Job file: senior development officer
Job title: Senior development officer,
communicating with children.
Who’s doing it: Judith Ellis.
Where: National Children’s Bureau.
Job description: Setting up, running and
delivering a learning programme to social workers on how to
communicate effectively with children during assessments of need.
Developing a resource pack.
Skills/qualifications needed: The specification
requested a skilled and experienced social work practitioner with a
strong commitment to child-centred working, significant experience
of assessment practice and some experience of training development
and project management.
What’s good about the job? Being based at the
NCB, I have access to a wealth of theory and ideas about everything
to do with children. It is a chance to reflect on my practice and
to promote positive change.
What’s bad about the job? I do miss direct work
Grade: NCB grade H (middle management).
What’s the job like? First thing, I answer my
emails. Then, unless it’s a training day, I meet other
professionals to discuss some aspect of my programme; use the
internet or books and journals to find materials and articles; and
design training materials. I feel strongly about the issue of
children’s right to participate in decisions affecting their lives.
This is what drives the programme for me. Often social workers find
it difficult to understand children or to know how to relate to
them, so they try to get all the information from adults. In child
protection cases, this can be dangerous. In the months ahead I will
be going all over the country delivering training at local
authorities. At the end of the programme, which lasts 15 months, I
will organise and write a resource pack for social work
professionals. It is still early days for this project but we will
need to work quickly to complete it on time. When I started in
November, they said I would have to “hit the ground running”. How