Eight essential developments children’s social workers should know before their next job interview

Social Worker children

Congratulations! Your job application got you that interview, but now comes the all-important preparation before the big date. So to help make the interview prep a little easier, here’s a run-down of eight of the latest and most topical developments in children and families social work from the past six months, from new special guardianship order regulations to how to do assessments of unaccompanied asylum seeking children.

1. Section 20 arrangements have been under scrutiny in recent months following judicial criticism about how they are being used. So it’s time up to get up to speed on the latest national section 20 guidance produced by the Association of Directors of Children’s Services and the Association of Directors of Social Services Cymru.

2. Child sexual exploitation is a hot topic at the moment so arm yourself with Community Care Inform’s top tips for social workers on preventing and raising awareness of the problem.

3. There’s an increasing trend of parents wanting to record child protection meetings but most councils lack formal guidance on what to do in those situations. Here’s what social workers need to know about the issue.

4. The use of special guardianship orders is rising fast but there are concerns about the support that goes alongside them. Helpfully, Cafcass and the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) have responded by updating their template for social workers who are giving evidence to court to reflect these and other topical concerns.

Also, make sure you’re aware of how the regulations around special guardianship orders changed at the end of February. 5. With Europe facing with an on-going migration crisis, social workers are having to do more assessments of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and young people, so it’s worth being familiar with the latest ADCS practice guidance on age-assessment interviews.

6. Ofsted are now doing joint child protection inspections of local agencies. Do you know what’s involved and what inspectors are looking out for? 

7. Check out the National Institute for Clincial Excellence’s recent best practice guidance for social workers on assessing attachment for children who are on the edge of care, in care, or adopted.

8. England’s social work regulator, the HCPC, is proposing to introduce five new standards of proficiency for social workers. The proposed standards are based on the input of employers and social work representatives so it’s worth thinking about how would you demonstrate how you meet them during an interview.

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