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Key roles


On this page you can read more about the key roles that we are currently recruiting to in children's social work.

See our latest vacancies at children's social worker vacancies.

Click on the links below to find out more about our key roles:

Team managers and social work consultants

The role of the manager is pivotal to ensuring that children and families receive the support they need. As we continue to transform our services and work together to raise the quality and consistency of our practice across children's services, the role of the manager continues to be a key factor in our success. Our managers benefit from a supportive culture and investment in their professional development.

"Durham children's services has its challenges and real pressures, just like anywhere else. What's different about it is the friendly, enabling, team working approach of its managers and staff, top down and across service areas, to help get things done." (Andy, Team Manager)

Developing your career

The  has been designed to support our managers to meet the challenges of the role and includes:

  • A range of short classroom based courses delivered by our own senior management team or recognised experts.
  • A peer support programme facilitated by one of our senior management team.
  • One to one coaching support delivered by external coaches.
  • Access to the "Strengthening Managers" programme, a course of training designed to meet the needs of social work managers which helps them to strengthen themselves, the team and the organisation.
  • Access to nationally recognised qualifications such as CMI Diploma in Management and Leadership Level 5, CMI Diploma in Strategic Management and Leadership Level 7, ILM Award in Coaching Level 3.

All of our development opportunities aim to improve the experience and outcomes for children, adults and families. 

Current vacancies

See our children's social worker vacancies for team manager and social work consultant roles currently available.

Experienced social workers

As an experienced social worker you will be part of a dynamic, energetic and creative workforce, who all aspire to make sure our families are supported and that our children are safe and able to reach their full potential. The contribution you make every day will be of immense value. 

"Working with children and families is a challenge, it tests every ounce of you as a person and a professional. There are moments of sadness but these are balanced out with the overwhelming sense of happiness, pride and achievement when things go well. To be part of a child or families life and change process is amazingly satisfying and the snapshot you are part of stays with you forever. I am grateful that I can be part of a process that has such positive and astonishing outcomes. I am extremely lucky to have been afforded the opportunity to work with such diverse and wonderful families, being part of their personal journeys and achievements! I truly admire and respect the children and families. The hard work and determination they show makes me strive to continue to be the best social worker I can be and to continue to support families to make and maintain positive change." (Haley, Social Worker)

Developing your career

We recognise that your role will be both challenging and tremendously rewarding, and we are committed to ensuring that you have all the tools you need to do it to the best of your ability. The Icon for pdf Professional development programme for social workers (post ASYE) 2016/17 (PDF, 4.1mb)  outlines a comprehensive programme of training and development opportunities which are designed to:

  • enhance your skills and support you to meet the challenges of your role now,
  • and to help you meet your career goals in the future.

The programme offers all social workers a range of short classroom based courses delivered by experts.

Social workers are then able to choose a development route which supports them to meet their career goals:

Practitioner route

  • Opportunities to participate in forums co-ordinated by our Principal Social Worker for children and families. Through these forums you can help to influence, and support innovation and excellence in practice within the service.
  • Opportunities to attend seminars focused on practice issues at our partner universities.
  • Access to a professional development fund which supports social workers to develop their expertise in line with their own career goals and service priorities. It can be used to support a wide range of opportunities including qualification modules offered by local universities such as safeguarding children for social workers or Advanced Assessment Skills. It can also be used to support specialist external courses.
  • Access to Community Care Inform. Our social work teams have 1 or 2 licence holders per team who can disseminate relevant research and good practice to colleagues. 
  • Shadowing opportunities for those considering a change to a different social work role in the service.

Supporting others route

  • Act as a link worker for students undertaking the Degree in Social Work. The role attracts an honoraria payment of £3 per placement day.
  • Shadowing opportunities for students in the early stages of their Degree in Social Work. The role attracts an honoraria payment of £10 per shadowing day.
  • Supervision for social workers on the Return to Social Work programme. The role attracts an honoraria payment of £7 per supervising day.
  • Access to the practice educator award which allows a social worker to supervise, teach and assess students on the Degree in Social Work. The role attracts an honoraria payment of £10 per placement day.
  • Access to the ILM Award in Coaching at level 3.

Management route

  • Our Icon for pdf Aspiring Managers Development Programme (PDF, 2.0mb)  is designed for those who want to become social work consultants or team managers in our families first and child protection teams. It offers a bespoke programme of support and development for each aspiring manager. Each participant has a programme designed to meet their individual needs, which is likely to include training courses, shadowing, "on the job" experience and mentoring.
  • Information, advice and support from your social work consultant, senior practitioner or team manager.

Current vacancies

We welcome applications from all qualified social workers - see the latest full and part time opportunities for children's social workers.

Newly qualified social worker

The recruitment and support of newly qualified social workers (NQSWs) is vitally important to the future of children's services in the county. We have had a robust and well-received induction programme for NQSWs in place since 2004.

    Developing your career

    Our programme for NQSWs is being reviewed - we plan to provide an innovative programme of support and development designed to help you through your Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE). The support you can expect will include:

    • Additional reflective supervision (including group supervision)
    • Reviews of progress
    • A protected caseload
    • Protected time for learning and development 
    • A wide range of learning opportunities such as informal workshops which bring NQSWs together, a programme of classroom based courses delivered by knowledgeable and experienced professionals covering key topics, and a wide range of e-learning courses.

    What our current NQSWs think...

    "I have found Durham families services to be a very welcoming and supportive council, from the recruitment process through to being part of the team, I have felt wanted and most importantly supported. It's a really good council which has allowed me to further develop my skills as a NQSW, and become a more competent and able practitioner." (Kyle, NQSW)

    "I had serious reservations about embarking on my ASYE and how I would cope with 'real life' social work. I have felt so well supported as a newly qualified social worker with Durham, I have a protected caseload with regular quality reflective and case management supervision. I have been encouraged to undertake a range of LSCB and external training to enhance my professional practice and look forward to continuing my work with Durham." (Sarah, NQSW)

    "I feel valued and supported by the whole team from the Team Manager, Consultant Social Worker, Team Coordinator, Social Workers, the other professionals in our team and the admin workers. Time is made in my diary for supervision and ASYE training and by having a reduced caseload I feel I am developing in confidence. I would recommend Durham as a future employer to any NQSW and I intend to further my career within the authority." (Wendy, NQSW)

    Future vacancies

    We will be welcoming applications from newly qualified social workers in early 2017. Contact us if you'd like to be informed when the recruitment process starts.

    Contact us
    Social work careers
    03000 267 367
    Our address is:
    • County Hall
    • Durham
    • County Durham
    • United Kingdom
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