Your social work career in Barnet Family Services

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In Barnet we don’t expect you to be able to support our children and families effectively without us supporting you. This is a place where you’re given time and support to develop yourself and your practice because our approach is different. Putting children at the centre of all we do means growing and developing you is, also, at the centre of what we do. We want you to be the best you can be and aim to achieve this by offering you our excellent and highly regarded workforce development programme: Learning in Context.

Learning and development

Learning in Context is the workforce training and development approach which has been uniquely developed to meet the needs of the children’s workforce.  Our key learning from analysis of various training approaches has demonstrated that learning, skills and knowledge is increased when we provide:

  • Learning that is accessible, relatable and applicable 
  • Learning that is well timed, tailored and targeted
  • Live and action learning opportunities through workshops, coaching, mentoring and group (and peer) supervision

Learning in Context means our focus goes beyond the traditional classroom and course-based training to a learning through experience, i.e., “know what” to “know how” supported by one-to-one development opportunities, live learning workshops, co-produced practice seminars and service days. 

Our approach enables us to focus on the development of all staff members and practitioners in Barnet in a way that is relevant to their roles and functions, i.e., Business Support, Performance Services, Financial Services, Clinical, Early Help and Youth Offending Services, alongside, our social work service. 

This more bespoke and contextual way of learning is effective in bringing  theory to life in practice and connecting you to our resilience-based practice model. Our Practice Model is resilience based social work practice. We believe that change can best be achieved when children’s needs are well understood, and the right help is made available to them. A resilience-based approach nurtures a child’s adaptive ability and capacity to benefit from the resources which are available or can be made available to them. 

Most children and families will be able to make use of those resources to buffer the effects of adversity, however, for children from Black and racially minoritised backgrounds, the historical, structural and systemic racism in society means that not all families we work with have the same opportunities. 

As an organisation we do not want help children and families build resilience against racism, but instead equip our workforce to recognise and challenge racism and create fair and equitable access to the resources we have available to improve children’s outcomes. 
To implement a ‘resilience-based approach’ that works to support all children, young people and families we have an explicit Anti-racism Strategy which has been developed to support practice together with a clear commitment to promoting equalities, diversity and inclusion within our recruitment and retention processes, training opportunities and overall development of the workforce.

Career opportunities in Barnet

To develop a resilient workforce, we want to recruit a diverse, committed and professional workforce that reflects the diverse communities we work with and provide an environment in which they will want to contribute and remain in Barnet.

In Family Services we are committed to supporting our workforce, we believe that following a career path is important and that it is our responsibility to provide a clear career pathway to all of our employees. We aim to make training and development meaningful and to reflect what you need at every stage of your career progression.

Career Progression Pathway aims to ensure all staff have a clear understanding of the various career options and support available for career development, in line with service needs.

Support from Practice Managers

We ensure that you are well supported to deliver purposeful social work, providing you with regular high-quality support from skilled practice managers enabling you to make a positive difference with our families and communities. Whether you are a newly qualified worker or a seasoned practitioner we offer reflexive and meaningful individual and group supervision opportunities to develop your expertise and confidence. As you  become more experienced, we can provide you with challenging opportunities in a supportive environment.

Case loads

We think that it is important that social workers are resilient and have manageable caseloads and sufficient support to complete their work and undertake effective interventions. We know how important it is for our staff to achieve a good work-life balance and we are determined to ensure that our systems support and enable focus on practice.