Northamptonshire Children’s Trust

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Welcome to Northamptonshire Children’s Trust Employer Profile. Here you can find out more about the teams, the leadership, the pay and benefits as well as the trust’s approach to social work before deciding if they are the right employer for you.

"Children, young people and families at the heart of all we do - in every decision we make and every action we take."

Who we are

Our journey

Meet the chief executive

Colin Foster was previously DCS at Bedford Borough Council and has 15 years of experience in children’s services including private sector operations both in the UK and internationally such community projects in Asia. He has been at the Trust since 2021.


“I am proud to work for an organisation that truly puts children, young people and families at the heart of all we do. We have an incredibly committed workforce who strive to do the best job of their lives every single day to support our children and young people. Throughout the organisation we have fostered a culture of support and kindness. Although we have many different teams within the organisation we work collaboratively as one NCT team.


“A strong stable leadership team are visible and engaged in all aspects of NCT.  Colleagues are empowered to be creative, trusted in their decision making and encouraged to have open and honest conversations. We celebrate the achievements of our children, young people and each other. Our workforce are our greatest asset and we are committed to providing them with a friendly, supportive and collaborative environment where they can succeed.”

The Teams

Our Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) is the single point of contact for all safeguarding concerns relating to children and young people in Northamptonshire.

The MASH service brings together professionals from a range of services including health and the police. It ensures children, young people and families get the right service at the right time through an integrated approach from early help and social care.

This is a very fast paced and busy team where high-quality case work decisions are made within 24 hours of the referral with evidence of the child’s voice throughout the assessment.


What our team say:

“I feel positive about where I work. When you are in social work, you need to feel like you are supported, you need to feel like you want to go to work. You want to feel like you have got everything behind you that you need to be a good social worker and I can honestly say, that’s how I feel here.” 

Jo – Decision Maker

The Duty and Assessment Team (DAAT) is the single point of contact for all safeguarding concerns relating to children and young people in Northamptonshire.

There are six teams within DAAT and each team consists of a team manager, an advanced practitioner, five to six social workers and a newly qualified social worker. We collaborate with other professionals to ensure immediate and prompt responses.

The team conduct visits to children and their families, complete assessments and engage in direct safeguarding work to protect the wellbeing and safety of children and young people. Building effective relationships with children and families, along with foster carers and partner agencies, is a fundamental aspect of roles within the team.


What the team say:

“NCT is a very forward thinking organisation.  The senior leadership team are very available and responsive. There is a real desire to get things right and make our processes more efficient to make sure that every contact that we have with a child and family is purposeful. We are always seeking to grow our own and there are always opportunities! I would say join us! Come and work with us.  We need people who are passionate about making a difference to children and families.” 

Samantha – Team Manager

Children’s support and safeguarding teams complete work with children who are subject to child protection plans, child-in-need plans and public law outline/initial care proceedings.

They also support multi-agency practice in completing pre-birth and parenting assessments and work with adolescents with a focus on contextualised safeguarding.

There are 15 safeguarding teams across Northamptonshire.  These established, supportive teams are based in Northampton, Kettering, Corby, Wellingborough, Daventry.

Our frontline social work teams support children, young people, and families to stay together, using the strengths-based Signs of Safety practice model.


What the team say:

“I like working in safeguarding because it is the team that best enables relationship based practice.  I am very keen to develop a connection with the children and families I support and I put a lot of effort into this. When we reach the end of our journey together and children are safely cared for by their parents, it is very evident why my effort was worthwhile.”

Stacey – Social Worker

teenager in care

Our children in care service provides oversight for all the children in care in Northamptonshire. This includes children subject to legal proceedings as well as children with a plan to remain long term in our care.

We focus on building meaningful relationships with young people, their families, and their carers to ensure that we plan effectively for the future of every child.

The service has 11 teams that work across the county.

What our team say:

“I love working in the court team because it places the emphasis on thorough assessment and robust social work analysis. The pastoral/management care is the best I have ever experienced and the opportunities to do real social work and make a real difference to children’s lives at such a crucial and pivotal time is amazing. We are given the trust and resources to act in the best interests of the children, even if that means innovation or thinking outside the box.”

Amanda – Social Worker

The disabled children’s team works with families to enable children and young people with complex additional needs to have the same opportunities and experiences as other children and young people.

This is a proactive, professional team requiring skilled social workers to complete assessments that identify a family’s needs and ensure that all the necessary support is in place.

The team work closely with partners across health, education and the voluntary sector.


What the team say:

“I’ve been able to develop my skills and work with some wonderful young people and families.  It’s just great! The most rewarding part of the job for me is seeing the young people achieve their potential, getting those outcomes and seeing the pride that they have knowing that they’ve achieved something- its absolutely brilliant! If anyone is considering coming to Northamptonshire, I would say do it!  The training and support is good and there are plenty of opportunities.”

Tess – Social Worker

The team recruits, assesses, supports, and develops foster carers to be able to meet the needs of our children in care.

The team complete assessments of carers, statutory checks and support foster carers throughout their journey carrying out supervisions and annual reviews.

We also offer a wide range of training for our foster carers to enable them to best meet the needs of our children and young people.

This is a county-wide team that is part of Family Adoption Links – a regional adoption agency incorporating Lincolnshire and Rutland, North Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Leicester City and Lincolnshire.

The team is responsible for the recruitment, preparation training, and assessment of prospective adopters in line with the regulations. We complete the permanence assessment reports and accompany adopters to the adoption panel. We remain involved in supporting adoptive families until the adoption order is made.

Our adoption/special guardianship order (SGO) support team is involved in assessing post adoption/SGO support needs, delivering therapies either through the team or through the adoption support fund, running support groups for adopters/SGO carers, and activities/groups for adopted/SGO children.

Working lives

Meet a social worker

Approach to Social Work

Open and inclusive culture

Northamptonshire Children’s Trust is creating spaces for social care practitioners to share their candid experiences of inequality in forums and are getting help to apply them in their day-to-day practice.

Discussions about race and racism are no longer taboo among practitioners at Northamptonshire Children’s Trust (NCT). Set up just months after George Floyd’s death in 2020, NCT has actively made changes to create an inclusive and open culture for practitioners, that promotes equality and diversity.

Read more

A culture of kindness

kindness changes everything text on wooden signpost outdoors in landscape scenery during blue hour. Sunset light, lake and snow capped mountains in the back.

Nurturing management

Improving working conditions

children playing tug of war

Working closer to the top

work colleagues talking

Peeling back the red tape

‘Join an inspirational journey'

Northamptonshire Children's Trust picture resized


Key Data

Average caseload: 17.5 (DfE, 2022)


Average social worker salary: £33,568 to £36,597


Ofsted rating: ‘Requires improvement’. Fostering, adoption and youth offending service – ‘Good’ (2024)


Vacancy rate: 39.6% (DfE, 2022)


Agency rate: 26% (DfE, 2022)


Average house price:  £323,798 (Rightmove 2023)


Learning and development


Benefits of the trust model

Pay and benefits

Our People


My name is Hayleigh, and I am an apprentice social worker. I have worked within NCT for just over 5 years now and am happy to work within the supporting and safeguarding sector, keeping the families at the heart of everything.


I was a family support worker previously until approached by my service manager to apply for the apprenticeship. There are so many different opportunities within the Trust to get involved in such as the apprenticeship, mental health first aid, signs of safety champions, influencers, and equality forums for example.


My colleagues are so supportive and so are management! If you enjoy a great team culture, supportive environment and meeting an all-round lovely bunch of people who always put the children on their caseloads first, then please come and join us 😊


I have worked for the authority since 2015, I was initially employed as an agency worker (practice manager) in safeguarding in Kettering and the opportunity arose to become a permanent member of staff. I took this opportunity and became permanent in August 2017 and remained in the same role until I was successful in becoming a team manager in Corby in 2019 where I am still working now.


The best things about working for NCT (formally NCC) has been the opportunities for career progression and the consistent support I have had from my service manager to do this, who remains my service manager to this day.


I have learnt so much on my journey with Northamptonshire and have been able to grow and progress as I had always hoped. I continue to have the pleasure of working with fantastic colleagues in safeguarding, where we all have the same goal to ensure we deliver the best possible services to the families we are working with. I feel very proud to work for NCT and will continue to drive and contribute to the on-going improvement journey of the trust.

Employee Benefits

Our workforce is our most valuable asset. Without a committed and skilled workforce, we wouldn’t be able to support children, young people, and families.

We are committed to continuous improvement, building a skilled, knowledgeable, and flexible workforce alongside promoting innovation and creativity whilst keeping children, young people, and families at the heart of all we do.

We offer all employees 28 days annual leave per year (pro rata for part time employees), plus bank holidays. This increases to 33 after 5 years’ continuous service.

We also offer an annual leave holiday purchase scheme: this offers you the chance to buy up to 30 days (FTE) additional leave a year based on your weekly contractual working hours.

We are committed to equality of opportunity for all.

We recognise that offering agile and flexible working arrangements can help to increase the diversity of our workforce and improve work life balance for colleagues, while ensuring that we deliver the best possible services.

We give our workforce greater choice and flexibility, wherever possible, in when they work by providing the opportunity to change work pattern (subject to service requirements). This can be done by applying for agile/flexible working arrangements, including part time, job share, term time only, annualised hours and flexi time (dependent on service needs).

Our employees can join the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS). You pay a % based on your salary (before tax) and the organisation pays a significant contribution too.

If you prefer, you can choose to pay less – where you pay half the normal contribution rate and build up half the normal pension (known as the 50/50 scheme). You can also make additional voluntary contributions.

In addition to a pension when you retire, employees also receive immediate life assurance cover (3 times your annual salary from day one) and ill-health protection.

Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)

We have a confidential externally provided Employee Assistance Programme designed to help you deal with any personal or professional problems which could be impacting on your general health and wellbeing.

This is available for employees and their immediate family members 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year (366 days in a Leap Year!). It includes telephone counselling, legal advice, bereavement support and medical information.

Employees also have access to support from Access to Work Mental Health Support Service who provide free, confidential support over 9 months for any employee with depression, anxiety, stress or other mental health issues affecting their work.

We have a wide variety of training and development opportunities.

You will have access to training courses, qualifications, online learning, apprenticeships, coaching and mentoring and bespoke training as well as role specific training.

The Social Work Academy alongside our Learning and Development department, Principal Social Worker and other key teams also work with existing employees and are currently developing various supports for our existing staff, this will include development support for managers and aspiring managers, support for Practice Educators within the organisation and induction programs.

Our Learning and Development department offers extensive training for all of our employees including Signs of Safety and specialist topics to support your role and ongoing CPD.

As a Children’s Trust employee you will also have access to NSCB multi-agency training and to a Research in Practice (RIP) account where you can access training, research and up to date articles, and developments, within the profession.

The NCT benefit scheme gives you access to discounts from major retailers online and in store.

You will have access to the car lease scheme with a fixed monthly amount being taken from your salary and in return you get the use of a new car.

As a social work practitioner we will pay your yearly social work England registration fee.

Retention bonuses are also paid for those in social work roles.

Living in Northamptonshire

Northamptonshire is home to some of the most beautiful countryside in England.


It also has a large number of stately homes, historic villages and market towns as well as a large working canal network and numerous outdoor parks.


Being only an hour’s drive from both London and Birmingham means Northamptonshire is ideally connected to large city centres whilst maintaining its sense of heritage and community.


It is also one of the fastest growing areas in the country with a number of regeneration schemes in progress, new build housing developments and ambitious education strategies.


The River Nene Regional Park is a community interest company working on a wide array of projects in the area with local communities including environment restoration and improving sustainability and awareness. It including the award winning Tree Top Way at Salcey Forest and Stanwick Lakes.


There are affordable homes in both urban and rural locations, with an attractive average semi-detached house price of £292,409. (Rightmove 2023)

This compares favourably with every neighbouring county including Cambridgeshire, Oxfordshire and Milton Keynes.

Northamptonshire is situated in the East Midlands and its central location means it has excellent transport links both to the north and south of England.


Much of the county is less than an hour’s drive, train or bus journey from London,  Oxford, Birmingham, Leicester, Peterborough, and Cambridge. Luton Airport and the East Midlands Airport in Derby are also accessible in under an hour.


Northamptonshire’s main towns are Northampton, Kettering, Corby, Daventry, Towcester, Brackley, Wellingborough, Thrapston, and Oundle.

The county has an eclectic mix of industrial towns, historical market towns and quaint countryside villages.


There are miles of walks, beautiful country parks, canals and substantial areas of ancient woodland. Miles of cycle path follow the landscape of the Brampton Valley Way.


Rockingham Castle perches on its hilltop with views stretching to Rutland Water. Stately homes and ancestral seats, including that of the Spencer family at Althorp, are all part of the local heritage.


The network of canals that interweave the county are perfect for exploring, with cruisers able to stop to sample the hospitality of the old navigational inns along the way.


Local sporting highlights include international venues at Silverstone, the revered Saints rugby team, football league teams and first class county cricket. The county also enjoys a number of spectacular golf courses and excellent water sports centres.


There is a thriving arts scene with numerous art galleries and events, an award winning regional theatre, independent cinemas and quirky and eclectic shops.

Northamptonshire is an ideal area to live with its rural charm and friendly communities and a wide range of affordable properties to buy or rent from large family homes to thatched cottages, flats and town-houses.


There are a high number of both primary and secondary schools rated as ‘good’ or better by Ofsted in the area. Northamptonshire also has its own university – The University of Northampton offers a huge number of undergraduate and postgraduate courses which sees high student satisfaction in terms of education and student life.


There is a large range of activities for families with a huge number of country parks, canal waterways, child-friendly festivals and theatre events.

Want to know more?

If you would like to know more about working for Northamptonshire Children’s Trust or the opportunities on offer please email

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