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. 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.
Social work practice is supported by the use of Signs of Safety (SoS) strengths based approaches and SoS champions as well as designated decision makers 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 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.
Their combined knowledge and expertise is supported with a Signs of Safety based approach and clear personal development plans for practitioners.
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.
The teams consist of a family support worker, social worker, senior social worker, advanced practitioner and a team manager. There are also business support colleagues for each team.
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
Our court teams sit within the children in care service. This includes children subject to legal proceedings as well as children with a plan to remain in our care for the long-term.
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 and focus on particular cohorts of children. Experienced team managers support social workers, family support workers and business support administrators.
Social workers in the team work with the local judiciary and other parties to ensure effective conduct of care proceedings and are there to help support investigations and provide protection and accommodation. This often involves using contingency planning to anticipate complexity and changing circumstances.
The court team work with colleagues from various teams and build positive links between the team and other parts of the service to ensure effective multi-professional working.
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. This requires working closely with partners across health, education, the voluntary sector and with different teams across the trust.
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
Teams in this service include independent reviewing officers, child protection conference chairs, designated officers, the social work academy, children’s rights workers, independent visitor coordinators and quality assurance auditors. They are also supported by business support colleagues.
The teams work closely with operational social work teams to provide high quality oversight for all children receiving statutory services, including those on child protection plans, children in care, separated children, children subject to legal proceedings where their permanency plan is being determined, and children with a plan to remain in long-term care.
Social workers in the team are required to keep children at the heart of all decision making. They build meaningful relationships with young people, their families and carers and help to proactively plan for the future of every child.
The service seeks to work in exciting and creative ways, recruiting volunteer independent visitors and growing the advocacy offer to make sure all children have an effective, loud voice in their lives and plans.
Meet a team manager
Meet a social worker
Learning and development
Benefits of the trust model
Pay and benefits
Approach to social work
Working closer to the top
Peeling back the red tape
‘Join an inspirational journey'
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.