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Employment History

Liverpool City Council

April 2019 – Present

Agency Decision Maker & Strategic Project Lead

 

  • Making all SHOBPA decisions
  • Making Adopter & Matching decisions
  • Making Fostering Decisions
  • Writing strategy, Policies and Procedures
  • Strategic oversight of ASYE Programme
  • Development of UASC Team
  • Development of Supported Lodgings Scheme.
  • Internal Service Audits

 

 

Bournemouth Borough Council

Total Duration: 3 yrs 3 months

16+ and Care Leavers Team Manager

 Separated Children Seeking Asylum Team Manager

Jan 2018 – April 2019

For clarity, during my three and a half years in Bournemouth, When I was managing the Private Fostering Team I also managed the LAC Team from April 2016 to October 2016 (two teams).  When I was managing the Supported Lodgings Team and the Separated Children Seeking Asylum Teams (2 teams) I also took over the 16+ and Care Leavers Team from January 2018 (so managing three teams).  In November 2018 I handed over the Supported Lodgings Team to the Fostering Service (as it had grown so big), but currently continue to manage the Separated Children Seeking Asylum Team and the 16+ and Care Leavers Team (two teams).

 

  • Restructured the 16+ and Care Leavers Team into the POD Model
  • Developed and implemented a Performance Improvement model
  • Developed and Rewrote Policies and Procedures
  • Set up an Out of Hours Support Service for Young People and Foster Carers (Talk It Out)
  • Development of mandatory 8 week training programme for PAs
  • Development of Traineeship Programme with local radio station
  • Development of NEET Multi Agency Working Group
  • Quality assurance and service development.
  • Development of a range of policies, procedures and practice documents
  • I sit on a number of panels including, Best Care Panel, LAC Monitoring Panel, Housing Allocation Panel and occasionally Fostering Panel.
  • Developed regular event nights for young people

 

Supported Lodgings Team Manager

Separated Children Seeking Asylum Team Manager

Jan 2017 – October 2018

  • Set up and developed a new Team working with Separated Children Seeking Asylum (formerly known as UASC)
  • Recognised Nationally by the Home Office as a model of good practice
  • Established clear and stable pathways for Social Care, Education and Health
  • Developed a mobile App especially for Separated Children Seeking Asylum
  • Jointly delivered a Keynote speech with the DCS on the development of the model at a national conference in Milton Keynes
  • Delivered savings of £200k in year 1 of the scheme
  • Developed a number of support projects with the Third Sector, including Peer Mentoring, Football League Teams, Trauma Based Yoga, Drama, Cookery lessons, Cultural Awareness and ESOL
  • Developed the Supported Lodgings Service into three areas, Standard, Separated Children Seeking Asylum and Enhanced
  • Increased capacity in the scheme by 160%, whilst at the same time raising standards and improving outcomes for young people.
  • Introduced AQA Unit Awards Scheme for Supported Lodgings Carers aligned to the 21 Life Skills
  • Developed specific 8 week training programme for prospective Supported Lodgings Carers

 

Private Fostering Team Manager

Nov 2015 – Jan 2017

Managing the Private Fostering Team.

• Developing and delivering Awareness Raising strategy. • Liaison with Language schools and partner agencies. • Strategic Service development. • Quality Assurance • Development of promotional videos, posters, infographics etc • Workshop and training development and delivery. • Developing a Traded Service that has been commissioned by Dorset County Council

 

Looked After Children Team Manager

Apr 2016 – Oct 2016

 Managing the LAC Team (in addition to the Private Fostering Team)

• Strategic Service development • Quality assurance and audit • Management of a number of capability, performance and disciplinary issues. • Development of an out of hours support service for LAC children and care leavers (Talk it Out) • Staff recruitment

Self Employed

Author

July 2016 – Oct 2016

Location: Isle of Wight

I have recently written a guide book for foster carers and adopters entitled “Caring For Somebody Else’s Child”, offering strategies, advice and guidance. This is available from www. Amazon.co.uk.

 

Portsmouth City Council

 Special Guardianship Project Manager

Jun 2015 – Oct 2015

Reviewing all aspects of Special Guardianship and support services Writing Kinship Care Policy Writing Special Guardianship Policy Reviewing and redesigning Fostering Scale of Allowances Designing and implementing Special Guardianship / Kinship Care Framework Review of procedures in line with new Policies Staff training on new framework, policies and procedures

 

Fostering Support Service Manager

Oct 2014 – Jun 2015

  • Review of Fostering Duty Service • Review of Out of Hours Service • Development of recruitment video & Website • Quality Assurance & Audit • Ensuring compliance with current legislation and guidance • Policy development • Supervision of Practice Leads • Staff recruitment & management • Permanence Panel member • Development of e-learning modules for carers • Development of Supported Lodgings Scheme to increase capacity for challenging YP and Unaccompanied Asylum Seekers • Service & Strategy Development

 

Author

I took two months off work to write a book entitled “Adoption Panel – The Missing Manual”. This isintended for new Panel members to equip them for the task ahead of them. It contains valuableinformation about expectations, roles and responsibilities, quality assurance, making assumptions,making recommendations, disruptions, legislation…and everything in between. It is available to purchase in paperback at Amazon.co.uk and for the Kindle

 

Walsall Council

Adoption & Fostering Panel Manager  and Advisor

June 2014 – September 2014:

   Recruiting to the Central List

   Panel training, development and action planning

   Quality Assurance (and development of a QA system)

   Online marketing & recruitment (using video, social  media, Youtube, etc)

   Development of online Adopter feedback system

   Panel Advisor role

   Ensuring compliance with current legislation  and guidance

   Development of Adoption Passport

   Development of Education Policy for Adopted children

   New CPR training & development

 

Worcestershire County Council

Adoption Panel Manager & Advisor

March 2014 – June 2014:

   Recruiting to the Central List

   Panel training, development and action planning

   Quality Assurance (and development of a QA system)

   Online marketing & recruitment (using video, social  media, Youtube, etc)

   Developing Fostering to Adopt Scheme

   Development of online Adopter feedback system

   Developing joint adopter training with Hereford  with a view to merging some

of the Adoption Service functions as part of the West Mercia  Project

   Coaching a new Team Manager

   Panel Advisor role

   Ensuring compliance with current legislation  and guidance

   Ensuring Ofsted readines

 

December 2013 – March 2013

Exploring Career options

 

Surrey County Council

April 2013-August 2013: 

Assistant Director Intern,

I was  part of  the South  East Succession  Planning Programme,   and as  part of  this I

completed  a  20 week  (one  day per  week)  Internship  with Surrey  County  Council

working at Assistant  Director level.   I was working  on a strategic  project, examining

safeguarding  within  the  voluntary,  faith  and  community  sector  across  Surrey.    I

worked closely  with the Assistant  Director for Youth  and Community in  partnership

with the  community and  voluntary sector  leaders to  analyse  the current  situation in

Surrey and  to develop  a strategic  plan to  address identified  deficiencies.   This will

result in  improved awareness,  improved practice and  better safeguarding  of children

who are not within the statutory remit of the local authority.

Through  this  programme  I  have  been  able  to  further  develop  my leadership  and

mentoring skills, alongside strategic planning and implementation.

 

Isle of Wight Council

July 2011 – December 2013: 

Group Manager For Looked After Children

In this strategic role I:

   Played an instrumental  role in the major reorganisation of  the whole of Isle of

Wight  Children‟s  Services in  2011  in  order to  implement  the  “Reclaiming

Social Work” Model as advocated by Eileen Munro.

   I developed  and transformed  the service  area that  I am  currently responsible

for  and  have   led   them   through  times  of  difficult   change   and  a  recent

inadequate  Ofsted  inspection,  through  listening,  enabling,  modelling  and

coaching.

   I Delivered  a reduction  in mainland  and agency  placements for  looked after

children,

   I Established  a Performance Framework  for my service  area which improved

practice  and enhanced  outcomes for  looked  after children.   This  framework

was later adopted by other service areas.

   Under my confident leadership statutory visiting to  Looked After Children has

drastically  improved   to  95%.     I  implemented   a  successful   performance

management system which, amongst  other things, has led to an increase  in the

uptake of  LAC medicals,  timeliness of  LAC Reviews,  up to date  Care Plans

and many  other performance  related measures,  which means  that children  in

public care on the Isle of Wight receivdD a better service.

   I  played  a  key  role   in  developing  and  implementing   a  Missing   Persons

Strategy  across  the  Island  (alongside  Police  colleagues),  that  has  led  to a

significant  reduction (85%)  in the  numbers  of missing  LAC children.    This

 

 

 

strategic model  is now being considered  for implementation nationally  across

a number of Local Authorities and police forces.

   I  regularly   chaired   the  Isle  of  Wight  Permanency   Planning   Panel,   Legal

Planning meetings  and I  was the  Islands‟ Adoption  Panel Advisor,  ensuring

that the  right decisions were  made for children‟s  futures in line  with relevant

legislation and guidance.

 

Isle of Wight Council

2005 – 2011:   

Team Manager, Fostering Service,

   I led  the development  and  growth of  the Fostering  Service,  and delivered  a

reduction  in  mainland  and  agency  placements  for  looked  after  children,

resulting  in a  60%  financial  saving.   This  meant that  Island  children  were

returned  to the  Island  (when  appropriate) to  be  close  to their  families  and

support networks, and felt less isolated and alone.

   Set  up   a  Specialist   Intensive  Bridging   Foster  Scheme,   thereby  reducing

reliance  on agency  and mainland  placements  and consequently  significantly

reducing costs to the Local Authority.

   Led the  development of a  nationally recognised Supported  Lodgings Scheme

to improve outcomes for care leavers and homeless young people.

   Led the  development and growth  of a  Family Link Scheme  for children  with

disabilities.   This  provided regular  respite  and consistency  for  children and

their families.  It was cost effective and is seen as a model of best practice.

   I played a key role in the development  of a fee free adoption consortium.  This

reduced costs and improved inter agency working across local authorities.

   Conceived and led the  development of a mother and baby fostering placement

scheme.   This enabled  the local  authority to  argue  against expensive,  Court

directed assessments  and enabled mothers  and babies  to stay together  for the

assessments.  This provides for a more realistic and authentic assessment.

   Managed the Fostering Panel

   Undertook the role of Agency Advisor to the Fostering Panel

 

Isle of Wight Council

2002 – 2005:    Team Manager, Looked After Children’s Team (0-16),

In this role I introduced and pioneered the development  of Family Group Conferences

on the Island,  which later developed into a  multi agency commissioning forum.   This

led to  improved outcomes  for children;  reduced costs  to the  local authority  and the

development of good inter authority / agency working.

 

2000 – 2002:    Team Manager, Long Term Team, Isle of Wight Council

 1999 – 2000:    Team Manager, Assessment Team, Isle of Wight Council

1997 – 1999:    Social Worker, Isle of Wight Council

1996 – 1997:    Social Worker, St Helens Borough Council

1995 – 1996:    Social Worker, Salford City Council /Community Drug and

                        Alcohol Worker

1991 – 1995:    Assistant Hostel Warden, Merseyside Probation Service.