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The role

About Southwark:

Southwark is a large, ambitious and progressive council with a ‘can do’ attitude and enviable reputation. As a Council, we are successful, passionate and forward-thinking. We are committed to our ‘Fairer Futures for All’ promise which ensures that our residents and businesses are central to everything we do. If you want to make a difference at a local level, apply to Southwark Council today.


The Role:

The Achieving Permanence Team is recruiting a Social Worker to work with children and families where adoption or long term fostering is the care plan and to support the wider Children’s Services in continuing to improve permanency planning for all of our Looked After Children.

The Achieving Permanence Team undertake a diverse range of tasks to make sure that children who cannot grow up within their birth families are placed with families where they will thrive, be happy and healthy and meet their potential. These tasks include adoption family finding and matching in partnership with Adoption London South. Securing well matched long term foster placements, transition planning, court evidence and attendance as well as direct work, life story work and all statutory looked after children procedures.


About You:

We are looking for a social worker with good experience of the adoption process and permanency planning. A worker who has excellent assessment and analytical skills and ability to produce written work to a court level standard as well as having a solid understanding of the legal framework which underpins adoption, long term fostering and safeguarding. Promoting equality and tackling oppression and discrimination should be at the core of your practice.

Direct work is a big part of the job. You should be creative and skilled in direct work and life story work to support children to share their experiences and feelings and prepare them for the transition into permanent care and beyond. This work includes producing coherent and excellent life story books and later life letters for our children. Relationship based practice and the ability to form helpful, supportive and respectful relationships with our children and families is key to the team’s work.

We also work collaboratively with a huge number of other agencies. These include all other parts of Children’s Services who we undertake permanence consultancy work with; Adopt London South, national adoption agencies, CAMHS, education, health and voluntary services. You will need to have excellent communication and interpersonal skills as well as a determination to chase up communications to eliminate delay and drift.

A commitment to systemic ways of working, restorative approaches and attachment informed practice is vital. As is a commitment to actively seeking continual professional development.

Additional salary details

Additional Information:

We are looking for a part time (18 hours) or full time Social Worker.

You should hold a degree or DipSW in social work, be registered with the HCPC, with evidence of continuing professional development.

In return we can offer a competitive salary, access to the Local Government Pension Scheme, generous holiday allowance, flexible working options as well as a number of other staff benefits. We also have an excellent learning and development offer within the council.

For an informal discussion about the role please contact Helen Downhill, Team Manager, Achieving Permanency Team, 0-15 Care Service –    

Recruitment timetable

Application Closing Date - 6th June 2022

Interview and Assessment - 17th June 2022

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.