Surrey County Council

Welcome to Surrey County Council’s Employer Profile. Here you can find out key data, more about the teams, leadership, approach to social work and more before deciding if they are the right employer for you.

Meet the director

Rachael Wardell

Rachael Wardell, Executive Director of Children, Families and Lifelong Learning

“I believe that the greatest change is achieved when we convene around two core principles: that children belong with their families and, if that is not possible, then we hold those children close to us, as close as our own children.

“That might sound nebulous because it’s not hard KPIs or a target Ofsted rating but that’s because those core principles look different for different children. For some it’s being able to go to the same school as their brothers and sisters; for others it’s not having to travel so far for support or accessing community resources that didn’t exist before.

“It’s about us knowing each child, knowing what the right outcome looks like to them and then us taking responsibility to do everything we can to help them achieve that.”

Watch this video or read this article to find out more about Rachael’s vision for Surrey.

Meet the teams

Social workers in the family resilience and safeguarding department will work in assessment teams or family safeguarding teams (ch).

Assessment teams use motivational approaches, such as motivational interviewing, to engage with both the family and the network supporting them to understand the presenting worries and whether a statutory social work service is required.

The family safeguarding teams use the family safeguarding model, first developed in Hertfordshire, where specialist support workers such as those working in drug and alcohol misuse, domestic violence and mental health are embedded within the children’s services department and available for advice or to co-work cases with children’s social workers.


Jacquie Burke, Director for Family Resilience and Safeguarding

“Surrey is committed to early support and prevention so that we provide children and their families with the right help at the right time and tackle the causes of children being in need or at risk. We want children to stay with their families as much as they possibly can. To do that we need to build resilience within families and help parents manage and recover from any challenges they have.”




Justice Nyamutowa, advanced social worker, family safeguarding

“Within the family safeguarding model it feels like we are working with families and alongside families. Previously we tried to do things to them, to solve their problems for them, but now we empower them to change and give them the tools to help them solve their own problems and bring about lasting change.”





 Anna Want, senior drug and aclohol worker, family safeuarding

“We’ve all been assigned to a team of social workers and we support them in their work with families where there is an issue to do with substance and alcohol use. Our aim is that we will be able to respond much more quickly and with greater understanding to these issues and that this will help us support the family as a whole. All of work with the intention of keeping families together, recognising their strengths even though there may be substance misuse.”

Social workers working in the corporate parenting department will work in either the looked after children team, the disabilities team or will work with adoptive parents, foster parents and staff working in residential care.

Social workers have a mixed caseload of children aged between 0-18 and work with them to maintain health, happiness and gain independence.

We have put into place the ‘no wrong door’ approach and the Mockingbird model to improve support for foster carers in their local area.

Surrey has reinstated specialist teams for unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC) owing to the increase in numbers of these cases. Social workers work closely with personal assistants and have specialist skills such as undertaking age assessments and supporting young people through home office and immigration legal procedures.


Tina Benjamin, Director for Corporate Parenting

“We understand that not all young people are the same but they all deserve outstanding services. We value relationships both with children, young people and their families but with all those in the team supporting them. Our young people have told us that their social workers should be kind, dependable, honest and open so that’s what we’re striving to be.”




Emily Holloway Social Worker (ASYE) in LAC team

“The reason I wanted to come to Surrey was I had heard how good the ASYE support is here. I have two professional support networks – my team in the LAC department but also the social work academy here. We have regular learning days within the Academy and are given a day each month of protected time to work on our ASYE portfolio. I think the approach we have here in Surrey of working with the whole family is much better and really aligns with my own personal values and social work ethics.”




Natasha Gunner Team manager, North West LAC team

“I manage four social workers and have line management responsibility for their cases. Day to day I will supervise and mentor those members of staff as well as chairing and attending panel meetings. I think we are all valued and recognised with our hard work wich is really important for staff wellbeing. We have the Employee Assistance Programme which provides independent personal and work support and includes everything from counselling to legal advice so it’s a really good resource to have.”

The Quality Assurance team includes …… and covers ….


Patricia Denney, Director for Children’s Quality Assurance

“In Surrey we believe that we are all responsible for knowing and understanding the quality and impact of our practice. Leaders, managers and staff at all levels must understand a child’s experience of our services so that we challenge practice and improve all the time. That’s why we are constantly striving to know ourselves better, what’s working and what we need to change in order to improve.”

Career development





Work-life balance

Approach to social work

'Being kinder to ourselves and our workforce'

‘Covid-19 has accelerated our improvement journey’

Giving social workers the time and tools for change

Surrey Council Employer Zone image

Asylum-seeking children: ‘Here you feel people care’

Young asylum seeker

Working in Surrey

North West

Head office located in Woking, close to the train station and bus stops.  Areas covered include Runnymede, Surrey Heath and Woking.

Assistant director: Jo Moses.

Teams include family safeguarding, LAC and leaving care, assessment, targeted youth support.

North East

Head office located in Walton-On-Thames close to Walton train station and the A3 and M25. Areas covered include Elmbridge, Epsom, Ewell and Spelthorne.

Assistant director: Juliette Blake.

Teams include children with disabilities, family safeguarding, LAC and leaving care, assessment, targeted youth support.

South West

Head office located in Guildford and the office has free parking. Areas covered include Guildford and the borough of Waverly.

Assistant director: Siobhan Walsh.

Teams include family safeguarding, LAC and leaving care, assessment, targeted youth support.

South East

Head office located in Redhill within walking distance to the train station and close to the M25 and M23. Areas covered include Tandridge, Reigate, Banstead and Mole.

Assistant director: Sam Bushby.

Teams include family safeguarding, LAC and leaving care, unaccompanied asylum seeking children, assessment, targeted youth support.

Want to know more?

If you’re interesting in finding out more about working at Surrey simply register your interest, call us on 01483 518 672 or email If you’re interested in working in a particular regional area then use these specific registration links – north west quadrant, north east quadrant, south east quadrant, south west quadrant.

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