Principal Clinical/Counselling Psychologist - Adoption & SGO - Working for Essex
Salary: £51,510 to £55,000 per annum (pro rata)
Closing date: 01 Nov 2021
Location: Chelmsford
Hours: Part-time
Req ID: 3090
Role: Social Care
About the role

Principal Clinical/Counselling Psychologist - Adoption & SGO

Permanent, Part Time

£51,510 to £55,000 per annum (pro rata)

Location: Chelmsford


The Adoption and Special Guardianship Service are currently recruiting a Principal Clinical/Counselling Psychologist. Please note this is part time role 22 hours per week 

 Closing date: 1st November 2021

 Essex Children and Families Service were rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted. We are recognised as a service who have: an exceptional leadership team; a culture of collaboration, integrity, and compassion; and who effectively promotes the development and wellbeing of children, young people and their families, protecting them from neglect and abuse.

The Role

 In order to continually improve our services to children and embed a culture of trauma-informed, therapeutic practice, Essex County Council have invested in clinical / counselling psychologist posts, based alongside a number of services and teams. This post sits alongside our Adoption and Special Guardianship service.

The post holders will work creatively with colleagues within and across the Adoption and Special Guardianship Service, and with social work colleagues and partner agencies to promote an understanding of attachment and trauma and deliver a range of support and interventions for adoptive families, and families where special guardianship arrangements are in place.

The primary purpose of the Adoption and Special Guardianship Service is for children who can no longer safely live with their birth parents have the opportunity to achieve permanence through adoption or special guardianship. Assessing, training and supporting adopters and guardians with the task of therapeutic re-parenting is a key part of our service. We are currently looking for a part time clinical psychologist that can support our practice in this area.

The Adoption Service has four quadrant teams, based in Basildon, Colchester, Harlow and Chelmsford who assess prospective adopters and also find families for children with a plan for adoption. We also have a Post Adoption Team based in Chelmsford which provides a countywide support service for children and families post adoption order. Our Adoption Recruitment and Training Team is also a countywide team based in Chelmsford. Their remit is to recruit and manage the early stages of the prospective adopters’ journey; assess step parent adoptions; run our extensive training programme and commissioned services.

The Special Guardianship Service is made up of three teams based in Chelmsford. Two of the teams are responsible for the assessment of special guardians and in working with our Children & Families’ colleagues to ensure that we have effective and robust support plans in place for these families. The third team is the Special Guardianship Support Team which is responsible for providing post order support to families on a countywide basis.

We are looking for a part time clinical psychologist who is able to provide the following:

  • Be able to provide highly specialist psychological assessments.
  • Provide therapeutic input through individual and group work.
  • Provide specialist advice and training to professionals and families/carers.
  • Work alongside an extended team of social workers, child and family support workers and mental health coordinators.
  • Provide regular clinical supervision to mental health coordinators.
  • Actively contribute to the strategic development of the trauma-informed, therapeutic approach to care.
  • Deliver training and consultation to carers and professionals.
  • The post holder will work with considerable autonomy, within professional guidelines and the overall framework of Children and Families Services’ policies and procedures.
  • The role will be fully clinically supervised and supported by a Consultant Clinical Psychologist alongside management from a Social Care service manager.

What you will need

  •  Educated to doctoral level training in Clinical/Counselling psychology (or its equivalent for those trained prior to 1996), including specific models of psychopathology, clinical psychometrics and neuropsychology, as accredited by the HCPC and ideally BPS.
  • Registration with the Health and Care Professionals Council as a Practitioner Psychologist.
  • Post–doctoral training and recorded CPD experience and /or further qualifications in one or more additional specialised areas of psychological practice.
  • Substantial assessed experience of working as a qualified clinical or counselling psychologist at a highly specialist level.
  • Two or more distinct psychological therapies and lifespan developmental psychology, including knowledge and experience in working with attachment and trauma.
  • Interest in trauma/attachment/strength-based and solution-focussed approaches. A keenness to work with colleagues where young people are identified as on ‘the edge of care’, and/or reunification and reconnecting with birth families.
  • Experience of delivering teaching, training and/or supervision.
  • Well-developed skills in the ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing, complex, highly technical and/or clinically sensitive information to clients, their families, carers and other professional colleagues both within and outside of the Local Authority and NHS.
  • The ability and drive to be proactive in developing effective working relationships with social care and other professional colleagues is essential to the success of this role.
  • Skills in providing consultation to other professional and non-professional groups.
  • Evidence of continuing professional development, as recommended by the HCPC.
  • Knowledge of the theory and practice of main mental health disorders and presentations and, ideally, of specialised psychological therapies in specific difficult to treat groups (e.g. disorders of attachment and developmental trauma, personality disorder, dual diagnoses, people with additional disabilities, ADHD, Autism Spectrum, Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, etc)

We strongly recommend that if you are interested in applying or hearing more about this role with Essex County Council’s Children and Families Social Care Service, to contact our Consultant Clinical Psychologist

The role requires you to be mobile throughout a wider operational area including travelling around the county of Essex and beyond, and to be able to do so in an emergency. There will be elements of the role that can be conducted virtually once the post holder has progressed through the probation period and working relationships with the extended network of colleagues is established. This will be worked through over the initial 6 months and confirmed at the point of completion of ECC Probation. Driving licence and car or the ability to meet the mobility requirements of the role through other means is essential.

As part of employment with Essex County Council should your role require a DBS check you will be required to register with the DBS update service. The DBS update service ensures all registered DBS certificates are kept up to date and allows authorised parties to view the status of your certificate. This is an annual subscription and you will be responsible for ensuring this is maintained. For further information on the DBS update service please visit:

Essex County Council is proud to offer an excellent benefits package to all its employees. For more information please use the following link: Essex County Council is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults and expects all employees and volunteers to share this commitment. We seek the best talent from the widest pool of people, as diversity is key to our success. If you’d like to find out more about our latest opportunities, blogs, news, events and industry related news click here to join our talent pool. If you have queries on this role or require anything further, please email