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Social worker career progression and pathways

We offer an excellent career pathway for qualified social workers following successful completion of their assessed supported year of employment.

Our social workers are supported to achieve progression within a reasonable period, where evidenced based performance is considered to meet the requirements of the professional capabilities' framework (PCF) and the Social Work England professional standards.

Progressing as a social worker within Derbyshire is something we want to encourage and support. Progression shouldn't be viewed solely as a linear process from ASYE to management. At various points there are opportunities to make moves or undertake pieces of work to gain experience, knowledge, and skills to develop professionally.

We want our employees to know they are encouraged and supported to develop and progress to enable them to be able to plan their career whilst remaining with us. For social workers, practice supervisors and team managers we introduced a transfer scheme which, once you've been in a team for at least a year, enables moving to other teams and services a simpler process.

Social worker

Our social workers provide a quality social work service that supports individuals and communities to achieve their potential.

They effectively manage a caseload to achieve the best outcomes for individuals, groups, and communities. Working in partnership with individuals, social workers build and sustain relationships, identify needs, and develop plans and responses that meet those needs.

All social worker salary information includes the market supplement payment which is currently in place until the end of June 2023.

Newly qualified social worker (grade 9)

Starting salary of £34,0387 pro rata.

Qualified registered social workers are eligible to progress from grade 9 to 10 following successful completion of their Assessed and Supported Year of Employment (ASYE) after a minimum of 12 months in practice as a qualified, registered social worker.

Progression will happen where all criteria are met, and performance is considered to meet the requirements of the PCF and expectations at grade 10. Grade 10 social workers attract a starting salary of £31,682 with annual increments to £34,832 pro rata.

Social worker (grade 11)

Starting salary £37,414 with annual increments to £40,713 pro rata.

To progress from grade 10 to 11 our social workers are expected, with continued management support, to evidence consistent and sustained practice, performance, and key development.

They are expected to complete a case work anonymised CPD portfolio which demonstrates evidence that the Social Work England professional standards and the 9 domains of the PCF at the required level are met.

The expectation is that systemic practice training will have been completed, which we will support and fund.

Practice supervisor (grade 12)

Starting salary £39,840 with annual increments to £43,224 pro rata.

Derbyshire's practice supervisors provide practice supervision on all case work (group and one to one) and offer personal supervision to social workers within the team.

They undertake a professional practice lead role within their designated area of service whilst assisting the team manager in the efficient and effective delivery of children's services social work service.

They demonstrate and champion systemic practice and embed Derbyshire's operating model into all social worker practice to improve outcomes for children, young people, and families.

Team manager (grade 13)

Starting salary £44,438 with annual increments to £48,081 pro rata.

Our team managers assist the head of service in the efficient and effective delivery of children's services social work service.

They are responsible for leading and managing social care teams, including being accountable for the direction, delivery, and performance of the team, incorporating assessment and appropriate management of risk.

They ensure that integrated practice is embedded to improve outcomes for children, young people, and families in the community.

Team managers have key relationships with several stakeholders including children's services senior management team, external partners and agencies, local people and community groups, national professional bodies, and internal partners.

Senior team manager (grade 14)

Starting salary £49,932 with annual increments to £55,486 pro rata.

Senior team managers are responsible for the effective management of resources across all service settings including building and staffing, and resources not provided by the council.

They work collaboratively with other agencies, including the voluntary sector, to achieve joint objectives and provide services, including agreeing and allocating grant aid within a designated area.

Senior team managers participate in developing, using, and monitoring quality assurance systems against agreed standards, including involvement in the programme of formal service inspections. They would also take an active part in ensuring all students receive appropriate supervision, support, and experience during their placement.

Senior team managers report, to the head of service, on service delivery matters which require a change of policy or attract media attention and take responsibility for progress.

Principle social worker (grade 14)

Starting salary £49,932 with annual increments to £55,486 pro rata.

Principle social workers provide strategic leadership for the overall development and direction of social work practice in our social care teams against agreed targets and standards. They identify needs, define, and implement policy and strategy to improve and enhance our social work practice in terms of effectiveness and impact.

Principle social workers are the senior social worker and provide professional leadership for, and champion, outstanding practice across the authority. They identify, access, and appropriately deploy, financial and other resources to ensure continued improvement and delivery of high-quality practice to improve outcomes for children, young people, and their families.

They have key relationships will all social workers and practice supervisors, district managers, elected members and senior management teams, internal and external partners, and national professional bodies.

Head of service (grade 15)

Starting salary £57,334 with annual increment to £62,887 pro rata.

The head of service is accountable for leading operational services within a designated area of responsibility ensuring that children and young people receive the help and support they need to keep them safe and achieve good overall outcomes.

They actively focus on continuous service improvement, challenging existing practice, and seeking ways of achieving better service value.

Heads of service are responsible for the management and development of the department's directly employed workforce in accordance with council strategies, policies, and procedures.

They work collaboratively with partners to support income generation that funds early help services, and have key relationships with senior management, elected members, schools and local people.