The role

This is an exciting leadership role at the heart of Children’s Services that requires a candidate with resilience, ambition, creativity and proven experience in practice and leadership in Children’s Services to help drive permanence for all children in our care across Southwark. The post holder should have experience of practice and management for children in care, fostering and adoption.

The role of the Permanence Lead is to work across the children’s social care system to driving timely permanence for all children and improve system-wide practice in delivering permanence and stability for all children in care to receive excellent care. This role is about all forms of permanence, including supporting children to return home to parents or be cared for by their wider family, special guardianship, long term foster care, adoption and residential care.

The Permanence Lead will develop and deliver training, mentoring and support to multi-agency professionals, early help and social work teams across the system. The Lead will also provide quality assurance of Child Permanence Reports, and advice to the Agency Decision Maker and be responsible for the tracking and monitoring of permanence including chairing tracking panels. They will be part of the quality assurance panel representing Southwark with Adopt London South. The collaborative nature of the work requires excellent communication, interpersonal and influencing skills.

The role will include supporting and challenging practitioners and all managers to achieve permanence for every child in care in the timescale that is right for them, providing support, coaching and challenges to managers at every level of the organisation to overcome any barriers that will cause delay for children.

It will be critical for the post holder to champion permanence and embed the Southwark Practice Principles across Southwark. These principles are to be Child Centred, Family Minded, Relationship Based, Outcome Focussed, Strength Based, Evidence Informed, Fair and Reflective.

The post holder will need to demonstrate a commitment to the value base of child-centred and family minded practice focused on improving lives. It is vital the post holder can show how they stand up to all forms of discrimination and are committed to standing up to racism and actively seeking to understand and challenge disproportionality.

This role is challenging and at the heart of Children’s Services, it is an opportunity to make a massive life changing difference.


About us:

We are the largest local authority social landlord in London, managing 55,000 homes lived in by 40% of Southwark’s residents. We are home to over 18,300 businesses including iconic London venues and social enterprises and we have a young, diverse and growing population.

At Southwark we are committed to making our borough just and fair and are taking positive action to tackle inequalities. Our residents and communities are our greatest asset and the passion we have for Southwark is shared by millions of Londoners who enjoy our outstanding cultural offer, use our hospitals and attend our universities. Our refreshed borough plan and focus on Southwark Stands Together, (which is our work with Southwark’s communities and the council’s staff to tackle racism, injustice and inequality) underpins all that we do.

At Southwark Children’s Services, we pride ourselves on doing our vital job differently. Our systemic, holistic, family-centred approach sits at the core of our values. Our endlessly supportive, collective, colleague-centred culture underpins everything we do to protect vulnerable children across our borough.

Our most recent Ofsted inspection was graded as ‘good’ in all areas.

Ofsted, November 2022

“Children are at the heart of practice in Southwark.”

“Staff have time to work intensively with families when needed, and to reflect and consider ways to improve children’s lives”

Additional details:

Please note this role requires a Satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check at an enhanced level.

Benefits and more information:

In your role, we want you to feel supported, challenged and rewarded. You will benefit from our family-friendly policies including flexible working, home working, and a local government pension scheme, plus many other staff benefits. You will join a motivated, driven and supportive team that strives for excellence and values its members. You will also be part of a successful and high-achieving development team that is making a real difference to the lives of residents in the borough. Our offer includes:

•  Substantial training and development is provided including an offer of coaching and mentoring
•  Modern technology including laptop, Apple iPhone and iPad
•  A basic salary range of £56,271 to £69,990 plus an additional financial JNC Benefits package of £2,724.00 per year (pro-rata, April-March, subject to review)

For more information about the wide variety of benefits you can take advantage of please visit our Staff Benefits page.

Guaranteed Interview Scheme:

As part of our commitment to inclusion, we offer guaranteed interviews for specific groups of people. To qualify, you'll need to meet the minimum requirements for the role, and identify with one of the below criteria:

•  Members of the Armed Forces and veterans
•  Are currently in care, or have previously been in care
•  If you consider yourself to be disabled or if you have a long-term health condition

Recruitment timetable

Closing date: 3 March 2024 at 23:59
Interview and Assessment: 12 and 13 March 2024


We are an organisation who is passionate about our people and understands that richness of diversity is a requirement to provide the best possible services to our communities. This is demonstrated through our council-wide ambitious commitment to tackle racial inequality in our communities and workforce through our Southwark Stands Together programme. We particularly welcome applications from members of the Black, Asian and ethnic minority communities to increase representation at senior management level in the Council.