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.
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.
“This role felt like a real calling to me. I live locally and I wanted to make a difference to a community on my doorstep. We are on an inspirational journey of improvement and I want social workers to play a key part in it. I promise you will be given the tools to be the best you can be.”
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 ensuring children, young people and families get the right service at the right time through an integrated approach from early help and social care.
Signs of safety strengths based approaches, led by decision makers, supports excellent social work practice and is further supported by our Signs of Safety Champions and business support.
This is a very fast paced and busy team where high quality case work decisions are made within 24 hours of the referral and ensure the child’s voice is evident throughout the assessment.
The duty and assessment team (DAT) is the single point of contact for all safeguarding concerns relating to children and young people in Northamptonshire.
There are 6 teams within DAT, each consisting of a team manager, an advanced practitioner (who holds complex cases and supports other social workers in the team) and five to six social workers including a newly qualified social worker (NQSW). We collaborate with other professionals to ensure immediate and prompt responses.
The teams use a Signs of Safety approach and clear and consistent professional development is supported and encouraged across the teams.
The 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 focusing on contextualised safeguarding.
The 15 teams use a Signs of Safety strengths based approach to support excellent social work practice.
Social workers are supported by business support colleagues and advanced practitioners who work with a small number of complex cases and provide help, support and advice to the rest of the team.
This team includes the independent reviewing officers (???) and personal advisors for those leaving care. The team works collaboratively to provide oversight for all children in care in Northamptonshire.
This includes asylum seeking children, children subject to legal proceedings where their permanency plan is being determined, and children with a plan to remain in long term care.
Skilled social workers in this team keep children at the heart of all we do – building meaningful relationships with young people, their families and carers and planning proactively for the future of every child.
Championing and supporting young people via good pathway planning as they make their transition to independence, the service seeks to work in exciting and creative ways. Aims are to fulfill the personal advisor function, enable young people to live independently, access education, employment and training, and develop into healthy, confident young adults.
Teams include experienced team managers, family support workers, business support administrators and new consultant practitioners.
The service has 11 teams that work across the county and focus on particular cohorts of children. Our experienced team managers support our social workers, family support workers and business support administrators.
Our new consultant practitioner roles are dedicated to supporting and coaching social workers with complex cases and providing valuable coaching and training.
Social workers are instrumental in providing long term support to the children and families they work with and this includes:
- ensuring there are commitment and exit plans in place
- working with the local judiciary, and other parties, to ensure the effective conduct of care proceedings
- investigate, protect and accommodate using contingency planning to anticipate complexity and changing circumstances
- monitor and review the implementation of care plans to ensure that the correct services are being provided, are meeting the assessed needs and that the cost of provision remains within any agreed budget.
The Disabled Children’s Team works with Northamptonshire families to enable children and young people with complex additional needs to have the same opportunities and experiences as other children and young people.
Skilled social workers in this proactive, professional team complete assessments to identify family needs and ensure that all the necessary support is in place; working closely with partners across health, education and the voluntary sector.
The Disabled Children’s Team works closely with all the other social work teams to secure the best outcomes for children and families.
Meet a team manager
Meet a social worker
Learning and development
Pay and benefits
Approach to social work
Peeling back the red tape
‘Join an inspirational journey'
Benefits of the trust model
Average caseload: 17.7
Average social worker salary: £33,568 to £36,597
Ofsted rating: Inadequate
Vacancy rate: 33.6%
Agency rate: 27.8%
Average house price: £274,149 (Rightmove, 2021)
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 house price of £231,035. 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.