Message from the Director of Children's Services

John Johnson discusses high aspirations for children and how our vision puts families first.

Our journey

Over the last two and a half years we've worked relentlessly in Wandsworth on our journey of practice improvement. At the heart of this sits our vision for every child and young person to be safe from harm and abuse, be enabled to reach their full potential and develop skills for life, enjoy healthy lifestyles and be happy and active members of the community.

Improvement

We aren't complacent and we know we have more to do. In summer 2018 we had a positive Ofsted inspection which affirmed that we know ourselves well - both our strengths and areas for development - and we are taking effective action to continue our improvement journey.

High support and high expectations

We want to empower families to make changes in their lives and we understand our workforce are key to this success. We have developed a performance culture which puts team managers at the heard of our drive for excellence. We have agreed practice standards and we recognise the values we need to drive our vision of being child, family and community focused; curious, honest and collaborative with families, respectful of diversity and difference in those who use our services and recognising that a resilient workforce grows resilient families and communities.

Signs of Safety is our well established framework for practice and we now have 8 years of experience since we implemented it. We have over 75 trained practice leads and want to train and develop more.

Our Children's Social Care Academy provides an extensive and high quality CPD offer from bitesize workshops, classroom training, external courses and conferences and post qualifying award programmes. We are members of a newly launched regional Social Work Teaching Partnership strengthening a regional approach to supporting excellent practitioners and developing exciting career pathways.

'We give you what you need'

Our workforce tells us that the range and investment available to families within the borough are second to none and one of the best they have experienced. We have dedicated specialist services that undertake community and residential parenting assessments, provide groupwork and parenting programmes, intensive interventions for children on the edge of care and support children to return home. We are launching our new multi-agency response to young people at risk of exploitation, have radically improved our services and support for care leavers and built on the success of our award-nominated children in care council.

We are continuing to recruit talented people from many diverse backgrounds - including people with disabilities, as well as people of different ages, and from under-represented ethnic groups - who have the potential to contribute to the social care sector, but either lack the confidence in themselves or their ability has been overlooked.

Come and join us

We know that the key to our ambitions for our children and young people is you - our workforce. We want to hear from passionate, dedicated social workers. Where there's simply more demand than available resource, we must show our appreciation in tangible ways.

In return for your skills, knowledge and experience you will experience a friendly, kind, positive and supportive working culture and an excellent package of support.