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Children’s Social Work at Essex County Council has undergone a transformational journey in the last five years and we were immensely proud to be one of the first Local Authorities to be rated ‘good’ under the new Ofsted inspection framework in 2014.

We know that social work is a demanding, complex but fulfilling role and we recognise the importance of equipping you with the tools to build meaningful relationships and make lasting changes to our vulnerable families. We support our social workers to deliver fantastic social work through our comprehensive learning and development offer, delivered by our award winning Essex Social Care Academy.

I am very proud of our achievements and the recognition our social workers have received which have included winning the national Social Worker of the Year Award in 2014 and 2016. Essex is a great place to work and it’s the perfect time for you to join us and play your part.

We look forward to receiving your application.

Helen Lincoln – Executive Director – Children & Families

Make Essex the centre of your universe. Work for Children and Families in Essex where with manageable caseloads you will be able to safeguard children and young people, make a positive difference and also find the opportunities to develop yourself too.

In Essex County Council we are ‘Serious About Social Work’. We have invested in our workforce and created a positive environment for our social workers to make a difference and achieve change for our most vulnerable children and families through direct relationship-based social work practice. We have supported our staff to have an understanding of systemic theoretical framework and models underpinning our interventions; to have access to the right tools, equipment and resources and also the right supervision, training and learning opportunities they need to be strong practitioners.

With an average caseload across the service of 15-18 you will have the time to be the social worker you always wanted to be, and to put children, young people and their families in Essex at the heart of every decision.

Download a Social Worker job description.



ECC 2019 CPD Event - Register your interest here.

Step Up to Social Work - Register your interest here.

Children and Families Hub (Colchester based only)

Assessment and Intervention (A&I)

Family Support and Protection (FS&P)

Children in Care (CIC)

Leaving and After Care Teams

Family Centres

Fostering and Adoption

Children and Young People with Disabilities (0-25)


Youth Offending Service

The Divisional Based Intervention Team Service (D-BIT)

Family Solutions Service

ECC 2019 CPD Event - Register your interest here.

ECC 2019 CPD Event

Wednesday 1st May at 9.15am

Essex Records Office in Chelmsford - Wharf Road, Essex CM2 6YT. 

To register please click the link below:


Step Up to Social Work - Register your interest here.

Register your interest

The next application round will open in February 2019. Successful applicants will start their training in January 2020.


Step Up to Social Work is an intensive, 14-month, full-time programme for trainee social workers.

Trainees will work in a local authority, gaining hands-on practitioner experience and academic learning.

Successful trainees will be awarded a postgraduate diploma in social work once they complete the programme, allowing them to register and practise as a social worker.



Trainees will receive a bursary of £19,833 for the duration of the course. This may be subject to change.

Eligibility criteria

Applicants must have one of the following in any discipline except social work from a UK higher education institution (or an approved overseas equivalent):

  • a minimum 2:1 level 6 degree qualification, for example, a degree with honours or a graduate certificate
  • a minimum 2:2 honours degree plus a higher degree (level 7 or above), for example, a Master’s degree or a Postgraduate Certificate in Education

 Applicants must also:

  • have GCSEs in English or English language and mathematics at grade C or above (or approved equivalent)
  • have experience of voluntary or paid work with children, young people or families
  • live in England

You can find out more about what qualification levels mean and the approved equivalents.

Applicants will need to provide evidence of their qualifications with their application

Children and Families Hub (Colchester based only)

At the start of this year we combined the Initial Response Team and the Early Help and Advice Hub to create the Children and Families Hub. Bringing them together helps professionals and the public access support more easily, and get instant advice and guidance about other local services.

The Children and Families Hub is the single point of contact for members of the public and professionals to raise concerns about the welfare and safety of children or make a referral, including for disabled children.  It considers each request and either advises directly, organises a referral or points the way towards people and services that can help.

Watch our video to hear about working in the Children and Families Hub.

Assessment and Intervention (A&I)

These teams are the gateway through which children, young people, parents and carers, and other agencies gain access to Children and Families services. A&I undertakes incoming assessment and short-term intervention work with families.

They focus on children in need (CIN) and their families, offering three months’ intervention. They also deal with S47 child protection enquiries, and work jointly with the police and other partners in assessing immediate risk for children that come to our attention. A&I primarily transfer cases into Family Support and Protection Teams should families require longer-term intervention, or if the children become subject to a child protection plan or come into care of the local authority. If following an assessment and brief intervention the family do not require a social work service, they could be stepped down to Family Solutions as part of our Early Help Offer. 

Watch our video to hear about working in Assessment and Intervention.

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Family Support and Protection (FS&P)

The FS&P Teams work with families that have long-term complex issues,  require more than three months’ intervention, and where children are subject to child protection or child in need plans or where children can no longer live at home and care proceedings need to be initiated. FS&P Social Workers are responsible for building on the relationships with families using systemic and strengths based social work approaches. Through this they will work alongside families to achieve positive change within the context of managing risk. The work is varied and involves working with Public Law Outline (PLO), taking families into proceedings and first hearing only, Special Guardianship Order (SGO) assessments and Section 7 court reports, reviewing as well as updating assessments and plans for children subject to Children in Need (CIN), Child Protection (CP) or Looked-After Children (LAC).

Watch our video to hear about working in Family Support and Protection.

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Children in Care (CIC)

Children In Care Teams work with children and young people up to the age of 18 who are in care– they’re unable to live at home and are either placed with foster carers or live in residential homes. They work with children and young people to ensure their experiences in care is a good one and that the work undertaken prepares them for their transition into leaving care or return home to family. The CIC Teams receive cases in proceedings after the first hearing, they visit children and young people in placement, develop permanency plans which include SGO and adoption, undertake life-story work to enable a child to understand the reasons for being in care and also support children to return home to birth family. The teams are all committed to high quality work and engagement with all children in care to maximise young people’s potential. Like many other areas across Essex, they believe in working collaboratively with agencies including Health and Education to ensure that care plans support the outcomes for the child.

Watch our video to hear about working in Children in Care.

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Leaving and After Care Teams

Leaving and Aftercare Teams concentrate on good outcomes for young people aged 16 – 25 who are in care or have left care. The teams are made up of social workers and personal advisors, mental health co-ordinators and targeted youth advisors, and they all have the chance to do focused work with young people. They look to maximise the potential of young people who remain in care by working with providers, other agencies and partners. For those who have left care, our teams continue to offer advice, information and help to enable young people to live independently – and get them into education, training and employment.

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Family Centres

The Family Centres provide interventions to bring about positive change within families, help adults provide positive parenting, and increase the resilience of children so that they can stay with their families where it’s safe to do so. The Family Centres provide support to social workers in the court arena to strengthen the child and family assessment and where required complete court directed parenting assessments. They also deliver a variety of group work sessions to vulnerable children and families.

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Fostering and Adoption

The Fostering and Adoption Service recruit, assess and support adoptive parents and foster carers. The Teams match children to families and provide continual support. On average the Adoption Service places 90 children a year – and last year over 100 children left care for the security of adoption. Placement support is a real strength across the fostering and adoption services, as it strives to achieve permanence and the very best outcomes for the children in care in Essex.


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Children and Young People with Disabilities (0-25)

The Children and Young People with Disabilities Service supports children and young people up to 25 years old with special educational needs and/or disabilities, and their families.

The service works out of offices in Basildon, Chelmsford, Colchester and Harlow. Each office has four teams that work closely with each other to provide a smooth and integrated service.

 The teams are:

  •     0 – 15 Social Care
  •     16 – 25 Social Care
  •     Occupational Therapy (OT)
  •     Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG)

A High Needs Further Education team processes applications for additional funding to help learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities access Post 16 college provision.

Watch our video to hear about working with Children and Young People with Disabilities.


The Safeguarding Service has strong links with the Safeguarding Board, and works across the entire Children’s Workforce in Essex to support staff with safeguarding responsibilities. It is responsible for the reviews of children in care, subject to child protection and complex child in need. Within the Safeguarding function, the Service responds to feedback from vulnerable children and families and leads on supporting the Children In Care Council. The Safeguarding Service also leads on quality assurance of social work and supports the multi-agency audit function. In addition it also deals with allegations against adults working with children and carries out specific functions with regards to licensing, completing checks on individuals and contributing to the processes by which dangerous individuals are monitored in the community with other agencies.

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Youth Offending Service

The Essex Youth Offending Service works with children and young people who have offended, with the aim of preventing further reoccurrence. They achieve this by working together with young people, their parents or carers, the victims of crime and other agencies and organisations in the local community. Each Youth Offending Team (YOT) includes a police officer, social workers, probation officers, and staff from Health and Education.

The Divisional Based Intervention Team Service (D-BIT)

This Intensive Family Support Service is designed for young people between the ages of 11 and 17 and their families, where the young person/family is considered by the local authority to be ‘in crisis’, and that the young person is on the cusp of a reactive care or custody episode. They use a strengths based approach to support families and prevent family breakdown. An extended team of skilled, quadrant-based staff work intensively with young people and families to identify workable solutions and help improve their relationships.

Family Solutions Service

The Essex Family Solutions (FS) service engages families with a range of issues on a voluntary basis for up to 12 months. Using solution-focused and motivational styles of working, they help families move closer to their goals. Each team consists of a team manager, practice supervisor, family worker, assistant family worker, early intervention worker and business support.

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65 vacancies

Children & Families roles

Essex Social Care Academy Essex Social Care Academy
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Essex Social Care Academy

Contact us

Essex Recruitment Team
Seax House - 1st Floor
County Hall
Victoria Road South


Main Essex Recruitment Team phone number 033 005 83330 (Option 1) or email

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