Group manager opportunities - children and families

Are you an aspirational and exceptional social care leader with a passionate commitment to achieving excellence for children and young people?

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  • "For the last four years I have watched this authority move from strength to strength"

Welcome - thank you for your interest in this post.

North Yorkshire is England's largest county and a beautiful, vibrant place to live and work.

North Yorkshire County Council has a reputation for delivering high quality services. Its children’s services are nationally recognised for their excellence, taking a national lead to share best practice.

As a council we have an immensely successful track record. We are extremely proud to be the first and only authority nationally to have received an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted grade in every category under a new and challenging social care inspection framework which focuses on the effectiveness of frontline practice! Our recent Ofsted report states:

"Children and families in North Yorkshire receive a consistent, high quality service. There is outstanding practice within all teams, which has a demonstrably positive impact on effecting change for children and families".

Yvette Stanley, Ofsted national director for social care said:

“This is a magnificent achievement and one which I wanted to particularly acknowledge today as this is the first time that Ofsted has awarded outstanding judgements across the board under the new inspection of local authority children's services framework. This outcome is therefore an important milestone not just for North Yorkshire, but for the social care and wider children’s services sector, too.

Your ‘outstanding’ inspection outcome reflects the hard work and tenacity of yourself, your leadership team, managers and frontline staff, as well as the wider council and your safeguarding partners. You should all be proud of the positive difference you have made for the children and families of North Yorkshire."

We also have a good story to tell when it comes to value for money, service delivery and impact in the communities of North Yorkshire we serve. 

The independent Local Government Association (LGA) peer review was one of the most positive reports they had ever written: ‘North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) is a very good council – its services are highly regarded and the peer review team witnessed areas of excellence… [it] has a clear understanding of the challenges and the opportunities that the county council and the county face.’

The review gave tremendous feedback to our children’s services, referring to them as outstanding and providing a beacon for other authorities grappling with the challenges of delivering excellent outcomes for families and children while operating under a constrained budget.

Isabelle Trowler - chief social worker - shares her views on our children and young people's service:

The LGC awards are one of the most coveted awards available to local authorities and we were delighted to have been shortlisted in four categories for the LGC Awards 2017, including council of the year category and children’s services category.  We were up against very stiff competition but were delighted to win Partnership of the year for our children and young people’s multi-agency screening team. We were also very pleased to be given 'highly commended’ for both council of the year and for our children’s services.This success clearly indicates the commitment and professional expertise of our workforce as well as our creativity and ‘can do’ attitude in the face of challenging times.

Whilst what we do, we do well, we are not complacent and with true Yorkshire resilience we constantly strive for further improvement. There are significant challenges facing our children’s service and organisation as a whole. We are currently in the process of delivering a beyond 2020 North Yorkshire change programme which is an ambitious programme to realign the council in the face of significantly reduced funding levels. The programme contains major changes in how the council will operate and represents a significant undertaking. The only way to address the magnitude of the challenge is by an equally ambitious programme of change. It is more important than ever that we work in genuine partnership, are crystal clear about our priorities, and are resolutely focused on improving outcomes.

In relation to our children’s service, we are especially challenged with maintaining our outstanding Ofsted rating, ensuring services are most effective in delivering the best outcomes for children, young people and their families. We are highly committed to delivering innovative and responsive approaches to keep children attached to their family, networks and community wherever possible using relationship and strengths based approaches.

Our commitment to continuous improvement and in response to the challenges we face in the ever-changing landscape, we have recently reviewed and restructured the service, and as a result we are looking to appoint three new group manager. These posts are critical to the service. Two of these posts will have responsibility for the safeguarding and looked after children service, one based in the West of North Yorkshire covering Harrogate, Skipton and Ripon, the other post based in Scarborough with responsibility for Scarborough, Whitby and Ryedale. The third Group manager post will lead the multi-agency screening team with responsibility for front door and the specialist social worker service provision. The post holder will drive specialist practice and complex casework.

The Group Manager posts will have direct line management of the team managers in the service. We have a clear practice model that is embedded in the service which drives relationship based approaches using a systemic approach and the signs of safety model. We are proud that we have a flourishing social work service that works alongside families using restorative, solution focused approaches.

We are ambitious and aspirational for the children and families that we work with and we have high ambitions of what we can achieve. These posts are critical to service delivery and require innovative, forward thinking and solution focused skills in order to continue to drive and innovate the service.

If you are interested in meeting the challenge and helping us to continue to offer an outstanding service to the children and families of North Yorkshire, we look forward to receiving your application.

As an authority we are highly ambitious in the outcomes we seek for all children and young people.  We are an exceptional, award winning children’s service, spreading innovative practice nationally.

As we say in “ Young and Yorkshire 2 (pdf / 7 MB)”, our children and young people’s plan, we want life chances increasingly to be in their own hands and not determined by geography or family circumstances. We also want to be an inclusive authority with high quality education provision and support which works well together across the spectrum of need, whilst working with the reality of public sector funding challenges.

North Yorkshire has a growing reputation for its children and young people’s service with exceptionally successful Ofsted outcomes and award winning innovation programmes. As a result, the LA is one of the DfE “partner in practice” authorities. It is certainly a LA which recognises the need for creativity and collaboration and for greater engagement of all in finding new solutions to historic challenges.

High quality education transforms lives. It brings alive knowledge and skills and ignites enterprise and endeavour. It liberates the talent and ingenuity of everyone it touches. We are determined that every young person in our schools must have access to the right opportunities, experiences and support that they need to succeed.

This passion for education continues to drive us. We are proud of our collective track record with 92% of children going to a good or outstanding primary school and 87% of children going to a good or outstanding secondary school. We have seen significant progress against our ambitions for improvement and the results achieved by students in secondary schools remain some of the best in the country.

The council is also leading and supporting some key cutting-edge initiatives that, with partners, are making a difference to the education offer in the county. The coastal district of Scarborough has schools with particular challenges and through the scarborough pledge and opportunities area investment in areas including early help, raising aspirations and improving schools are in place.

In addition to this, the previous education secretary, Justine Greening, announced that six areas identified as the most challenged when it comes to social mobility, will have access to funding to address the biggest challenges they face. These six “opportunity areas” will benefit from help in ensuring children get the best start in the early years, building teaching and leadership capacity in schools, increasing access to university, strengthening technical pathways for young people, and working with employers to improve young people’s access to the right advice and experiences. Scarborough was one of first places to be identified as an “opportunity area”.

The inclusion service is a broad area and provides integrated services for children and young people (0-25yrs), with special educational needs and disabilities. This covers provisions across a range of functions, including special schools, enhanced mainstream schools and pupil referral units. This is where we differ from some other local authorities and our approach provides a strong sense of the voice of children and young people, keeping them at the heart of the service.

As a service, we are committed to creating a healthy culture where social workers feel that they have a forum to share their views about the organisation and environment in which they work. We have been nominated for several awards and have previously won employer of the year at the social work awards. Through our workforce strategy we also ensure that staff receive continuous and excellent support from management.

Don’t just take our word for it. In our last health check survey our social workers told us that they had manageable workloads, supportive and transparent management and the opportunity for CPD. Overall the survey revealed that:

  • 93% would recommend North Yorkshire as a good place to be a social worker
  • 100% were happy with the amount of supervision received, allowing them the opportunity to reflect and to continue to deliver high quality social work in the county.
  • 94% believe that NYCC is a learning organisation and has a positive learning culture, offering a transparent culture which nurtures practice learning and the development of professional practice.
  • 84% felt supported to manage any work-related pressures, allowing them the time and space to make good decisions, focusing their efforts on making a real difference.

As part of the testament to social work recruitment and retention with the exception of a couple of social workers completing a short 3 month assignment we have not engaged agency social workers for over 5 years. Our vacancy rate is low and there is low turnover of staff. As a result of our workforce stability, children enjoy positive and stable relationships with their social workers.

Our 'no wrong door' initiative is seen nationally as a flagship programme with over 40 authorities working with us to mirror local practice. The scheme has been introduced to support troubled and challenging young people who have been in and out of foster care. No Wrong Door is expected to reduce the county’s looked after population to 400 – it has already dropped by 20% in the space of 18 months and is now seen as a national exemplar. Stepney Road, a no wrong door centre based in Scarborough is leading the way nationally in improving the lives of young people, gaining an “outstanding” Ofsted rating in their latest inspection.

This track record provides an excellent base to advance your career; safe in the knowledge that you have a strong foundation from which to further build our services locally and nationally. We are a large authority providing the opportunity to work at scale, on a national stage and further develop cutting edge practice.

If you think you are up to the challenge, we would like to hear from you!

Key documents:

 

About the role

Group manager east – safeguarding and LAC.
Group manager west – Safeguarding and LAC
Group manager countywide access & vulnerabilities (mast and policy).
 

Salary: £48,000 to £55,840 (subject to pay award agreement 2019)

Are you an aspirational and exceptional social care leader with a passionate commitment to achieving excellence for children and young people?

North Yorkshire has a growing reputation for its children and young people’s service; unprecedented Ofsted outcomes, award winning innovation programmes and sharing best practice nationally. Providing these roles with the platform to further shape and lead some exciting, innovative approaches whilst making their mark, operating at scale and on a national platform.

We are pursuing ambitious plans for transformation; to face the challenge of balancing the need to make large-scale efficiencies with our plans for modernisation, whilst working through what is an ever changing landscape, and the delivery of service excellence. Great progress on that journey has been made; we have the ability to invest the resources necessary to ensure that our priorities are met now and into the future.

With this in mind, we are now looking for Group managers with vision, leadership and the drive to meet challenges head on, as well as someone who can work successfully with key stakeholders and take managers with us; to realise our ambition.

You will be an inspirational, progressive, supportive and visible leader steeped in innovative professional social work practice. You will understand and have the ability to navigate the challenging and ever changing children and young people’s landscape and above all you will have a passionate commitment to young people with a moral purpose at the core.

As group manager you will be a true social care professional providing clear, assured direction and innovative leadership to the operational delivery of our children and families service. A member of the children and families service team, you will also ensure continual improvement in performance and quality of practice across your service.

Given our system you will play a key leadership role. In return we can provide you with:

  • A strong foundation to progress some really interesting, innovative, high impact, ground breaking work.
  • The opportunity to positively influence our children and families service.
  • A large organisation serving the largest county in the country providing the opportunity to work at scale.
  • An excellent reputation, allowing you to work with organisation’s on a national stage and trade services commercially.
  • Strong political leadership and partnership arrangements providing catalysts for change not barriers to overcome.
  • An authority which is financially stable as a result of our grip on performance and resources, and our ability to spend the Yorkshire pound astutely allowing you to forge forward with innovative practice.
  • Career Progression. Our grip, resilience and agility provides the platform for you to make your mark and enjoy personal and professional success.
  • Excellent CPD opportunities which are closely aligned to our vision for a truly systemic model of practice, including training in Signs of Safety.
  • Access to exceptional partnerships including our team of 11 clinical psychologists.

We are looking for a leader with a proven track record. If you are an excellent manager, with a strong background in professional social care practice, performance management and partnership working, and you are interested in taking North Yorkshire forward then we would like to hear from you.

Each role has a designated base, though we support flexible working and you will be supported by the provision of modern technology, enabling you to work where and when it is most productive.

We provide comprehensive benefits and relocation packages, details of which are available below.

Perhaps more importantly, we believe that you will be welcomed by a truly inspirational team in an innovative, successful organisation; providing you with the robust and supportive platform to personally and professionally succeed.

We currently have the following opportunities:

Group manager east – safeguarding and LAC based at North Yorkshire House, Scarborough with responsibility for Whitby, Ryedale and Scarborough. 
Group manager west – safeguarding and LAC based at Manor Road Knaresbough covering Ripon, Harrogate and Skipton.

You will have responsibility for leading on the development of policies across the Children and Families Service at an operational level for the LAC and Safeguarding teams within a locality, with a focus on quality practice and outcomes. Supporting the Head of Service to drive improvements by ensuring that operational practice and procedures are embedded and provide well-informed challenge to teams.

Group manager countywide access & vulnerabilities (mast and policy)

You will have the responsibility Multi-Agency Screening Team, policy development and specialist social workers. You will have the ability to operate in an environment of transformational change and innovation.  Capacity to manage change in a time of financial constraints and provide clear leadership and management to enable staff, including partners to perform at their best is required.

Please note: this position requires a social work qualification.

Key dates

Closing date: 15 January 2019

Interview dates:
Group Manager East – Monday 28 January 2019
Group Manager West – Wednesday 30 January 2019
Group Manager Countywide Access & Vulnerabilities – Thursday 31 January 2019

Key documents

It really is a stunning, vibrant county with safe communities and excellent education. It is rich in heritage and culture, in a back drop of outstanding natural beauty, vibrant cities, market towns, quaint villages, stunning rural and coast landscapes. A simply stunning location to live and work, we really do have it all if you are considering relocating here and we provide a comprehensive relocation benefits package.

Northallerton benefits from excellent road and rail links, with easy access via the East Coast mainline, the A1(M) and A19. Leeds, York, Newcastle, Durham and Teesside are all easily commutable, and London just 2hrs by train. North Yorkshire borders the Lake District, Lancashire, County Durham, and Yorkshire & Humber regions with all they have to offer.

Contact us

For an informal discussion about this opportunity we encourage applicants to contact Vicky Metheringham on 01609 534900 or Danielle Johnson on 01609 534132.

Apply now

To apply please send your CV including a personal statement in one Word document (not pdf) clearly annotating GME (East position), GMW (West position) or GMCAV to resourcingsolutions@northyorks.gov.uk by midnight on 15th January 2019.

It is important that your CV includes: your full contact details (telephone, email, address), full employment history (name of employer, job titles, dates of employment and salary), full education history (qualification, grade, dates and name of place of study), explanation of any gaps in employment and the contact details of at least two referees including your current/most recent employer indicating whether you provide us with the authority to contact each referee prior to interview. Your personal statement should outline your motivation for applying and how you meet the criteria for the role as detailed in the person specification above.

We will not accept applications from agencies.