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Work for Acorn House

Supervising Social Worker (Fostering) West Midlands

Part Time Permanent Position (worked flexibly) 14hrs per week

Acorn House Fostering is a well-established Independent Fostering Agency. We are currently looking for a Supervising Social Worker to join our team, we are continuing to further develop and support our foster carers across the North West. It would be desirable to have a minimum of 2 years fostering experience but this is not essential.

This position offers stability, a supportive, dynamic team, excellent training opportunities, a good salary and car allowance.

Acorn House places a high value on allowing their social work staff to spend as much time as possible working directly with foster carers and young people. As such caseloads are limited and you would be expected to complete Form F Assessments. The role is home based and covers the West Midlands area.

Acorn House works hard to maintain the ‘family feel’ of the agency so that we can provide a personal and friendly service to all our carers.

If you are looking to move in to a more autonomous role, but with support as required, this should be of interest.

Experience required and duties of the role:

  • Social Work Qualification and SWE registration
  • Knowledge of family placement work experience – preferably but not essential
  • Understanding and ability to assess foster carers using the current BAAF Form F
  • Demonstrate a sound knowledge of child Safeguarding procedures
  • Excellent assessment / analytical skills
  • Development of the Agency
  • Experience of recruiting foster carers
  • Support and supervision of existing foster carers
  • Carrying complex cases when required
  • Experience working with children and families
  • Excellent communication skills – verbal and written
  • Ability to work independently and under pressure and to prioritise work and to manage your caseload
  • Experience, understanding and knowledge of relevant looked after children and leaving care legislation
  • To attend and produce reports for fostering panel meetings as necessary.
  • To carry out reviews of foster families.
  • To investigate complaints
  • To address issues of poor practice
  • To support and attend a foster carer support groups as needed
  • To assist with the delivery of training to foster carers.
  • Ability to develop and promote improvements in practice and to implement findings in a social work organisation
  • Flexibility to work within core hours which on occasions may include evenings and weekends (flexible working patterns)
  • You will must be an essential car user driver, own your own vehicle and hold business insurance for your vehicle
  • Partaking in out of hours rota as required
  • Excellent IT skills.
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Excellent organisational skills and ability to work without supervision. The SSW will occasionally be responsible for responding to LA Referrals – we have a full time Placements Duty Team who lead this


This is fantastic opportunity for a knowledgeable and experienced social worker with knowledge of family placement to really influence and be a part of growing a service. In return you will be working in an organisation dedicated to excellence, good support and training of staff.

To apply please send your CV to recruitment@acornhouse.co.uk

Admin & Referrals Officer

Full time

£17,000 to £20,000 per annum based on experience

Overview:   Acorn House Fostering is a small, ambitious, independent foster agency, based in Oldham covering the North-West, North-East West Midlands. Rated as ‘Good’ in our most recent Ofsted inspection.   We are looking for a dynamic and highly motivated individual to join our small team in the role of Administrator and Referrals Officer.  Experience and an understanding of fostering is preferred but not essential.  

The role   As the Administrator/Panel Administrator, you will ensure that the general office functions run smoothly and be responsible for collating all paperwork, including minute taking and preparation at our monthly fostering panel.   As the Referrals Officer will work closely with the social work team and is responsible for identifying, initial matching and responding to local authority placement requests. This will include timely and professional responses to placement requests by Local Authorities. You will be proactive, ensuring confidentiality at all times.   Full training will be given.   We would welcome applications from suitable candidates who are able to demonstrate the following:

Experience in a fostering, social care or similar setting
Excellent communication skills, both written and verbally
Experience in taking minutes (all day events)
Ability to understand and respond to customer needs  
Ability to build and maintain positive relationships with colleagues, carers and customers  
Experience of maintaining databases and use of other office programmes  
An awareness of relevant fostering legislation  
Excellent IT skills with an eye for detail  
Ability to prioritise workloads  

Job Description

  • A key role of the panel administrator is to take panel minutes, this could be an all-day event. 
  • Ensure that arrangements/documentation for panel are coordinated in advance; run smoothly on the day, and that follow-up actions and reports happen as required.
  • 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 LAs for every referral.
  • 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 process foster carer application forms and associated paperwork including DBS checks, medical checks, Local Authority checks, references etc.
  • 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.
  • To assist the Registered Manager / SW Team with the development of audit systems that ensure that Acorn House is compliant and ready for OFSTED inspections and LA compliance visits.
  • 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 file audits of foster carers and young people.
  • To work within the provisions set out in the Data Protection Act, observing strict confidentiality.
  • To partake in regular supervision and appraisals.
  • To be able to work on your own but also as part of a team

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 concerning prospective foster carers onto the specialist database/Document Management System at all stages of the process.
  • 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.

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.

To apply please send your CV to recruitment@acornhouse.co.uk


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