17/09/2019 - Permalink

Children’s homes job opportunities – some frequently asked questions

Related topics: Children's services

People wanting to work with and care for children and young people are being given the opportunity to work at one of two new children’s residential homes that are set to open in Shropshire early next year.

Over 25 permanent positions are available at the homes, for residential childcare workers and shift leaders. To find out more, and to apply, go to careers.shropshire.gov.uk and search for reference 855 (shift leader) and 856 (residential childcare workers).

The two homes – one near Shrewsbury and one near Oswestry – are being opened by Shropshire Council to increase the provision of accommodation for local ‘looked-after’ children in the council’s care.

The following ‘frequently-asked questions’ will tell you more about these roles.

You can also email any questions to: careersinresidentialchildcare@shropshire.gov.uk.

What does a Residential Childcare Worker do?

There a number of responsibilities involved in the role of a Residential Childcare Worker (RCW). As an RCW you will be responsible for the day-to-day care of the young people in the home. This may include: waking a child and helping them get ready for school; helping children with their homework; preparing meals for the young people, and taking young people on activities such as bowling, swimming or cycling. You will also have a role in helping the young people to achieve outcomes for their health and well-being – completing key work with the young people which helps them manage their emotions and gain better coping strategies.

Why are the young people looked after by Shropshire Council?

There are multiple reasons why a child may be ‘looked after’ by Shropshire Council.

  • The child’s parents might have agreed to this – for example, if they are too unwell to look after their child.
  • It is not safe for the child to remain at home.
  • The child could be an unaccompanied asylum seeker, with no responsible adult to care for them.
  • Children’s services may have intervened because they felt the child was at significant risk of harm, if this is the case the child is usually the subject of a court-made legal order.

What is socially unaware behaviour and what behaviour might the young people display?

Each child is an individual and has strengths and challenges. A lot of looked-after children are kind, caring and personable. However, these children may have had to overcome huge challenges such as trauma and abuse and this can have an impact on their behaviour. Socially unaware behaviour is when a person struggles to understand and behave in a socially acceptable manner. The children we look after may display some difficult behaviour at times such as threatening/aggressive behaviour, violence, sexualised behaviour etc.

Training and support will be given to help you manage difficult behaviour, however a high level of resilience is important to be successful within the role.

How many children will I be working with?

Shropshire Council are opening three new children’s homes. Two of the children’s homes will each look after two children. The third children’s home will look after four children.

What is the staffing ratio in the homes?

Currently we are expecting two of the children’s homes to have three childcare workers for the two children living there. In the third children’s home we expect there to be three childcare workers for the four children. However, staffing ratios are reviewed regularly and may change based on the needs of the children.

What is the age of the children I would be looking after?

The children we look after will be between the ages of seven and 16 at the point of coming to the home.

What are the current working hours and rota pattern?

You would be expected to work 37 hours per week over a three-week rolling rota shift pattern. Currently the shifts within the homes begin at 9.30am and finish at 11.00pm, although this could change to meet the needs of the home and young people. You will be required to sleep in at the home following some shifts; there is an additional payment for this.

We aim to complete rotas as far in advance as we can, and every effort is made to keep the rota pattern consistent. Training and relevant meetings are also incorporated as part of your hours but may be outside of your rota pattern at times.

What support is available for me?

As a Residential Childcare Worker, you will receive monthly supervision with an experienced member of staff; this is a time where any issues can be addressed and any further support needed can be identified.

Shropshire Council employees also have access to the Network of Staff Supporters, a service that offers support such as counselling and mediation. The council has an occupational health department and HR department which can offer various ways of supporting our employees.

What training and qualifications will I receive?

We have a full induction programme offering you the training and support needed to become a childcare worker. Training and further development is also completed on the job with the support of your supervisor.

If you haven’t got the qualification already you will be enrolled on a Level 3 Diploma for Residential Childcare (England), free of charge. This is mandatory for all residential childcare workers and support will be provided for you to achieve the Diploma. The council is committed to professional development and have access to a wide range of relevant and continuous training opportunities.

Are there opportunities to progress in this as a career?

As a Residential Childcare Worker there are a range of options in terms of progression. This could be to a Shift Leader then Deputy Manager and Registered Manager and beyond.
Working in residential care allows a person to gain valuable experience in working with children and this could be greatly beneficial for those who wish to work in other areas such as social work or education.

If I have a criminal conviction can I still apply?

You will be asked about any criminal convictions on the application form for the role. It is important that you give full details of any convictions you may have received.

Successful candidates will be required to provide an enhanced Disclosure from the Disclosure & Barring Service. Each case is reviewed on an individual basis to assess the suitability of candidates for the role.

We will not process applicants who have been barred from working with children in line with The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006.