Kent County Council is proud to be a part of the Social Worker of the Year Awards, giving people the chance to recognise the great work done by social workers in their communities.
Kent is changing and it is an exciting time for us as we turn our ambitions into realities. We are proud to offer a supportive environment in which our staff can work with confidence and inspiring leadership and development opportunities which empower them to make a real difference to children’s lives.
At KCC, we are ambitious for all the children we work with and want to build the best children’s service we can. We want to go further in transforming both the performance and the culture of our staff and we have a clear vision for children’s services, which is that every child and young person in Kent should achieve their full potential in life, whatever their background. To help guide the ways we want to move forward we developed the following vision statement in consultation with groups of staff.
We want Kent to be the best place for children and young people to grow up, be educated, supported and safeguarded so that all can flourish and achieve their potential.
In order to achieve this we aspire to deliver the best Children’s and Young People’s Services in the country. We aim, therefore, to ensure that our services are:
- fully integrated
- focused on building greater resilience in families
- able to ensure safeguarding for all through effective working across all agencies and partners
- delivered in a responsive and timely way through effective and efficient use of resource
- designed as part of a whole system approach along the continuum of need
- capable of achieving the best outcomes by addressing needs in the right way at the right time
- effective at improving outcomes and having ambitious aspirations for children and young people in the care of the local authority
- ambitious for what all children and young people can achieve in their lives, and for what our staff and volunteers can achieve with them.
This is only possible in a culture which fosters excellence, where staff are encouraged to be creative and share ideas, and where collaboration for the good of Kent’s children happens naturally.
We recognise that social work is one of the hardest jobs in the public sector. We need our social workers to build effective relationships with families in very difficult circumstances and we want them to use those relationships to bring about change for children. However, we also recognise that in order to be able to do that job to the best of their ability, our staff have to expect that we, as an organisation and as managers, will enable, empower and support them to do it. This means the best supervision, managed caseloads, opportunities for professional development and career progression, as well as committed leadership.
As we aspire towards becoming a true learning organisation, our Practice Development Team focuses on ongoing development of practice skills and knowledge, discussion about the latest research and methodologies, and provides critical time for reflection.
We have also introduced a new Practice Framework, covering Early Help and Children’s Social Work as our county wide practice model. We believe that this supports children and their families to have a consistent and seamless journey through our services. The model provides a clear method to risk assess cases and enables children and their families to be involved in their assessment and safety planning.
Our goal is to promote confident, knowledgeable and well-supported social care staff working to the highest standards of practice. Only then can we achieve our ultimate goal – each child in Kent happy, healthy and safe in a permanent home.