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Career development

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We want you to develop your practice, skill and professionalism within Norfolk's Children's Services.

We have introduced one day per month (full-time equivalent) of work time protected and ring-fenced for professional development.

An Ofsted inspection in January 2023 found that we have 'a clear continual learning culture' and that we 'are open to receiving and sharing good practice, including peer challenges and leadership exchanges, with other local areas'.

We offer a full range of training and development opportunities.

Norfolk's Social Care Institute for Practice Excellence (SCIPE) will support you to use Signs of Safety, our practice framework. There are also opportunities for development using other approaches, such as restorative practice and Appreciative Inquiry. This will enhance your ability to work in a strengths-based way with families and ensure your practice maintains a focus on the voice of each child.

Norfolk's Continuous Professional Development offer benefits from our Teaching Partnership with the University of East Anglia (UEA), Suffolk County Council and the University of Suffolk. Masters level modules, research opportunities and opportunities to lecture and teach students are also available.

We also provide specialist development for those taking on lead roles and support secondments across the service.

To support your personal learning, we subscribe to Care Knowledge and Research in Practice, which provides a wealth of learning resources and research materials.

Norfolk's Social Care Institute for Practice Excellence

Norfolk's SCIPE provides the framework for structured professional development and learning to staff in Children's Services' Social Care. You can learn new skills, develop your knowledge and learn from recent research away from your daily work.

SCIPE also offers support for social workers to meet the social work post-qualifying standards (more information on GOV.UK) and prepare for accreditation as:

  • Children and family practitioners
  • Practice supervisors
  • Practice leaders

Signs of Safety

We'll provide you with initial training in the Signs of Safety approach. There are regular workshops and training opportunities to develop your understanding and application of the framework. Group supervision in teams will help you to deepen your knowledge.

Following this established, evidence-based framework will enhance your collaborative working with families. It builds on the strengths and safety within the family, always with a strong focus on the voice of each child.

We also offer opportunities to train as a Practice Lead. You'll support others to gain greater knowledge and understanding of working with families, work with a wider range of children and families and train others.