Manchester City Council wants to attract talented people from all over the country to join us on our improvement journey. Since our summer 2014 Ofsted inspection judged us ‘inadequate’, we’ve implemented a four year improvement plan to transform services for children and young people.
Be part of it – apply now for one of our social worker roles
Last date for applications received is 2 September, so don’t delay!
‘Dedicated to improving practice’
As part of this, we’re investing £14 million in additional funding for more staff and more support for staff, to give us the resources we need to bring our plan to fruition.
“Creating a more stable, confident and capable workforce is at the heart of our vision for the future,” says Paul Marshall, director of children’s services. “So we’re investing in more staff to reduce workloads, and investing in a range of initiatives to support and empower our staff.”
“These include smarter working, supported by technology and flexible working, which we hope will mean that some great social workers who may have thought twice about returning after starting a family will reconsider.”
Paul continues: “Manchester is a vibrant, diverse and cutting edge city. We believe that the children of this city deserve the very best, and this is most important in terms of social work services.”
“We are transforming, and have big ambitions to be the best social work service in the region and are investing heavily in our social work staff. So if you want to join a service which is on the up and dedicated to improving practice then you should join us.”
Manchester has reduced caseloads to an average of 23 per social worker and has plans to reduce this to an average of 18. We recognise that social workers need the right support around them. Investment in extra managers means we have smaller teams where managers have the time to support social workers. Social work consultants work alongside managers to provide ASYE support, tailored CPD and assistance with complex cases. Combine this with new practice standards which mean social workers are clear what is expected of them, supervision standards which guarantee protected time for supervision, and an updated training and development programme, and you can see why there’s never been a better time to be a social worker in Manchester.
Improved morale and outcomes
We’ve engaged with partners to put more emphasis on early help for families and, where needed, have focused on early permanence for children. We’ve developed a learning culture, supported by continuous professional development, and introduced the Signs of Safety social work model.This has reduced case loads for social workers, reduced workloads for managers and improved staff morale and outcomes for families.
What can Manchester offer outside work? It’s a booming city, with economic growth which last year outperformed Paris, Berlin and Tokyo, manifesting itself in new office, retail, leisure, housing and transport development springing up on its streets.
Despite this, the cost of housing – both in modern city centre developments and in the suburbs – is a pleasant surprise compared to both the south and the UK average. But house prices are rising, so now is the time to invest.
Manchester is an urban playground for kids, with lots of family-friendly events throughout the city. Its thriving music scene and nightlife owes much to the ‘Madchester’ phenomenon of the 1980s, and food-wise, few places can match Manchester, whether you’re after Michelin stars or traditional home-cooked pub food. To top it all, we have a rich and diverse arts and cultural scene, great shopping, and amazing sport and leisure facilities and heritage.
In order to attract talented people from all over the country to join our team and support our improvement journey, we have recently reviewed our relocation package which now offers a lump sum of £9,230 in relocation support depending on circumstances. If you’re already not too far away, our great public transport and road links mean that a commute from Lancashire, West Yorkshire, Cheshire, Derbyshire or Merseyside is feasible.
The final word goes to Ade Oyekan, who has been a social worker in Manchester for eight years, after joining as an apprentice. “I’ve had a significant period of experience,” he says. “I’ve worked on complex cases, court cases, but I’m not complacent…I know I’m still learning.”
“I rely on support from my manager and training so that I can keep developing. There have been a lot of changes at the top here, and there is a target for us to have no more than 18 cases. We’re not there yet, but there has already been a massive reduction in caseloads, and this gives you more time to work on cases, and means you’ve got enough time to give to the family.”
Ade also recounts a personal situation when his wife had an accident and as a result he had to do all the schools runs…
”It was a difficult period when I had to balance family life and work. My manager was flexible and supportive, in fact the entire management, as a senior manager approved the flexibility.”
He concludes “I work with different families from different backgrounds and cultures – that’s one of the things I find most interesting. Manchester is a good place to learn our trade; I’m passionate about my job, and I love positive outcomes for families.”
Join us. Visit manchester.gov.uk/socialworkcareers for more information and current vacancies.