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Administration & Referrals Officer – Oldham

Job Overview:

We are seeking a highly organised Administrator to join our team. Delivering proficient and thorough administrative assistance including minute taking, managing incoming referrals for foster placements and overseeing the recruitment process for potential Foster Carers. This involves the continuous maintenance and updating of systems, records, and databases, coupled with the provision of outstanding customer service.

Duties:

Commercial Activity

  • Respond to all referrals from LA’s and liaise with foster carers.
  • Liaise with the Social Work Team / Duty Person to ensure that there has been a prompt response to LA’s for every referral.
  • Collate statistics on referrals and produce data that will assist with targeting recruitment in specific areas.
  • To provide a timely, positive, professional and customer focused response to initial enquiries received from prospective foster carers, taking initial information, liaising with the SW Team to book initial visits and updating systems and databases.
  • To take a positive response to initial enquiries and ensure every effort is made to make contact with prospective foster carers within the time limit stipulated.
  • To ensure that the Social Work Team adhere to the timely completion of detailed reports within 24-48 hours of the initial visit, and that recommendations reflect the regions commercial and business plan priorities and are sensitive to the regional, local and cultural needs of the marketplace. This will also involve working closely with colleagues based in all of the regions covered by Acorn House
  • To ensure compliance with safeguarding procedures and make clear that the safeguarding of children and the promotion of their welfare is given absolute priority in all activities.
  • To support Head Office and local area teams with community-based recruitment activity and events where necessary.
  • To provide statistics to the Senior Management Team that will assist with the planning of marketing and recruitment campaigns.

II) Administration

  • Provide day to day support to ensure smooth running of the office function.
  • To process foster carer application forms and associated paperwork including DBS checks, medical checks, Local Authority checks, references etc.
  • To provide support and guidance to prospective foster carers with the completion of any required forms, and to ensure they are returned within agreed timescales.
  • To monitor and chase all assessment documentation and liaise with the assessing social worker to ensure that the assessment is completed within the statutory guidelines.
  • To provide applicants with relevant and appropriate updates during the assessment.
  • Ensure that foster carer annual review documentation is initiated and implemented within set guidelines.
  • To attend meetings as required and ensure accurate and appropriate minutes are produced.
  • To ensure effective administration systems are maintained in all areas of the agencies operations.
  • To complete, process and administer the initial phases of the recruitment process, giving all prospective foster carers a positive experience of Acorn House
  • To provide admin support for all staff including minute taking, filing, scanning, shredding, photocopying, post, hospitality etc.
  • To be responsible for petty cash and weekly balancing.
  • To monitor and order office supplies.
  • To undertake regular audits of foster carers and young people using CHARMS
  • To update the company website (using wordpress)
  • To work within the provisions set out in the Data Protection Act, observing strict confidentiality.
  • To partake in regular supervision and appraisals.

III) Database

  • To be responsible for the interface with administrative and IT systems and to ensure that existing systems are maintained, developed and responsive to the smooth and efficient running of the carer recruitment process.
  • Accurately input information onto our document management system and CHARMS
  • Be able to utilise the database fully to obtain management information and assist the Senior Management Team through running appropriate reports.
  • To contribute to the gathering and inputting of key data in order to measure progress against key performance indicators relevant to the carer recruitment process.

IV) Working in partnership

  • Attendance and participation at all meetings relevant to the post

Additional Duties

  • The post holder will be expected to undertake training and development deemed necessary for the pursuance of the post.
  • The post holder will be expected to ensure to comply with Equal Opportunities Policy and Procedure in all employment practices.
  • The post holder to undertake other duties as may be requested of the post holder that is commensurate with their level of responsibility and skills
  • The post holder will be expected to comply with all Acorn House policies and procedures.
  • The post holder will be expected to ensure that Health and Safety is observed in the course of employment.
  • The post holder will be expected to comply with the no smoking policy in place.
  • Ensuring compliance with safeguarding procedures, throughout all work within the Agency, keeping the Registered Manager informed of work in progress and inform the Registered Manager immediately of any child protection matter or serious complaint.

It is the nature of work of Acorn House that tasks and responsibilities are, in many circumstances, unpredictable and varied. All staff are, therefore, expected to work in a flexible way when the occasion arises where tasks are not specifically covered in the Job Description have to be undertaken.

You need to have:

– Proven experience as an administrative officer or in a similar role

– Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)

– Strong computer skills with the ability to learn new software systems quickly

– Excellent organisational and time management skills

– Attention to detail and problem-solving abilities

– Strong written and verbal communication skills with minute taking expereince.

– Ability to maintain confidentiality of sensitive information

– Professional phone etiquette and customer service skills

If you are a highly motivated individual with excellent organisational skills and a strong attention to detail, we would love to hear from you.

Job Type: Full-time

Pay: £21,500 -£23,500 per year

Benefits:

  • Company pension
  • On-site parking

Schedule:

  • Monday to Friday 35hrs per week (1hr lunch)

Experience:

  • Minute Taking: 2 years (required)
  • Administrative experience: 2 years (required)

Work Location: In person

Application deadline: 17/05/2024

Freelance Fostering Form F Assessor – North West & West Midlands

JOB SUMMARY

The post entails completion of a full CoramBAAF Fostering Form F competency assessment on prospective carers and the presentation of the completed Form F to the Acorn House Independent Fostering Panel.

FORM F ASSESSMENT

It is Acorn House Fostering Services policy that a minimum of 8 visits are undertaken as part of the recruitment of a Foster Carer (A minimum 8 assessment visits by Form F assessor, min 2 hours long).

The Form F Assessor will be responsible for the following:

  1. To meet with the Registered Manager, Deputy Manager or Principal Social Worker and draw up an agreed work plan detailing timescales etc.
  1. To respect confidentiality and to comply with your duty of confidentiality to Acorn House.  Keep all information in relation to applicants in a secure place throughout the assessment.  Return all relevant information to Acorn House after the Panel and ensure all work has been signed off.
  1. To provide your manager with an evidence log of your visits, the recording of each area covered, together with a log of all other contacts (telephone calls, letters, etc) made in connection with the assessment.
  1. Interview of ex-partners and adult children (any concerns in relation to this should be discussed with the Registered Manager / Principal Social Worker)
  1. Support applicants in beginning to complete their TSD portfolio.
  1. Monitoring of content and progress of checks required, raising any concerns with the Agency and referrals of any pet assessments.
  1. Investigating and monitoring of any further checks required.
  1. The assessment will be completed and presented to Panel within 4 months. If applicants are unable to meet this timescale, agreement must be sought from the Registered Manager /Deputy Manager/Principal Social Worker.
  1. Joint applicants seen separately on at least one occasion.
  1. Applicants own children seen individually, dependent on age. It is important to evaluate their understanding of the need for self protection.
  1. Visit referees – evaluate references in terms of guidance under Fostering Form F Assessment.  It is important to get as full a picture as possible from the applicant’s referees, as they form an important part of the assessment.
  1. Visit other significant adults or family members, dependent on their involvements in the future plans of applicants to look after children, to evaluate their input and understanding of the task.
  1. If the applicant/s have completed a full or partial assessment or were/are approved by another agency, relevant references must be obtained from this agency and protocols introduced in relation to de registration.
  1. Ensure full details of previous fostering experience are discussed and evaluated in depth, and includes case studies of children placed.
  1. If medical issues are raised, either historical or present discuss completing early medicals and further discussions if necessary.
  1. If any offences are shown by the DBS (formerly Criminal Records Bureau Disclosure) check the applicant’s attitude to the offence and include an explanation in the Form F. Note checks to be completed as a priority. Discuss with Manager if checks are required abroad.
  1. Include an assessment of Health and Safety (see Acorn House Health and Safety checklist.)  Ensure relevant documents are completed.
  1. If applicants have not had previous fostering experience, their previous experience of children’s needs to be discussed and evaluated alongside their understanding of the fostering task.
  1. A critical evaluation of strengths and weaknesses in terms of parenting capacity and ability to form attachments is essential; evaluating what behaviours they have/can potentially handle, their understanding of sexual abuse and their ability/capacity for safe caring/self protection.  Evidence this with specific examples where possible.
  1. Completion of competence assessment with gaps identified and ensure that competencies and assessment are cross referenced.
  1. Recommendation in terms of children to be placed should be specific in terms of age and number.  The assessment should include reasons for this recommendation, which should be assessed in relation to their previous fostering or related experience.  It is also important to evaluate applicant’s understanding/attitude to contact with birth family.
  1. Complete a family tree with details of applicant’s parents, siblings, children and other significant people in their lives who may impact on a placement (e.g. ex-partners, step children etc.) Include ages at time of writing (or at time of death if relevant).
  1. Complete an Ecomap to illustrate applicants support network.
  1. Assist the applicants completing a generic Safer Caring Policy, this should be signed and dated by the applicants.
  2. Nominated Backup Support assessment using Acorn House template.
  3. Health & Safety Checks on pools and ponds, smallholdings, caravans and firearms.
  1. All information given should be critically analysed.  The social work assessment is an important summary of your assessment, it should therefore be in depth, with reasons given for the recommendation you are making.
  1. Complete the CoramBAAF Fostering Form F in draft.  Proof read and only when you are happy with this, have it read by the Registered Manager/Deputy Manager/Principal Social Worker.  Ensure you have completed all sections
  1. Take completed CoramBAAF Form F to applicants for agreement and signatures. (Do not e mail a copy or leave a copy with them. Stay with the assessment at all times whilst they read and sign it)
  1. Completion of Form F and Summary of Skills & Knowledge.
  1. Meet deadline for submitting reports to Acorn House fostering panel.  This date is agreed with the Manager/Deputy Manager/Principal Social Worker as part of your work plan when the assessment is allocated.
  1. Revisit the Panel process with applicants and ensure their attendance.
  1. Attend with applicants and present the Form F at Acorn House panel (usually at Oldham office).
  1. Liaise with Office administrators throughout for updates on references and any checks from Stage One
  • £1800 + agreed mileage / travel expenses
Independent Panel Member North West

JOB SUMMARY

Independent Panel members are self employed individuals with specific skills or backgrounds that will assist the company in the vetting of applicants to become foster carers.

Main duties and responsibilities

  • To prepare for Panel meetings by carefully reading the Panel papers, identifying key issues, completing the feedback forms and being prepared to raise issues and contribute to the Panel discussions.
  • To actively participate in the Panel discussions using information from the Panel papers and the member’s professional knowledge and experience to help make a recommendation.
  • To attend, on a rota basis, Panel meetings as detailed by the Panel Administrator dependant upon the volume of Panel business at any one time.
  • To have some flexibility which will allow the Panel member to attend additional Panel meetings when requested.
  • To participate, with other Panel members, in advising on policy and procedural matters which fall under the Panel’s remit.
  • Be prepared to address diversity issues when they occur and to promote anti-discriminatory practice at all times.
  • To safeguard the confidentiality of all information connected with the Panel and to ensure that all papers, files and electronic copies of documents are destroyed at the end of each Panel.
  • To take part in any training that is required to fulfil this role. At least one day per year should be allocated to this.
  • To participate fully in the annual review of the Panel as well as provide information in support of the quality assurance process.

Experience & Qualifications

  • Experience, professionally or personally or both, of the placement of children in foster care or of children being cared for away from their birth family.
  • Qualifications commensurate with the experience brought to the Panel.

Knowledge

  • Some understanding of the purpose and function of the Panel and the agency which Panel is serving, or a willingness to learn.

Abilities

  • Good listening and communication skills
  • The ability to analyse large amounts of complex and sometimes distressing information.
  • Be able to make an assessment and form a view based on the evidence presented.
  • To be able to work co-operatively as part of a multi-disciplinary team.

Attitudes

  • A commitment to keep children within their own family or community where this is possible and to maintaining contact between children living in foster families and their birth families where this appears to be in the child’s best interest.
  • A commitment to fostering as a way of meeting a child’s needs.
  • A commitment to safeguarding and the promotion of children’s welfare.
  • Valuing diversity in relation to ethnicity, religion, gender, disability and sexuality.
  • A willingness to increase knowledge and understanding.
  • Fees & Allowances – Panel Members
  • A fee of £150 will be paid to Independent Panel Members for attendance at the Panel.  This covers reading time of Panel paperwork, completion of feedback sheets and up to 4 hours attendance at Panel. 
  • A fee of £25 per hour will be paid for any attendance at Panel in excess of 4 hours.
  • A fee of £25 per hour will be paid for any attendance at mandatory Panel training.

For all our vacancies please email your CV to recruitment@acornhouse.co.uk

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