Principal Clinical Counselling Psychologist - Divisional Based Intervention Team (D-BIT) - Working for Essex
Salary: £51,510 to £55,000 per annum
Closing date: 01 Nov 2021
Location: Chelmsford
Hours: Part-time
Req ID: 3092
Role: Social Care
About the role

Principal Clinical Counselling Psychologist - Divisional Based Intervention Team (D-BIT)

Permanent, Part Time

£51,510 to £55,000 per annum

Location: Chelmsford

Closing date: 2nd November 2021

The Divisional Based Intervention Team (D-BIT) are currently recruiting a Principal Clinical/Counselling Psychologist, Part Time 3 days per week.

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 D-BIT, our edge of care service.

The post holders will work creatively with colleagues within and across the D-BIT 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 birth families, foster families, adoptive families, and families where special guardianship arrangements are in place.

The primary purpose of the D-BIT Service is to ensure that, wherever possible and safe to do so, children and young people are supported to live together with their families and kin, within their own networks, in their communities. To achieve our purpose effectively, we have a clear vision; we:

  • Utilise strength-based approaches which support children, young people, and families in building their own plans and ways forward and building resilience.
  • Promote evidenced-based practice; the practice framework for D-BIT in our short-term teams is orientated to a model of family participation and our methodology is solution focused. In our longer-term reunification teams, we emphasise the importance of applying an understanding of attachment, trauma and systemic practice.
  • Respect family norms and culture, building interventions that are characterised by involvement and negotiation.
  • Building and maintaining effective, strong working relationships with the child and young person’s allocated social worker and broader professional networks to promote a holistic response.

 The DBIT Service is structured as follows:

DBIT Edge of Care Service (often referred to as DBIT Core) is a countywide provision comprising of four quadrant-based teams, each working closely with referring teams in the area and focussing on work with families where children are living at home to help prevent entries to care.

The DBIT Connecting and Uniting Service is made up of 2 teams, one working with the over 10 years age group and the second working with the under 10 years age group. Both teams work with children who are living in care placements and where it is considered there is a realistic opportunity to promote connecting and / or reunification between families following viability assessment by the case holding team.

The DBIT Emotional Wellbeing Team works with children and young people between the ages of 8 – 17 years who are living at home, subject to Child in Need processes and where there are concerns that they are experiencing emerging emotional wellbeing concerns.

To achieve this vision, all D-BIT teams, whatever the focus of their activity, work with key teams and individuals across the professional network to promote a risk-managed, strengths and skills-based model of intervention.

Specific individual and shared targets and objectives will be defined within the performance management framework, but in essence the post holder will:

  • 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