Social work

A place where social work flourishes

Wakefield Council staff celebrate high Ofsted grade

Ofsted inspectors recently recognized the significant transformation that has taken place at Wakefield Council ensure that children and young people are “at the center of all practices”.

Considered one of the most successful improvement projects, the council’s children’s services have now been rated as good with exceptional leadership, just three years after being deemed inadequate by Ofsted.

The Ofsted report clearly recognizes that good and effective social work practice is thriving in Wakefield, that the emotional and mental health of children has been given a high priority, and that children are only cared for when it is. in their best interests to do so. He points out that the social workers in Wakefield have manageable workloads and that the children receive constant support, build and maintain relationships with the social workers.

dedication of social workers

Vicky Schofield, Acting Director of Children's Services, Wakefield Council

Vicky schofield

Vicky Schofield, Acting Director of Children and Youth Services, said: “The changes could not have been made without the commitment and dedication of the staff.

“We are extremely proud that when our social workers spoke to Ofsted they were, without exception, very excited to work for Wakefield. Our colleagues recognize and celebrate the progress that has been made and wish to stay in Wakefield to be part of the continuous improvement journey.

We want to continue to build on this solid foundation by recruiting even more colleagues to join our social work team.

Ms Schofield added: “We are very proud of the accomplishments of our social workers because we can see the difference they are making in the lives of children and families.

“We thrive on teamwork, a supportive work environment, with strong and visible leadership combined with a manageable workload and a learning culture with training and development opportunities, so this is the perfect time to join us. “

Practice model

Social work teams benefit from our ‘connecting practice’ model, which is rooted in restorative approaches, while focusing on identifying and triangulating evidence of risk across multiple sources.

This is combined with providing our social workers with exceptional visible leadership at all levels of management, so that social workers are given the right support, tools and skills so that they can thrive while helping children. and families to make real change.

Ofsted recognized the approach and, in its report, said: “The workers are tenacious, skilled and thoughtful, with a firm commitment to providing good quality services to children.

He also praised the services as “sustainable, ambitious and child-centered services with strong governance arrangements in place”.

As part of the improvement progress, an innovative and well-resourced learning academy is in place that provides social workers with excellent support, training and development.

Social work flourishes

Ms Schofield said: “This has allowed us to create an environment where quality and effective social work flourishes and where Ofsted has found that the staff ‘without exception’ are very enthusiastic about working for Wakefield.”

We have welcomed 124 skilled social workers over the past 18 months, but we still have a small number of opportunities for people to join the team here in Wakefield.

Roles are available for social workers completing their assessed and supported year of employment, social workers in grades 9-11, and advanced practitioners.

These are difficult and complex positions, made even more so by the impact of the pandemic. But here in Wakefield, social workers are fully supported to feel safe, while continuing their vital work with children and families. Teams work flexibly across the district – with a mix of office and home work available – while staying connected to each other and with ongoing support from their manager and other colleagues.

The Wakefield Families Together multi-agency arrangement in place was also hailed by inspectors as “having a positive impact” on children and families. This approach brings together co-located groups of multidisciplinary staff clustered around schools in the district, creating improved partnership arrangements, providing earlier and more effective support to families.

Manageable workloads

Social workers have manageable workloads of no more than 15 for those doing their ASYE and advanced practitioners, and around 20 for other staff.

Ms. Schofield added, “We are looking for social workers to join us as we take our next positive steps in creating high quality, sustainable services for children and families in our district. “

For an informal discussion, you can contact:

To view a video highlighting some of the key quotes and parts of our recent Ofsted report, click here.

You can read the entire report for yourself on the Ofsted website and our press release here.