Head of Practice

Dedicated. Supportive. Unique. Join an organisation that’s just like you.

Here at Cafcass we support over 140,000 children and their families every year, safeguarding and promoting the welfare of each and every child and ensuring their voice is heard in Family Proceedings.

Let’s make a difference. Together.

If you join us as Head of Practice, you’ll see further references to ‘Together’ as this is the name of our new relationship-based practice framework. Built around our values, it is at the heart of the work we do and encourages us to be pro-active and to look for the strengths in ourselves and others, to build positive relationships with our colleagues, our partners and with the children and families that we work with.

And so, if you join us, as well as drawing on your considerable experience to lead and inspire those around you to ensure the delivery of high-quality services, you will need to model the values that underpin ‘Together’ and help embed this so it becomes the recognised way of working.

Benefits that really benefit you.

As the largest employer of Social Workers in England, few organisations understand the professional and personal challenges as well as we do. We know you want to be rewarded appropriately for your expertise and service, you want time away from work to manage your wellbeing, spend time with those important to you, have a secure future and be trusted to work autonomously.

So, on top of a very competitive salary, we offer excellent holiday allowance (28 days + Bank Holidays), a Local Government pension with 19.4% employer contribution, Health and Wellbeing cash plan and the potential to bring your continuous service with you – which could mean you have 33 days holiday from day one – and a wide range of other benefits and support, including a dedicated, internal award-winning Wellbeing Team.

Location, location, location

We have two Head of Practice vacancies, the first being for the service area that covers Surrey and Sussex and includes a Cafcass office in Brighton, the second being for the area that covers Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire and Rutland and includes Cafcass offices in Leicester, Peterborough and Lincoln.

While you don’t necessarily need to live in or close to the area(s) – and you will be able to work remotely for a proportion of your working week, which even before a global pandemic, this was a regular feature of working at Cafcass – you should also expect to be in the office(s) some of the time for key meetings. Furthermore, reflecting the seniority of role and involvement in national projects, there will be a limited amount of travel within England.

Ready to find out more being a Head of Practice?

You will lead on internal practice improvement as well influence local delivery partners while also working on a mix of strategic and operational matters. You’ll help ensure Cafcass priorities, policies and plans are delivered to the highest possible standard, with you and your teams delivering positive outcomes for children and young people going through significant events including care proceedings, adoption and parental separation.

To be successful in this role you will be;

  • A highly effective Leader, able to influence others and lead change by providing assurance and inspiring confidence;
  • Someone who thrives on the responsibility of ensuring quality of practice and service delivery across the operational area is not only sustained but continually improved;
  • Motivated to achieve performance standards by supporting Service Managers to ensure strong, consistent performance management behaviours and processes are embedded; and
  • Provide effective support and challenge to your Assistant Director.

The above is just a flavour of the experience, skills and knowledge we are looking for an a more detailed Person Specification is included within the Job Description (see ‘Available documents’), which we encourage you to read so that you can ensure your application fully identifies your suitability for the role.

If you would like to informally discuss the role to help you decide if this the right role for you, for the Surrey and Sussex role please contact Lolita Gerald, Assistant Director ([email protected]) or if your interest is in the role covering Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire and Rutland, please contact Claudia Megele, Assistant Director ([email protected]), send an email with your contact details and best times to contact you. Please also note we cannot accept applications / CVs by email, only by completing our short, simple online application process.

We are particularly keen to receive applications from individuals from diverse backgrounds as we strive to ensure our workforce reflects the diversity of the children and families we work with.

Finally, we would like to advise you of the timescales we are working towards and process we will follow. Interviews are likely to take place remotely via Microsoft Teams. The closing date for applications is Sunday 3rd October and we hope to complete initial interviews (c30 mins conversation) between 6th and 15th October. Final interviews / assessments will then take place during between 28th October and 2nd November. Dates are subject to change and as exact dates are finalised, we’ll let applicants know so they can endeavour to plan accordingly.

We look forward to receiving your application.

We are committed to equality of opportunity for all staff and applications from individuals are encouraged regardless of age, disability, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief and marriage and civil partnerships. We are also a Disability Confident Employer which further underlines our commitment to employ, train, retain and develop the careers of colleagues with disabilities.

Please be advised successful applicants will be subject to a range of pre-employment checks, including a Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS). In accordance with the DBS code of practice and our own policy, should an individual have a declared criminal offence an individual assessment will be completed. Further information on what the assessment covers can be found by viewing the Cafcass DBS policy


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