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Our new way of working with families

We've changed how we work with families.

It's a move towards a more collaborative way of working where we motivate parents to identify changes needed within their own families, rather than imposing change upon them.

Our multi-disciplinary teams work with children and adults in families to address any difficulties they're experiencing.


"Working as part of the safeguarding project has enabled probation workers to contribute to child protection in real time and to work with perpetrators much earlier in the abuse cycle than if they had been to court".
John Hughes

Senior Lead Officer, Probation Service

Family Safeguarding Teams are made up of:

  • Social workers – working directly with parents and children, they are the case holders and case co-ordinators
  • Children practitioners – working directly with children and their parents, they hold a small case load and provide support to the social workers
  • Domestic abuse practitioners – working with victims of domestic abuse, we help them to recognise abuse and support them to make changes to protect their children and themselves
  • Domestic abuse officers – working with perpetrators of domestic abuse, we help them to recognise the impact of their actions and find ways to stabilise their relationships and keep their children safe
  • Recovery workers – working with adults who are experiencing difficulties with drugs and/or alcohol, we support them to make positive lifestyle changes and help them to care for their children
  • Mental health practitioners – working with parents who are experiencing mental health difficulties
  • Psychologists – working with parents, we carry out psychological and cognitive assessments, as well as looking at different aspects of parenting.

Our Assessment and Children Looked After services work with our Family Safeguarding team to make sure children are safe.

Great salary and welcome payment

  • Competitive salary of up to £37,486 p.a for Social workers, £42,306 p.a for Senior Practitioners and £46,025 p.a for Consultant Social worker all including market forces, which is a non contractual payment of up to £5,000 a year in addition to your basic salary to recognise your valued skills.
  • 31 days annual leave (with less than 5 years service). It rises to 33 days after 5 years.
  • Welcome payment of £1,000 for new external employees (received after successful completion of 6 month probation period).
  • Eligible to join the Local Government Pension Scheme.
  • Staff rewards – take advantage of special offers at high street stores, cinemas, restaurants and more.
  • Lease car – Eligibility for a car is based on the annual average business mileage you do. The package covers insurance, servicing, breakdown and road tax.
  • Relocation package – for those who need to move to take up the position. If you're eligible, could be reimbursed up to £6,000.

Isabelle Trowler – Chief social worker for Children and Families

“The herculean effort that Hertfordshire has made along with the partnership in the last 18 months to implement this innovation project across such a large geographical area is so impressive.

The incredible outcomes as evidenced by the evaluation study (when it comes out) will ricochet around the social care planet in England.

It is so important that we learn from what they have done.

The impact that this overarching care framework in child protection might have on the national system could be quite profound.

"I think Hertfordshire might just be our national treasure."

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Harriet Wray – a social worker in the Family Safeguarding Team – came to Hertfordshire County Council through the Academy.

“I work with different teams and agencies to help families overcome a crisis.

The role is interesting, challenging and no day is the same. I meet and work with really inspirational people.

The new way of working in Hertfordshire brings agencies together – we have more knowledge and expertise from other services and we can access resources quickly.

It's good for families because it’s giving them access to the workers they need.”

Meghan is another social worker from the Family Safeguarding Team.

“It’s a privilege to work with a family and be involved with their lives. As hard as it is sometimes, it’s a very unique role to get to do that.

I work with a lot of different cultures, different ages and people from a lot of different backgrounds.

In the new teams, we have a variety of expertise to ease anxiety and stress within a family. We have professionals with the relevant knowledge to back up what they're saying to the family. We can get them in before it gets to crisis level. I've recently had more cases with a short intervention period.”

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Sarah also came to the Family Safeguarding Team through the academy.

About the safeguarding approach:

“It has been really interesting to see how family safeguarding has changed as a whole practice approach in Hertfordshire. Not only in how we communicate with families but also the support we can offer. We can collectively offer solutions we may not have had access to previously, based on the needs of the family. It is a much quicker process.

The new intervention structure, which is part of the family safeguarding model in Hertfordshire, helps social workers to regularly monitor the situation of children and families so we can reduce the amount of time that children's services are involved and cases don’t drift.”

About the Academy:

“I chose Hertfordshire as a newly qualified social worker because I wanted to join the Academy. I felt well supported and thought it was a great way to start my career. I really liked the idea that I was with other newly qualified social workers.

The training within the Academy is absolutely fantastic. All the training is done before you take on cases. You get the experience of working as a social worker and can focus on learning without any time constraints. You start with a low caseload and lots of support and supervision to ease you into your new role.”


Come and join the team

We're regularly looking for the very best people to join our Safeguarding Teams.


Not yet a qualified social worker?

  • If you have a 1st class degree, take a look at Frontline  – a 1 year practice-based social work education Programme.
  • If you have a 2:1 class degree in anything other than social work, check out Step up to social work - a 14 month work-based postgraduate diploma.