Head of Service - Child Placements (fostering, adoption, No Wrong Door and Housing Pathway) - circa £71k plus £8k relocation allowance

We are looking for an innovative and self-motivated leader who is passionate about delivering a 21st century child placement service with a focus on keeping North Yorkshire children in our area.

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Welcome - thank you for your interest in our role.

We are looking for an innovative leader who is passionate about delivering a 21st century child placement service with a relentless focus on keeping North Yorkshire Children in our area. You will provide strategic leadership and direction across our in house award winning, Fostering, No Wrong Door and Adoption service, whilst also providing direction to out Strengthening Families Protecting Children’s Team. The work of the team is fast paced and works with several other national local authorities and works closely with key national leaders in government departments, putting you firmly at the centre of exciting innovative developments.

You will have many opportunities to develop your skills and raise your national profile as a key leader in a highly successful service which delivers some of the best performance in the country. You will play a key role within the senior management team bringing robust support and challenge to all areas of the social care system on our relentless journey of continuous improvement and innovation. We expect nothing short of the best for our children and their families, with all services working to a strengths based approach. We believe passionately in building support and safety using community and family to ensure all children have support well in to their late adult life.

‘Keeping children close’ is not just a priority in a strategic plan it is engrained deep in to the DNA of our services. Ensuring young people get the quality of service we expect, we invest in delivering exceptional provider services and rarely need to commission an external arrangement for our children. To achieve this we invest in you! We provide world class training at the forefront of today’s best social care work. We provide you with the authorising environment to develop and innovate, to test and explore new concepts and approaches and to have the autonomy to be creative.

We are looking for someone who isn’t interested in just settling for second best, but someone who believes passionately in making sure every single child gets the service they deserve, nothing less than what you would expect for your own child. You will be an accomplished leader who can be visionary whilst have the ability to take people with you including partners in other organisations. You will be resilient and confident in dealing with risk and uncertainty whilst being able to keep others around you calm and focussed, even in the most challenging moments.

We make a real difference to the lives of children and young people in North Yorkshire. 

We are now seeking a Head of Child Placements to help us drive change and continuous improvement across our services.

Martin Kelly - Assistant Director, Children and Families

At the core of our work is the belief that children and young people deserve to receive the outstanding care and support they need to live and reach their full potential. We are one of a small number of Local Authorities nationally to be rated ‘outstanding’ across all provisions  (Ofsted 2018) (pdf / 253 KB) and as a corporate parent we are dedicated to supporting children and young people in remaining close to their home and local community. We are truly a learning organisation that continually seeks to innovate and finely tune the system with an unwavering desire to continually improve, which has a demonstrably positive impact on effecting change for children and families.

As a result, North Yorkshire has a reputation for delivering high quality services. Our Children and Young People’s Service is nationally recognised for excellence. 

The key objectives of the North Yorkshire children and young people's service are set out in ‘Young and Yorkshire 2’, the Children and Young People's Plan. The plan has been written for all children, young people and their families in North Yorkshire that represents all the agencies working with children and young people across the county.

As a national leader, North Yorkshire’s children’s services have been recognised as an exemplar through the award of Partners in Practice status. We are among the strongest local authorities in the country and through Partners in Practice, we continue to demonstrate what works to build understanding of the conditions needed for excellent practice to flourish. We drive sector led improvement through peer support to authorities; and support the Department for Education to shape and test policy on wider programmes and reform.

We seek to reflect on traditional methods and develop new innovative approaches which are reflective of today’s issues, with this in mind, we offer support to other local authorities in the following areas: Front Door, reducing numbers of looked after children, No Wrong Door, Signs of Safety, children and family services, whole system diagnostic, family group conferencing, Smart solutions, workforce development and staffing and strategic planning frameworks.

We are immensely proud to be one of three authorities nationally to attract significant funding from the Department for Education's Strengthening Families Protecting Children programme. This brings with it a remit to expand the highly successful No Wrong Door approach in other local authorities. Providing support through an integrated team helped keep 86 per cent of young people out of the care system, reduce high-risk behaviours and reduce over £1m in costs for local agencies in North Yorkshire. The Department for Education's SFPC programme has received an investment of over £84 million over five years to support up to twenty local authorities to improve work with families and safely reduce the number of children entering care. North Yorkshire will extend the No Wrong Door model to six local authorities: Rochdale, Redcar and Cleveland, Norfolk, Warrington, Leicester City, the trailblazer being Middlesbrough Council. 

Beyond having a strong track record and national recognition, we are a learning organisation and we truly understand the importance of evolving and creating an inclusive environment for social work to flourish. 

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 project, which is an ambitious programme to realign the Council in the face of significantly reduced funding levels. This 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 focussed on improving outcomes. 

In this video, Mel Hutchinson (Head of Permanence and Reunification) talks about the Head of Child Placement post and the work of the service...

We are now looking for an insightful leader, who is ambitious, confident and resilient in challenging practice and holding staff and each other to account within a supportive learning culture. Working successfully with key stakeholders is second nature to you and your personal drive will take key service managers with us; to realise our ambition. As you already know what excellent practice looks like, you exude confidence in using your personal professional practice to effect any change required. 

You will constantly strive for the highest quality, cutting edge children’s social care to be delivered across North Yorkshire, supporting and protecting children and young people in the best possible way. You can work at scale, adapt to the challenges and ensure consistency when working at a distance, maintaining visibility across your teams. Your career with us will mean much more than just a salary. There is great opportunity here to get to grips with some really exciting, innovative, high impact and ground breaking work. 

You will have a good understanding of the legislative context of safeguarding, Looked After Children (including residential care) and adoption to ensure all services remain compliant whilst being ambitious to innovate. However, you will also have a great team to work with you on these issues.

You will also have the opportunity to work collaboratively, not a transactional approach. Leading services who are working 24/7 with the commitment of keeping children and young people safe in North Yorkshire.

You will receive the very best support, working alongside some talented and inspirational people. Benefits - we will provide you with training and learning in areas such as systemic practice, signs of safety and the internationally recognised model of family finding. We will support you with over £5,000 of development in your first year with us. Investment in your continuous professional development continues throughout your career. A number of Heads of Service across North Yorkshire have used their experience to transition into senior regional and national roles. 

You will have the opportunity to have a very visible career building your professional network, with work that is recognised both regionally and nationally. We are very much a learning forward-thinking authority, we learn, listen and shape continually. We manage risks and strengths building on what is stable and manage anxieties well.

As well as the above, we can also offer an attractive benefits package. This will include; flexible working hours, a local government pension scheme, family friendly leave, salary sacrifice, learning and development packages, employee discount benefits, opportunities for career progression working across a diverse client base and access to a range of technologies to support modern and agile ways of working.

The role has a flexible base; as a council, we are very much committed to encouraging flexible working for our employees, arranged around the demands of the role. You can work from bases across the county as well as working from home. Our head office is in Northallerton, therefore visibility here and throughout the county is required in this leadership role.

You will have the opportunity to join a learning organisation developing your skills and career alongside having North Yorkshire County Council on your CV, which has one of the best reputations... a career enhancing opportunity!

If you share our passion to deliver improved outcomes for children, we would really like to hear from you. You will be welcomed by a talented and stable leadership team.

North Yorkshire County Council prides itself on being the biggest employer in North Yorkshire leading from the front and constantly seeking to innovate and finely tune the system with an unwavering desire to continually improve. We welcome and celebrate diversity and inclusion and the strengths this brings to our communities and work force, we aim to provide excellent and efficient local services enabling everyone to fulfil their potential, to do this we give everyone equal access to services and job opportunities. 

We heavily invest in the development of our employees, providing training and qualifications to further enhance their careers. We can offer you multiple opportunities for career progression working across diverse services and with access to a range of technologies to support modern and agile ways of working.

As a council we are very much committed to encouraging flexible working for our employees, which will include using modern technologies to connect with clients, working from other bases across the county as well as working from home.

We can offer you a comprehensive benefits package including:

  • A local government pension scheme;
  • Family friendly leave;
  • Salary sacrifice schemes;
  • Modern flexible working practices;
  • Learning and development packages; and
  • Employee discount benefits.

 Total rewards brochure (pdf / 380 KB)

If you are considering relocating to North Yorkshire we provide a  comprehensive relocation benefits package (pdf / 180 KB).

This features up to £8,000 to cover reasonable costs such as:

  • removal expenses
  • storage costs
  • legal and estate agent fees
  • travelling experiences

North Yorkshire is a thriving county which adapts to a changing world and remains a special place to live and work. 

North Yorkshire natural beauty is captured in its three areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, National Nature Reserves, stunning coastlines, scenic rural villages, vibrant cities and market towns. North Yorkshire really is a beautiful, thriving and special place to live and work, rich in heritage and culture.

North Yorkshire features significantly in the ten best places to live in the UK in Halifax Quality of Life Survey 2019. The Quality of Life index aims to quantify where living standards are highest in the UK by ranking local performance across a range of indicators; 

Richmondshire was placed second in the list, a position boosted by excellent personal wellbeing factors (life satisfaction, happiness)

Hambleton was placed fourth and Ryedale was placed eighth, a truly commendable achievement and another incredible accolade for North Yorkshire. 

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) March 2019 bulletin positions North Yorkshire as the safest place in England with extremely low crime rates.  

In addition the county 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/ Edinburgh just two hours away by train. 

From its lively cities to pretty villages, rolling countryside and grand coastline, Yorkshire has so much to offer.

As a whole North Yorkshire offers a high standard of living working in a stunning location.

Great employment opportunities for your family members along with a higher proportion of schools, which are good or outstanding compared to national figures. 

Head of Service - Child Placements (fostering, adoption, No Wrong Door and Housing Pathway)

Salary: Up to circa £71k (subject to experience) and a relocation package of up to £8k.
Grade: SM2
Location: Within North Yorkshire. The service very much promotes flexible working with the ability to work remotely from other bases, as well as working from home. We provide exceptional technology, providing all the equipment to support home based working.
Hours: Full-time
Contract: Permanent

The basic salary for this role (dependent on experience) is £59,526 to £67,815. However, the salary with the temporary enhancement is circa £71,000 taking into account a two scale point honoraria for external work including Partners in Practice. This will be subject to review in two years.

Key documents

Contact us

For an informal discussion, please contact Martin Kelly, Assistant Director - Children and Young People's Service, on 01609 536425 or 07568 132999. Alternatively, email Martin.Kelly@northyorks.gov.uk.

Key dates

  • Closing date: Thursday 18 March 2021
  • Interviews: Friday 26 March 2021


Apply - Head of Child Placements

Please note, our system is undergoing maintenance and will not be available between 6pm 11th March - 9am 15th March. If you have any issues please contact ResourcingSolutions@northyorks.gov.uk

We will also accept applications via CV. Please ensure your CV includes a personal statement in one Microsoft Word document to ResourcingSolutions@northyorks.gov.uk by midnight on Thursday 18 March stating “Head of Child Placement” in the email title.

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), 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.

When applying please take into account the supporting information section of your application. This should clearly evidence your ability to meet the requirements we have outlined in the person specification. The information you provide in this section will be used to shortlist applicants for this role and therefore it is imperative that you provide evidence as requested.

We look forward to receiving your application, thank you for your interest.