Our induction process has been strengthened for the entire Social Care workforce, including agency workers. We recognise the importance of a robust induction as a means of integrating newly appointed colleagues into our organisation. All colleagues joining Torbay Children’s Services benefit from a half-day classroom based induction, including an orientation walk around site. Our induction continues to be reviewed and improved upon.

The induction process also includes a review, with the new member of staff, after one month to ensure that staff are settled, to provide guidance if required and also to inform if any changes are required to improve the induction experience.

Managers and Workforce Development will ensure that newly qualified Social Workers have appropriate caseloads during their ASYE period and their transition into the second year of practice. ASYE Social Workers are now provided with a 4 week induction programme, to ensure they receive the best possible introduction to practice.

All Children’s Social Care staff are enrolled onto ‘i-Learn’, our Children’s Workforce Learning platform. i-Learn is regularly updated with useful learning topics that can be accessed from computers, whether at your desk or away from the office. 

We recognise the importance of research and guidance which enables evidence based practice.  All practitioners have access to high quality and up-to-date knowledge base via Research in Practice, this includes a user account, access to webinars and opportunities to attend national training events.

Our Supervision Policy has been updated and training to enhance supervision continues with the whole service, the aim being to enable, support and challenge practitioners to meet our shared vision and values as an organisation that provides children and families with the highest standards of service.

Training and development is underpinned by the Workforce Development Strategy and aligned to the professional capabilities framework, knowledge and skills statements, as well as professional standards from the regulatory body.

Career pathways and opportunities for development are available to all practitioners that seek them. Training is focused, targeted, planned with protected time given for staff to attend training and development. Further post graduate learning is accessed via our relationship with both Bournemouth University and The Open University.

We have an ongoing commitment to ensure that career development is nurtured. The following real life examples show career progression within our service:

Ellie Clarke - Service Manager, Assessment Team

“I started working for Torbay Children’s Services on New Year’s Day, 2003, as a Residential Care Worker.  I later took up a role with the ‘Post Adoption Team’ as it was then called and whilst there my supervisor encouraged and supported me into accessing a Master’s Degree Programme.

I graduated in 2011, my final placement had been with the ‘Initial Response Team’, I stayed on with this service area after qualifying and have since progressed from being a Newly Qualified Social Worker, to Assistant Team Manager, then Team Manager and now I am Service Manager for our three Single Assessment Teams.

Lots has changed in Torbay over the years, as with all local authorities and Children’s Services, the change is constant – but hard work is recognised here, people working for Torbay Children’s Services have good opportunities to develop their skills and take on different roles as their careers progress.”

Kelly Gosney - Team Manager

“I arrived into Torbay as a Master Degree student in 2015.

When I finished the degree I was not working and still waiting for my confirmation that I had qualified, despite this I was offered a role as a Community Care Worker in Torbay and once I was qualified I was interviewed and appointed as an ASYE. Torbay has been through some tough times, but I have been supported and developed. 

After a period of time practicing as an Assistant Team Manager with our Safeguarding and Supporting Families Service, I took the opportunity of a secondment into a Team Manager Role in the Single Assessment Team in February 2019. I enjoy the challenge and variety that working for Torbay Children’s Services have brought me.”

Lindsay Jones - Principal Social Worker

“I started working for Torbay Children’s Services in 2001.

Initially I took up the role of Referral Co-Ordinator, after several years in this role, I took a career break and went travelling for 6 months. When I returned I interviewed for a role as a Community Care Worker, this type of work really inspired me and I grabbed the offer of becoming a ‘Grow Your Own’ student social worker. After qualifying, I worked in a ‘Long Term Team’, working with children looked after and in Legal Proceedings, after a couple years I returned to work in a ‘Duty Team’. 

In 2015 I was appointed as Team Manager for a targeted help team and subsequently worked across different targeted teams in the role of Team Manager - I’m currently seconded as ‘Principal Social Worker’. Torbay Children’s Services will offer any practitioner the opportunity to stretch their development and access to experiences, training and skills that would benefit any career.”

Leadership and management training is offered to both colleagues in managerial roles and aspiring managers. Managers will be encouraged to access a five day course aimed at developing good leadership and management skills covering:

  • Performance Management
  • Managing and Developing teams
  • Recruitment, Selection and Induction
  • Managing Attendance
  • Managing Workplace Wellbeing
  • Coaching for managers
  • Developing your Management Style
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion for Managers

We have a strong commitment to invest and develop our own talent and support existing colleagues’ career development. The Talent Management Programme is aimed at aspiring and new to post managers to provide a clear and supportive career pathway with a tailored learning plan based on each individual’s chosen career path. The programme includes:-

  • Supported six month secondments with wrap around training from the programme.
  • Formal training provided by both internal and external sources.
  • Coaching and mentoring opportunities.
  • Reflective tools including:
    • Completion of the Insights Discovery profile to help each delegate understand their own areas of strength.
    • Individual training needs analysis and planning with an opportunity to access regional or national CPD opportunities.
    • Ability to access supervision from a mentor.
    • Opportunity to access resilience building, this could be the RIP course or further opportunities to be identified.