Our Teams and Roles
Find out more about the teams that make up our children’s services here in Gloucestershire.
Our Children’s services work to protect children and young people in Gloucestershire. We aim to work with families to make sure children are in a safe environment which allows them to thrive and reach their full potential. Find out more about our teams and the work we do.
Multi-agency Safeguarding hub (MASH)
The MASH receive all new contacts when there is concern that a child could be at risk. The team will work with partners to determine the level of risk to the child and how we should respond to that risk. This information is then transferred to locality assessment teams who will carry out initial contact with families and assessments.
Our Assessment Teams operate across the county, providing the initial responses to safeguarding referrals. They are responsible for visiting families, completing single assessments and working with families up until Initial Child Protection Conferences where this is necessary. Their focus is on delivering good quality assessments which take account of historical information, culture, disability and the views of the children.
Children supported in these teams are either under child protection plans, children in need plans or in care plans. This means the teams may need to work with the courts to undertake pre-proceedings and proceedings. The teams will work with partners to make sure that every child has an accurate assessment of need, with a plan that sets out how help will be delivered, with improved outcomes and arrangements for review.
In Gloucester we have a unique children and families model, which means we have smaller multi agency teams which work within specific areas of the Gloucester locality. Our social workers work closely with a dedicated team of professionals, including adult substance misuse, adult mental health, adult education and domestic violence specialists. This allows us to benefit from working together to provide an inclusive service.
Disabled Children and Young People Team
This specialist team works with disabled children and young people across Gloucestershire who need additional support. The team identifies and provides support across the spectrum of early help, Children In Need, Child Protection and Children in Care. The service follows a personalised approach and uses personal budgets to enable individualised commissioning of support based to meet needs and outcomes for the child or young person.
Children in Care, Fostering & Adoption
Permanency Teams (0-11's)
Our Children in Care Permanency Team support children aged 0-11 years to achieve a stable outcome. This could mean adoption, special guardianship, long term fostering or returning home. In doing so our social workers are focused on empowering children by making sure their voice is heard and their life history is considered.
Permanency Teams (11-25) and Care Leaver Teams
These teams support children in care between the ages of 11-25 in maintaining a stable placement as well as pathway planning. They make sure children are equipped with the skills to be independent and reach their full potential which will support their transition into becoming a care leaver.
The adoption team recruits and assesses people who want to adopt and supports them through the process, from the beginning of any placement right the way though to post-adoption. Once a child reaches adulthood they are able to access our support to adopted adults. Our adoption services will soon be delivered by Adoption West, a separate regional organisation working across the south west councils to provide a collaborative approach for children and adopters.
Our fostering teams support the development and viability assessment of kinship arrangements. This includes the monitoring and support of Special Guardianship Order, the quality and retention of our foster carers and matching children who need a placement with approved foster carer.
We have a number of different roles within our team.
Newly qualified social workers (ASYE)
Our Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE) programme benefits from strong links with the University of Gloucestershire, with input from a principal social worker and consultant social workers dedicated to practice learning and development. The ASYE includes a protected caseload tailored to skills and experience, so that social workers taking part in the programme can continue to develop their practice as a social worker. It’s all about building strong foundations for a career in social care.
Find out more about the ASYE Programme
Children’s social workers
Children’s social workers will work to protect children and young people and enable them to develop resilience through responsive relationships. They work inclusively with children services colleagues and partners to improve outcomes for children and young people. Social workers will assess a families needs and plan and implement suitable multi-agency interventions and service provisions. Social workers have the opportunity to progress to the senior social worker role through completing a competency based progression test.
Children’s senior social workers
As an experienced social worker you will manage a complex caseload working with children, young people and their families. Senior social workers also act as role models, supporting less experienced social workers and promoting best practice.
Senior social workers are able to apply critical and ethical understanding of legislation and statutory frameworks. They can design outcome-focused plans and interventions to ensure best outcomes for children, young people and their families.
Children's advanced practitioners
Our advanced practitioners are experienced and skilled social workers who are responsible for the quality of social work practice alongside team managers. They take the lead in the professional development of social workers and other practitioners, whilst holding a small complex caseload. Working as the practice educator for student placements, advanced practitioners work closely with the team manager to create a culture of continuous professional development and learning.
Our team managers lead and manage a team of social workers in the delivery of services to children, young people and families. They have oversight of the team activity, managing performance and making sure staff have the chance to develop. Managers make the decisions around the cases in the team, working closely with multi-agency partners and senior managers as appropriate.
Fostering social workers
Our fostering social workers are responsible for the sourcing and recruitment of in-house foster carers and the management of placements. They support and assess placements with friends and family, with the aim of offering children a sense of security and permanency through a supported fostering placement. They work to make sure that children and young people are surrounded by an environment that allows them to thrive and reach their full potential.
Community social workers
The community social worker forms part of our early help offer. Working as part of our community based teams, they support lead practitioners within the community to protect children and young people and help families with complex needs.
Our Children’s services is led by three directors; Chris Spencer, Director of Children’s Services (statutory duty), Julie Rzezniczek, Director of Safeguarding and Care and Andy Dempsey, Director of Children’s Partnerships and Strategy. You can take a look at our structure here.