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Perinatal Social Worker

Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust
£35,392 to £42,618 per annum
Closing date
29 Nov 2023

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Other Health Profession
Band 6
Full Time
Perinatal Social Worker

It is an extraordinary time for specialist perinatal mental health services across the UK with growing national and local focus on service development and expanding access for new and expectant mums. The national ambition is to improve outcomes for an increasing number women over the next 5 years through investment in resources and broadening of interventions available. The perinatal period includes from conception up until one year following the birth of the baby and is a critical time for prevention and treatment for women at risk of serious mental ill health. providing a unique opportunity for intervention and change, improving outcomes for mums, their families and ultimately society, in the longer term.

The Essex Perinatal Mental Health Service has successfully established a specialist service in the community over the last 3 years and we are again expanding further to meet the needs of more women across Essex.This is an exciting opportunity for professional Social Workers to join our dedicated and growing team and our organisation. Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) is committed to developing and retaining its social workers. We are a partner with Think Ahead, one of the UK's most competitive graduate schemes, which provides a new route into mental health social work, in addition social workers are supported by an effective Social Care Leadership team ensuring robust supervision and professional development.

Main duties of the job

  • To deliver, or support the delivery of, highly specialist evidence-based mental health assessment, care planning, treatment and review for women in the perinatal period. Applying an understanding of the effects of multiple, enduring and complex mental health needs on occupational performance within a parenting role while also dealing with service users or carers with potentially severe challenging behaviour.
  • To provide specialist consultation, advice and support to the local acute hospital and community services on best practice when working with women with mental health needs at preconception, pregnant women with infants up to one year old.
  • To carry out mental health risk assessments for a caseload of service users and offer regular monitoring of mental state, in the individual's own home, (an environment that may expose individuals to contact with body fluids, odours, dust, dirt, or verbal aggression), and other community venues, potentially assisting service users with physical disabilities.
  • To work jointly with care coordinators from CMHTs with a small complex and challenging caseload of pregnant women or those with an infant up to one year old.
  • To work in consultation with other professionals making known concerns regarding safeguarding children and/or adults to the appropriate and responsible service.

For further detail please view the job description

About us

EPUT are looking for motivated staff who shares our Trust values of Care, Learn and Empower. In return, EPUT can offer you a range of benefits and development including
  • Season Ticket Loans
  • NHS discounts for staff
  • Excellent Training facilities and opportunities
  • Buying and Selling annual leave scheme
  • The opportunity to work bank shifts and expand knowledge and experience in other areas
  • Salary Sacrifice schemes including lease cars and Cycle to Work
  • Day One Flexible Employer

The Trust supports and actively encourages flexible working for all employees. We offer many options and you are encouraged to ask the recruiting manager what is possible for this role. If appointed, you will have the opportunity to apply for a flexible working request from the first day of your employment

Join our Staff bank

What is Staff Bank?

Our EPUT NHS staff bank is an entity managed by the trust that hires clinical and non-clinical healthcare professionals to take on shifts at our trust hospitals and community settings. Here at EPUT we maintain our own bank of specialist staff to ensure that we are able offer safe and effective care at all times.

All our permanent staff are automatically enrolled onto the staff bank however this does not mean you have to work any additional shifts, but the option is there for you if you wish.

If you are joining our Trust in a fixed term role, please indicate on your New Starter Paperwork that you wish to join our staff bank.

Job description

Job responsibilities

The Essex Perinatal Mental Health Service operates from five hubs across Essex the hubs are situated around the 5 acute hospitals. The bases are in the areas of Rochford, Laindon, Harlow, Chelmsford and Colchester and provide specialist assessment, interventionfor womenat risk ofmoderate to serious mental illness or complex disorders within thecounty of Essex. The successful candidate will be based at a base and work from either the North or South facing Essex service providing specialist social work support to the team, holding a social worker caseload for women and their families in the perinatal period of conception up until one year following the birth of the baby.

This is a wonderful development opportunity for experienced social workers interested in perinatal mental health and wishing to develop specialist knowledge and practice in this rewarding field. We significantly invest in our social workers to foster expertise in ourteam providing specialist training packages and development opportunities in line with emerging evidence and standards for parental mental illness. Successful candidates will demonstrate knowledge and interestin mental health or child safeguarding duringthe perinatal period together with soundknowledge of child and adult safeguarding practice. Good communication, collaborative partnership working,time management and planning skills are essential. Some previousexperience of working with this groupwould be an advantage.

For further detail please view the job description & Person specification

Person Specification



  • Certificate of qualification in Social Work/ Diploma or Degree in Social Work. E.g. DipSW , Ba Social work
  • Minimum requirement of two years post basic training
  • Evidence of continuing professional development


  • Specialist training specific to perinatal and infant mental health
  • Practice Placement Educator's Course
  • Mental health specific workshops and short courses
  • Qualifications/training in highly specialist skills e.g. therapeutic/psychological interventions
  • Dual qualified as AMHP or best interest assessor or Practice educator
  • Recent experience of perinatal mental health practice and/or safeguarding children practice



  • Minimum requirement of two years post qualification experience working in community mental health services
  • Knowledge of Safeguarding issues and child protection requirements/legislation and how these apply to the role
  • In-depth knowledge of Community Mental Health Services and national policy context
  • Knowledge of wider policy and service issues relating to perinatal mental health
  • Experience of managing a caseload of service users with evidence of completing high quality assessment
  • Experience of working in complex multidisciplinary/multi-agency context
  • Experience of formal child protection processes and inter-agency working with families
  • Experience of undertaking complex social needs, mental state, risk and needs assessments
  • Experience of working in a multi-racial/cultural community and of working with interpreters


  • Experience of effective partnership working, with external providers, in promoting socially inclusive opportunities for service users.
  • Experience in completing Risk Assessment Tools
  • Experience in partnership working with external agencies
  • Experience of working with women in the perinatal period
  • Experience of multi-agency pre-birth planning for women with serious mental illness
  • Evidence of networking within the perinatal psychiatry specialism
  • Experience of planning and delivery of training in response to identified needs
  • Experience of contributing to policies and procedures
  • Experience of managing crisis situations



  • Literate in IT/Computer Skills
  • Good oral communication skills based on fluency on the English language
  • Experience of working within community mental health setting
  • Working within a multi-disciplinary team
  • Ability to produce clear, coherent and accurate clinical reports including ability to complete required electronic data systems
  • Ability to empathise with clients, carers and families and colleagues, ensuring that effective communication is achieved
  • Team/self-management and organisational skills that enable a number of complex activities and clinical work to be undertaken
  • Ability to implement evidenced based practice
  • Ability to liaise and offer highly specialised consultation to other agencies effectively
  • Ability to effectively manage own clinical and administrative caseload and work under pressure at times of change
  • Ability to identify, recognise and understand safeguarding children issues and refer appropriately
  • Ability to work flexibly across service boundaries and with other healthcare professionals
  • Up to date knowledge of the Children's Act and associated legislation and government policy and its implications for mental health services
  • Ability to work effectively with women from diverse minority and ethnic cultural backgrounds and with families with a high level of deprivation, social isolation, exclusion and stigma.
  • Understanding of issues around information sharing in relation to Child Protection and Children in Need
  • Knowledge of relevant perinatal service models
  • Knowledge of relevant legislation e.g. MCA, MHA


  • Delivery of formal presentations and teaching sessions
  • R & D training
  • Knowledge and interest of local and national initiatives related to area of expertise
  • Ability to develop and deliver training on perinatal mental health and associated issues such as safeguarding children and domestic violence
  • Willing to engage in further knowledge development around perinatal mental health
  • Up to date knowledge of evidence based practice and current developments in perinatal psychiatry.



  • Shares the Trust's Beliefs and models this in their attitude and behaviour
  • Ensures that the organisational values of open, compassionate and empowering are demonstrated by self and others every day and that any matters of concern are addressed in a timely way, either directly or raised with the relevant Line Manager or through the relevant processes within the Trust as appropriate
  • Ability to work under pressure and ability to contain and manage the stress of others and oneself
  • Ability to frequently sustain periods of prolonged conc
    Any attachments will be accessible after you click to apply.


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