals working with your families as they will usually be from the same schools, health visiting teams, children’s centres and other local agencies. Our emphasis on relationships mean that we promote consistency of social worker throughout the families’ involvement with Children’s Services. Whether children are supported through a Child in Need plan, or protected through a Child Protection or Child Looked After plan, the same SW pod will keep working with the families, reducing the number of changes in their lives.

Group Supervision

Each pod has weekly reflective Group Supervision in which the SWs discuss their cases using the ‘Strengthening Families’ approach. This enables each member of the pod to become familiar with all the cases held within the pod, to ensure that they are able to respond quickly and appropriately in the absence of the primary worker. This model promotes a collaborative approach to working with children and their families and allows social workers to benefit from each other’s skills and experience.

Download Team Structure Chart

Download team structure chart
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Our Staff Say

Professional Development

Medway Social Work Academy

Whether you’re looking to start your ASYE or take the next step in your career, in Medway you will find a supportive working environment. Our workers form small “pods” where there is a ratio of one manager to four social workers. While each case has an allocated worker, Pods work on cases together to share their experience and knowledge to achieve the best possible outcomes for children and their families.

Medway has developed an award-winning Social Work Academy to help social workers’ continual professional development throughout their career. The Academy has faculties specifically dedicated to different stages of the social work career, including:

• The Student Unit Executive – the SUE maintains relationships with universities around ensuring that student placements fully prepare them for statutory social work. It also ensures that suitably experienced social workers gain their Practice Educator Professional Standards qualifications and links them with appropriate students. (Adults and Children’s share this faculty)

• The ASYE Faculty – This faculty promotes the ASYE to final year students. It ensures that the programme is running smoothly and that NQSWs are receiving the support that they need in their first year in practise.

• The Continual Professional Development Faculty – The CPD faculty ensures that training is made available to social workers post-ASYE. This training covers everything from fundamental skills, to ensuring that “lessons learnt” from Audits and Serious Case Reviews are embedded in the service, to providing opportunities for further study. For example, we are currently partnered with the Centre for Systemic Social Work, which gives practitioners the opportunity to gain a Certificate in Systemic Social Work Practice with Children and Families or a Diploma in Systemic Social Work in Supervision and Management.

• The Academy is also an important link in the new Kent and Medway Teaching Partnership. This Partnership will ensure that social work students at local universities learn the things they need in order to get a job as a social worker and perform well. It will also ensure that experienced social workers will be able to stay up to date on the latest research, as academics will have direct input into their training.

 

Our Ethos

In Children’s Services and across all our social work practice we are committed to social work values and promoting the professionalism of social work.  We will support you through training, supervision, coaching, team and service meetings and offer a wealth of opportunities to help you with your continuous professional development.

We keep children and families at the centre of what we do and focus on achieving improved outcomes for them through our interventions.

Professional Support

We are committed to establishing a skilled, permanent social care workforce. Medway Social Work Academy has a programme of training and support for NQSWs, qualified and experienced practitioners and managers. The Academy has strong links with local universities and leading London universities, who are social work educators.

The Academy has strong internal and external partnerships and works closely with Medway’s safeguarding leads in order to invest in our social care workforce, who “Make A Difference” for Medway’s service users

We are developing post qualification opportunities to build the expertise of social workers in systemic practice, motivational interviewing, direct work with children and specific techniques such as the Graded Care Profile.

Practice Educating is encouraged to support the learning culture

Leadership programmes from the Institute of Leadership and Management ILM are available and we will be focusing on developing leadership in our first line managers.

Each member of staff has a Personal Development Plan which is specific to their needs. We ensure that staff can build on their SW qualification, develop specialist interests and participate in multi agency groups such as the Medway Safeguarding Children’s Board.

Induction

You will receive a comprehensive induction programme which will be tailored by your manager to ensure that you are successfully inducted in your new role, and understand the Medway approach to working with children and families.

Additional Research and Learning Tools

In addition to the above, Medway provides additional research and learning tools for social work staff including membership of Research in Practice (RIP), and Research in Practice for Adults (RIPfA).

We are committed to your professional development and you will receive regular professional supervision in your role to ensure you continue to develop and learn.

Professional Development

Medway Social Work Academy

Whether you’re looking to start your ASYE or take the next step in your career, in Medway you will find a supportive working environment. Our workers form small “pods” where there is a ratio of one manager to four social workers. While each case has an allocated worker, Pods work on cases together to share their experience and knowledge to achieve the best possible outcomes for children and their families.

Medway has developed an award-winning Social Work Academy to help social workers’ continual professional development throughout their career. The Academy has faculties specifically dedicated to different stages of the social work career, including:

• The Student Unit Executive – the SUE maintains relationships with universities around ensuring that student placements fully prepare them for statutory social work. It also ensures that suitably experienced social workers gain their Practice Educator Professional Standards qualifications and links them with appropriate students. (Adults and Children’s share this faculty)

• The ASYE Faculty – This faculty promotes the ASYE to final year students. It ensures that the programme is running smoothly and that NQSWs are receiving the support that they need in their first year in practise.

• The Continual Professional Development Faculty – The CPD faculty ensures that training is made available to social workers post-ASYE. This training covers everything from fundamental skills, to ensuring that “lessons learnt” from Audits and Serious Case Reviews are embedded in the service, to providing opportunities for further study. For example, we are currently partnered with the Centre for Systemic Social Work, which gives practitioners the opportunity to gain a Certificate in Systemic Social Work Practice with Children and Families or a Diploma in Systemic Social Work in Supervision and Management.

• The Academy is also an important link in the new Kent and Medway Teaching Partnership. This Partnership will ensure that social work students at local universities learn the things they need in order to get a job as a social worker and perform well. It will also ensure that experienced social workers will be able to stay up to date on the latest research, as academics will have direct input into their training.

 

Our Ethos

In Children’s Services and across all our social work practice we are committed to social work values and promoting the professionalism of social work.  We will support you through training, supervision, coaching, team and service meetings and offer a wealth of opportunities to help you with your continuous professional development.

We keep children and families at the centre of what we do and focus on achieving improved outcomes for them through our interventions.

Professional Support

We are committed to establishing a skilled, permanent social care workforce. Medway Social Work Academy has a programme of training and support for NQSWs, qualified and experienced practitioners and managers. The Academy has strong links with local universities and leading London universities, who are social work educators.

The Academy has strong internal and external partnerships and works closely with Medway’s safeguarding leads in order to invest in our social care workforce, who “Make A Difference” for Medway’s service users

We are developing post qualification opportunities to build the expertise of social workers in systemic practice, motivational interviewing, direct work with children and specific techniques such as the Graded Care Profile.

Practice Educating is encouraged to support the learning culture

Leadership programmes from the Institute of Leadership and Management ILM are available and we will be focusing on developing leadership in our first line managers.

Each member of staff has a Personal Development Plan which is specific to their needs. We ensure that staff can build on their SW qualification, develop specialist interests and participate in multi agency groups such as the Medway Safeguarding Children’s Board.

Induction

You will receive a comprehensive induction programme which will be tailored by your manager to ensure that you are successfully inducted in your new role, and understand the Medway approach to working with children and families.

Additional Research and Learning Tools

In addition to the above, Medway provides additional research and learning tools for social work staff including membership of Research in Practice (RIP), and Research in Practice for Adults (RIPfA).

We are committed to your professional development and you will receive regular professional supervision in your role to ensure you continue to develop and learn.

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