Senior Forensic Social Work Practitioner

Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust
£41,659 to £47,672 a year per annum
Closing date
21 Mar 2023

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Prison and Forensic
Band 7
Full Time
The Specialist Community Forensic Team (SCFT) provides a Trust wide service across Essex. We support service users that are currently inpatients in Low & Medium Secure Units across Essex and private facilities to integrate back into the community setting and promoting early discharge from hospital with a high level of intensive support.

This role is to support the day to day management of the service ensuring that there is high delivery of care both to the service users we are in-reaching whilst still in the inpatient units and to the service users that we are supporting in the community.

The aim of the service is to promote social inclusion for service users that may have spent many years in inpatient facilities, offering an holistic package that will promote independence and re-integration with the support of the team.

Main duties of the job

The post will operate within Forensic Mental Health, and will work in partnership with diverse external organisations, facilitating the safe discharge of patients from the Forensic MSU and providing care coordination and social supervision for a period of time post discharge. The post holder will use exemplary social work knowledge and practice and be committed to undertake person centred work with individuals and families focussing on their strengths, interests and assets in accordance with the Care Act (2014). As part of a multidisciplinary team you will lead on the understanding and knowledge of the role of social work within mental health, as identified by the five role categories for Social Work for Better Mental Health.

You will work as a Senior Social Worker in the designated team and also actively practice as an AMHP, undertaking Mental Health Act (MHA) assessments and other allocated work in relation to service users with a range of mental health difficulties and engaging with their carers so that, within the legislation, appropriate action is taken.

You will be expected to work collaboratively with key partner organisations, service users, carers, clinicians and other practitioners within the multi-disciplinary team in delivering services;.

In delivering your duties you are expected to display behaviours that are aligned with the Trust values and as required in accordance with the NHS Constitution at all times.

About us

The Specialist Community Forensic Team was set up in June 2020 as part of the new models of care to promote early discharge for service users back into the community.

We are now moving through the third stage of our development looking at the through flow and capacity of the team. This involves close working relationships with the local Community Mental Health Teams (CMHT's) across Essex.

We work in partnership with Phoenix Futures a third sector agency who supports with the delivery of the service.

Job description Job responsibilities

The post holder will be responsible for the day to day operational running of the service alongside the Senior Nurse within the team. You will hold a small case load of service users with complex needs and will be responsible for supervising junior staff within the service. This may include ensuring new staff are appropriately inducted, that staff receive appropriate supervision, have an annual appraisal and are compliant with mandatory training requirements. Where appropriate this may also include the requirement you manage these staff in line with agreed Trust HR processes.As a senior member of the team you will be expected to act up for the Integrated Clinical Lead when necessary and attend senior management meetings within the Specialist Services Care Group and with partnership organisation when required.

You will assess, manage, care plan, support and review care needs in line with policy, procedures and legislation, including the provision of aftercare under Section 117 of the Mental Health Act. Act as a care coordinator and social supervisor for your own caseload. Responsible for supporting and advising management on specific complex social work related cases within the Forensic mental health services. Use strength based approaches to support service users, focusing on them achieving positive outcomes to enhance their wellbeing, look at prevention and increasing their independence in line with the Care Act (2014). Provide a clear picture of how a persons independence can be promoted and maximised. Promote conversations to draw on the support around each person, their networks, local community and personal resources and support with delivering statutory responsibilities under the Care Act (2014). Undertake risk assessments and develop risk management plans. Able to support positive risk taking. To ensure that service users open to the team are provided with robust social care assessments by all care co-ordinators and that Care Act assessments are carried out where an eligible assessed need is identified and personal budget plans are put in place. Act as a lead for the team in areas of social care for example supporting with Care Act assessments and related social care funding processes, knowledge around the MHA, MCA, Safeguarding and develop knowledge and skills locally. You will support adults to be safeguarded in line with the Care Act (2014), manage risk and meet eligible need.

Practice as an AMHP as required, responding effectively to referrals and enquiries. When operating as an AMHP you must be able to work in accordance with the relevant legislation, (including the Mental Health Act 1983, the Mental Capacity Act 2005, Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards 2009 and related Codes, the Human Rights Act 1998, Equality Act 2010 and local policy. You must also fully comply with the Mental Health AMHP Regulations 2008. To lead and be responsible for the co-ordination of the Mental Health Act Assessment liaising closely with other professionals and involved others and inform effective understanding of practice / regulations within the multidisciplinary team. To ensure where appropriate that service users are referred for suitable follow-up care. You will be able to provide and receive complex, sensitive information in a hostile or highly emotive atmosphere ;highly complex, sensitive, contentious information/ in a hostile, antagonistic or highly emotive atmosphere. You will be effective at communicating highly sensitive issues eg child protection, vulnerable adults, guardianship issues. You will be able to communicate information in an emotive atmosphere; deals with child protection, vulnerable adults, mental health issues, disclosure of sensitive information, bereavement, explaining legislation in emotive situations. You will be able to demonstrate specialist knowledge underpinned by theory and relevant practical experience in order to assess and provide care and support for service users with complex needs, their families and carers, including the assessment and management of risk.

You will be able to work autonomously within agreed policies and regulations. To understand and utilise Health and Social Care commissioned services, demonstrating an understanding of eligibility criteria for social care services, and working in collaboration with nursing and other health care colleagues to ensure the appropriate and timely presentation of cases to panel, and the robust reviewing of placements to ensure effective and efficient use of resources, and recovery based delivery of services. Establish therapeutic relationships with service users, their families and carers. Maintain client centred approach balanced with need to manage risk of harm or deterioration.

Contribute to multi agency team working, and participate in team meetings. Act as link worker as required advising other professionals relating to specific areas of expertise. To advise and support team on a range of social work issues as required. To support development of social work and act as a Practice Assessor for social work students. To support the development of the AMHP service and act as an AMHP Practice Assessor for AMHP students. Enable individuals families and carers to address issues which affect their health and social well-being.

To liaise with staff in a variety of settings, ensuring that teams are able to respond effectively and efficiently to the needs of people with mental health difficulties in their care. To provide mental health advice and support for staff in hospital wards or A&E settings. To proactively work with patients, carers and ward staff to ensure access to the most appropriate care and to facilitate discharge as appropriate. Statutory responsibility for the assessment of carers (including young carers) needs and the formulation of a carers care plan in conjunction with the carers support workers. Prepare and present clear assessments and other reports as necessary to set out the basis of decisions made in respect of service users. Maintain all records to a high standard in accordance with relevant legislation, policy and procedures. Provide information, written assessments, reports and statements to support other service professionals, managers and agencies in making decisions related to care. Provide specialist reports to Mental Health Review Tribunals and Home Office for service users subject to the Mental Health Act.

This is not the full job description and full details of the role can be found in the attached job description.

Person Specification Education/ Qualifications Essential
  • Possession of recognised Social Work Qualification - Degree in Social Work, DipSW, CQSW, CSS or equivalent
  • Registration with HCPC Approved Mental Health Professional.
  • Studying or willingness to study towards full Post Qualification Award in Social Work
Knowledge Essential
  • Multi-disciplinary Social Care experience within multi-disciplinary team - relevant to people with mental health difficulties.
  • Evidence of partnership working with other agencies including Social Care Services, Health Services, Voluntary Agencies and/or Education
  • Experience of undertaking assessments and other duties in accordance with the Mental Health Act 1983 and Amendments 2007 and the Mental Capacity Act.
  • Knowledge and understanding of Social Care practice as defined by HCPC and appropriate legislation and guidance.
  • IT skills to enable effective input and retrieval of data and information.
  • Understanding of the Mental Health Act 1983 and Amendment 2007 and Equality Act 2010 and the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the Human Rights Act 1998
  • A variety of experiences working with people with mental health difficulties.
  • Practice teaching experience
  • Understanding of social care resources and provision available beyond statutory agencies
  • Awareness of government guidance and legislative changes across broad range of NHS and Social Care issues
Skills / Experience Essential
  • Literate in IT/Computer Skills
  • Good oral communication skills based on fluency on the English language
  • Demonstrates a commitment to highest professional and ethical values.
  • Demonstrate the ability to provide and receive highly complex, highly sensitive or highly contentious information.
  • Demonstrate well developed motivational, negotiation, training and empathetic skills as required.
  • Makes ongoing assessments of frequently complex client needs and associated risks and demonstrates knowledge and understanding of wide range of resource options within budgetary framework/ constraints.
  • Negotiates and implements effective plans for support, enablement, prevention, protection and monitoring, within department/government targets Offers practical suggestions and advice on long term implications of alternative courses of action in relation to quality of service provision.
  • Supports development of self and colleagues through regular reflection on effectiveness of approach and the acquisition, dissemination and application of new knowledge and skills.
  • Able to offer coaching and support to students and/or unqualified staff and supervise as required.
  • Communication and presentation skills.
  • Ability to work in a multi-agency environment with an understanding of the differing responsibilities of statutory and non statutory organizations.
  • Leadership and influencing skills with the ability to lead and motivate others.
  • Flexible, positive and empathetic approach.
  • Develops an

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