Hull is a City with renewed sense of optimism and is a great city in which to live and to work.
The Council is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults and expects all employees and volunteers to share this commitment.
We require all Social Workers to have -
- a strong child-centred value base that informs the work with children, young people and families
- a relentless commitment to quality - and to be able to talk about what good practice 'looks like' for children, young people and families
- a capacity for honest reflection and openness to learning
- an ability to build relationships and communicate with children and families
- an ability to build working relationships with our partners.
Structure - Children's Social Care
Hull’s Children’s Social Care (CSC) service provides a large number of services to vulnerable children in need, children with disabilities, children at risk of harm and those who are looked after (LAC) by Hull City Council. All open cases have an allocated social worker (or personal advisor).
Each of our teams typically has a Team Manager, an Advanced Social Worker and up to four social workers. Some teams also have Family Practitioners and are supported by a Clinician and a Team Co-ordinator.
We have the following teams -
Front door EHASH
Hull Children’s Social Care (CSC) has a ‘Front Door’ service which is the first point of contact for any individual or agency that requires information, advice and safeguarding services for children and/or who may be worried about the welfare of a child. The ‘Front Door’ records all the incoming contacts for the Early Help and Safeguarding Hub (EHASH). Where a contact is received, the EHASH conduct screening and information checks through each of its multi-agency partners and decides how to best help. They provide advice, guidance, signposting and make decisions about whether ‘threshold’ is met to refer the child and family to one of the CSC Assessment Teams, or ‘divert’ the child and family to our Early Help, within 24 hours. The EHASH is a truly multi-agency team containing social workers, Police, Education, Health, YOT and Probation professionals, who work together to share information.
Referral and assessment teams
Hull has 5 assessment teams, who undertake child and family assessments (within 45 days) and child protection enquiries, working closely with the local police and health agencies. Once the assessment has identified the issues and the child’s level of need, Children’s Social Care (CSC) may recommended the family are signposted to support provided by another service. They may be transferred to our Early Help or transferred to a social worker in CSC to provide an ongoing service in one of the locality teams. Hull has adopted the ‘Systemic’ (Bexley put ‘signs of safety’ here) approach across all its teams.
Early help teams
These teams work with families identified as likely to benefit from support to prevent entry into statutory services and to support those families who no longer need a specialist level of help from statutory service. The service is available to children where there is parental mental ill health, substance misuse, domestic abuse and/or a child is at risk of permanent exclusion.
There are 3 locality teams of Early Help workers who work with families using a ‘outcome star’ approach . These teams also works closely with partners in the voluntary sector to provide support and advice to families.
LOCALITY TEAMS; East, North & West
Hull has 3 locality teams, if the assessment team recommends the child would benefit from help and support from a social worker, the family are transferred through to the relevant locality team. Localities are organised into teams covering different areas of Hull, in order to develop good working partnerships with colleagues in other key agencies. Social workers in the locality teams work with children in need, children subject to child protection plans and where there is insufficient safety in the family, these teams may initiate PLO and court proceedings. The work of the locality social workers is supported by the Independent Conference & Review Officers (ICROs) who work collaboratively with the teams to ensure that child protection plans are keeping children safe and promoting good outcomes. There is also positive links with early help teams ensuring when appropriate families are stepped down to targeted support and early help.
Children with disabilities
The Disabled Children Service conducts its own specialist assessments for those children referred directly to that team via the EHASH. If a child meets the local eligibility criteria, the family will be offered support services either directly through the Local Authority e.g. through short breaks respite care, and/or through ‘direct payments’ for some or all care and adaptations required for the child.
Permanence and leaving care
Our Permanence Team have responsibility for our looked after children, care proceedings and young people we look after who we are helping prepare to leave our care or move into our dedicated Leaving Care Team. All Looked After Children have an allocated social worker who is responsible for ensuring that their placement (foster carers, Residential Providers, Semi-Independent Providers or Supported Lodging Providers) is meeting their needs in terms of Care provided, contact with family, education & health needs. Once a Looked After child turns 17.5 they will also be allocated a Personal Advisor from the Leaving Care Team. Once the young person turns 18 if they meet the criteria for a Leaving Care Service they will transfer into the Leaving Care Team until they are 21 or 25 if they remain in Higher education. Our Personal Advisors support young people with their tenancy and living independently. This includes support with higher education, work experience, traineeships, apprenticeships, budgeting, benefits & health care needs.
Edge of care
This is a specialist integrated service which includes a Police officer, Speech & Language therapist, Youth Justice officer and a Clinical Psychologist for complex adolescents. The team have a shared practice and a specific role to provide high intensity help when families are in crisis and children aged between 11-17 years old are on the edge of coming into care. This team works alongside the allocated social worker to provide additional help to families to help keep children and young people at home safely.
Placements are part of the wider specialist services including fostering and adoption. The placements team identifies and co-ordinates arrangements for placements including ‘in house’ fostering, independent fostering agencies and residential care. The team works alongside the allocated social worker and manager and makes every effort to match the child to a suitable carer from within the authority. The team includes a contract officer who provides excellent oversight to contract management and commissioning.
This team is responsible for recruiting, assessing, supporting, regulating and training Hull foster carers. The Local Authority maintains a pool of ‘in house’ foster carers, some of whom reside in Hull and others live elsewhere. When members of the public express an interest in fostering, the Fostering Team social worker undertakes an initial screening, then potential candidates undergo a thorough 16 week approval process where the social worker undertakes and presents an assessment to a fostering panel. The panel recommends to the agency decision maker (ADM) whether or not to approve the applicant/s. If approved, the foster carer is allocated a ‘fostering social worker’ in the Fostering Team who provides support and training as they have looked after children placed in their care.
The Adoption Team recruits and undertakes assessments of prospective adopters. The adoption social worker makes a recommendation to an independent adoption panel, which recommends to the ADM whether or not the applicant is suitable for adopting any child. The Adoption Team also provide training and the Local Authority is required to continue to provide support to adopters in post adoptive arrangements as necessary.
Pause works with women who have experienced, or are at risk of, repeat removals of children from their care. Through an intense programme of support, it aims to break this cycle and give women the opportunity to reflect, tackle destructive patterns of behaviour, and to develop new skills and responses that can help them create a more positive future.
The virtual school
We have a responsibility to ensure the children we look after have their health and education promoted to reach their full potential. The Virtual School team is in place to ensure all looked after children in Hull have a place in appropriate educational provision and are supported to through a Personal Education Plan (PEP) and use of the Pupil Premium Plus. The Virtual School monitors academic attainment, attendance, exclusions, supports children by providing additional support and assists in securing good school placements for our looked after children.
Looked after children
We have a looked after children nurse in the service to ensure all looked after children have regular annual health and dental assesments and access to health services to promote their health and well being.
Independent conference and reviewing team
Independent Reviewing Officers are responsible for chairing looked after children’s review meetings and monitor their care plans to ensure their needs are being met. They also chair Child Protection Conferences and offer consultation to social workers and will chair complex meetings to provide an independent perspective. Staff in these roles are qualified, experienced social workers with managerial experience.
The team is responsible for developing the skills of staff and driving continuous improvement in the quality of professional practice. The Head of Professional Standards and Quality Assurance is the Council’s lead principal social worker and the overall manager of workforce development.
Advocacy, access and support team
The Advocacy, Access and Support team provides support for looked after children and young people up to the age of 21. The service aims to ensure that the voices of children and young people are heard in decisions which affect their lives.
The work undertaken supports young people to raise issues important to them through the Young Voices Influencing Care (YVIC), the Council’s Children in Care Council. Young people are encouraged to take ideas and issues to relevant partners such as youth parliament, the corporate parenting board and other youth forums. The service also supports young people through the complaints procedure to help them navigate the process. As well as YVIC and dealing with complaints the service provides independent consultation with young people for example independently supporting young people to attend looked after children (LAC) reviews, also providing an independent service to seek young peoples’ views on their experience.
Complaints, compliments and feedback team
This team is part of the Professional Standard and Quality Assurance Service. It plays a vital role in providing quality assurance and robust challenge to ensure that high standards are achieved and proper procedures are followed. The team also coordinate our service audit program and oversee all complaints, compliments and feedback for children, young people and families services.