Want a Career in Adult Social Care?

Hello…you’ve come to the right place!

As Executive Director of Adults Services I’d like to personally welcome you to our job pages. Having worked for Halton Borough Council for many years myself I can assure you of a rewarding career as part of our exceptional and supportive workforce.

Under our statutory duties Halton Borough Council conducts assessments for, arranges or directly delivers a wide range of care and support services for adults with disabilities, health condition, impairments and illnesses.

More importantly, we work closely with individual members of our community to look at what’s important to them, be it accessing education or employment, taking part in social and leisure activity, maintaining their independence and simply living their lives in the way they want to.

People access adult social services for many different reasons: they might need a bit of extra assistance with getting round their own home; they might have emerging long-term health conditions that they need support managing; they might be recovering from an operation or illness and need some temporary help; they might have life-long or even life-limiting conditions which require complex intervention; or they may simply want pointing in the right direction to access other services in their community.

Working for Halton Borough Council you will receive training and support to feel competent and confident to work with the diverse needs across the borough. You will be developed into fulfilling career pathways where you are able to help people to access the services and support they need, at the right time and in the right place. Please continue into our webpages to find out more about the borough of Halton as a place to live and work, as well as reflecting on what you can expect from a position with us here in the Adults Directorate.

As well as vacancies with the Council, our partner organisations and agencies, who support us to deliver adult social care across the borough, host an extensive choice of employment opportunities. Please visit the Adult Social Care roles with our partners across the borough page for more details.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Sue Wallace-Bonner

Executive Director, Adults Directorate

Meet our staff

Halton Borough Council’s Adults Directorate is responsible for assessing and meeting the care and support needs of the adult population of the borough. This is primarily achieved in-line with duties under the Care Act 2014 and involves working to a wider framework of legislation, compliance requirements and best practice.

Local authorities allocate public funds to meet these needs, respond to emerging needs and understand future demands. Through detailed strategic planning processes the Council delivers a range of services in-house and work in close collaboration with commissioned providers and partner organisations to fulfil current and anticipated needs.

Staff from across the Adults Directorate within Halton Borough Council are keen for you to learn more about working with us and have given some feedback on their experiences below:

A day in the life of an Approved Mental Health Professional – Lianne
Lianne – Social Worker and Approved Mental Health Professional

Community Mental Health Team, Halton Borough Council

I have worked for Halton Borough Council for almost 6 years now.

I decided to come to Halton as I had my first social work placement with the Council as part of my social work degree. This was in the Complex Care team which I enjoyed and gained a wealth of knowledge. I also became aware of the array of services they have to support meaningful outcomes for individuals, and which are rooted in strengths based practice.

On completing my degree and gaining professional registration I chose to apply for work in Halton as it is known for supporting individuals with professional development. This is evident through my own progression, including being supported on to the Approved Mental Health Professionals (AMHP) training.

AMHPs are specialist social workers who support individuals with mental ill-health and have a detailed understanding of the Mental Health Act. We support assessments of need, including admitting people to appropriate care facilities if required.

I have subsequently been fortunate enough to receive funding via the council to extend my studies to work towards a Masters in Applied Mental Health Practice. For this I have completed research on Acquired Brain Injury which is a practice area of interest for me and is often overlooked within social work academia.

I am now based in the Community Mental Health team within Halton Borough Council, which was a natural transition since becoming an AMHP. Day to day, I hold a manageable case load which supports me to work creatively with individuals.

I am on ‘AMHP duty’ usually once a week which means I am the first port of call for incoming case needs. These are triaged and allocated according to priorities.

Many people who know little about the role of an AMHP feel this can be ‘oppressive practice’ as we hold responsibilities for detaining people who might pose a risk to themselves or others. In fact, the feedback I have received back from people who I support is that it has actually empowered them to take back control of their own lives – it doesn’t get much more rewarding than that!

No two days are the same, we have a mix of hybrid working meaning you can be office based all the time or choose to work from home on some days – this helps massively with managing the  paper work and achieving a healthy work-life balance.

The team I work in is made up of very experienced social workers and everyone pulls together to help each other out and share best practice. We also love a good night out! Both the team and the managers have good relationships with our colleagues in secondary mental health services. All of us are passionate about social work and achieving positive outcomes for the people we support.

As a team we hold regular CPD sessions, monthly AMHP forums, have access to valuable training opportunities through a dedicated AMHP partnership and this supports the complex area of practice. We have supportive managers who enable the team to practice autonomously whilst always being there if you need them.

I would recommend Halton as a place to work. As a small local authority we have positive working relationships with services throughout the council and the wider community.

My role ‘behind the scenes’ in Policy, Performance & Customer Care – Nicola
Nicola, Senior Service Development Officer

Policy, Performance & Customer Care Team, Halton Borough Council

For the past nine years I have worked in the Policy, Performance and Customer Care team within the Adults Directorate. I guess you could call this an ‘infrastructure’ team as we offer support and guidance in a ‘behind the scenes’ capacity to ensure that front-line staff (those working directly with the public) are equipped to do their job effectively, efficiently and within the requirements of the law.

In my role as Senior Service Development Officer no one day is ever the same and there’s a continuous need to learn about new areas of work, understanding different areas of legislation and research emerging approaches to the way that adult social care is delivered.

Alongside a small team, the role involves developing policies, conducting project work, supporting the commissioning function with service reviews and analysis of need, progressing funding opportunities, disseminating best practice, workforce planning, arranging events and learning opportunities… it’s a wide and busy remit but an extremely interesting one!

The role requires close working across operational teams, with management and within wider partnerships, such as integrated working with our health colleagues. In developing these relationships we look to co-ordinate the practicability of process, procedures and policy and work to a programme of continuous service improvement.

While the role is not about direct delivery of services I do feel that I can make a difference to people’s lives by being part of a systems-based approach. During my time with Halton Borough Council, spanning a total of 15 years, I have achieved additional qualifications and progressed along a pay scale. I feel a sense of belonging and the team I work with are supportive, communicative and friendly. In particular, the flexible working options open to me enable me in achieve a good work/life balance.

Behinds the scenes’ roles make up a small but invaluable part of the Adults Directorate. Alongside specific adults social care functions such as service development, performance monitoring, quality assurance and commissioning the Council offers ‘back office’ roles in administration, finance, IT and other areas, all with of which contribute to how the communities across Halton access services and are supported to keep safe and well.

Principal Manager

Policy, Performance & Customer Care Team

Social Worker

Complex Care Team (Widnes)

Carer

St Luke’s Care Homes

Also, if you’re thinking about training as a Social Worker, who better to hear from than some of our Student Social Workers? Please see our student showcase video to learn about how students at Halton are supported to develop their learning and skills:

There are also opportunities to make a difference within adult social care in Halton without being employed in a formal role. Our Shared Lives Carers open their homes to adults who need support, offering them the opportunity to develop relationships and lead fulfilling lives. It is a paid role, similar to being a foster carer, and is fully flexible to meet the needs of the carer and the person requiring care and support. Some people open their homes just for day visits but there is the option for overnight as well short-term and long-term stays.

Development opportunities

 

Delivery of Adult Social Care services involves building professional helping relationships and creating human connections that have the power to transform people’s lives. This is only possible with an effective workforce who have the skills, knowledge and competence to get to the heart of what our residents need to support their independence and wellbeing.

Our Adult Social Care workforce in Halton is an invaluable asset which we invest in accordingly giving them opportunities to develop, grow, progress and learn from each other. Establishing internal opportunities that enable personal and professional development is ultimately of benefit to the communities we support.

Learning and development opportunities are drawn from a large pool of sources and resources

Induction
You learning journey with the Adults Directorate starts with a robust induction. Equipping staff with a clear understanding of their role, the processes of the Council and orientating them around the borough is an important priority. This starts even before you commence your role with the Council through our ‘on-boarding’, where we will keep-in-touch and begin to let you know what’s happening in Halton once you’ve accepted a role with us.

The Council’s wider induction and probation process is couple with a directorate specific induction framework where you get to understand the structures, systems and policies around your own job role, how your team operates in relation to other service areas and plans for getting for know your work tasks over your first few weeks with us.

On the job and peer-to-peer learning
Working for Halton Borough Council you’ll be joining teams with a wealth of knowledge and experience and we encourage staff to support each other with ongoing development needs. This might involve shadowing opportunities, either as part of induction or continued learning. It could be observing a particular procedure and being supported to carry out the task until your confidence and competence grows. It could be undertaking research in partnership with a colleague or a different team. There are all sorts of ways to learn on a day-to-day basis and continuous improvement supported in your job role setting.
E-learning
The Council’s e-learning platform hosts an extensive range of adult social care related learning modules which you can access for your personal and professional development needs. In addition this sector specific learning needs the site hosts units covering a wealth of different subjects, ranging from communication skills and team working to wellbeing and lifestyle courses.
Blended learning
Curiosity about different areas of practice can be fulfilled through many forms of research and study. One way in which we support your continued development is through the Adults Directorate’s membership to Research in Practice for Adults, the evidence-informed practice specialists for the sector. Staff Members have access to all RiPfA resources on-line and can sign up to relevant updates regarding their practice area. As part of our membership the Adults Directorate has access to specialist workshops, regional training, and a wealth of contemporary publications to support your development.
Job role skills
Dependant on the service areas you work in there may be particular competence areas to comply with. Our training is delivered through a combination of e-learning modules and face-to-face learning. Content of our courses is kept up-to-date with relevant legislation and practice, and we make use of relevant equipment applicable to your work settings to assure capability.

As a core subject area to the sector, Adult Safeguarding training is undertaken by all team members.  This is renewed at least every three years.

Specialist learning needs
Your line manager, together with our learning and development team, can help you to find the right learning for your job role needs. Learning requirements may be based on team demands or may be individual to your own interests or workload. Many of our staff develop specific areas of expertise based on the needs of service users they work with. This specialist knowledge can then be further shared across services to upskill the wider workforce and we support cascade of learning through a range of events.
Personal Development and Wellbeing
A wide range of training courses are offered across the Council to support staff with their ongoing personal development and wellbeing, including coaching for performance, stress management, conflict resolution, developing resilience and equality and diversity. In addition a wealth of e-learning modules area available to expand your skills set, maintain your curiosity and encourage ongoing resilience in the workplace.
CPD
Continued professional development is part of every role across the Adults Directorate. Tools and techniques for carrying out the job change over time and it’s important to keep up-to-date with the latest development, whether that’s new equipment for moving and handling needs or the latest IT systems for recording service user interaction.

For some roles in particular CPD is a requirement, often for registration with a governing body of a profession, and the Council supports staff learning in many different ways. For our registered professionals we have a set of policies underpinning our ongoing commitment to learning and development but also to progression. Our Social Worker and Occupational Therapy progression routes and our nursing preceptorship programme are well-established. They ensure that advancement from newly qualified to an experienced status is supported with experiential, reflective and academic learning opportunities together with structured support.

Formal qualifications
There are options to undertake academic learning and vocational training towards qualifications and certification. These may be through particular funding routes or can be worked towards as part of our flexible approach to the Apprenticeships Framework. Apprenticeship learning can be accessed through any job role (i.e. you don’t have to be on an Apprenticeship contract) and at lots of different levels. We have learners undertaking Health and Social Care Apprenticeships at Level 2, 3 and 4, staff studying towards Social Work degrees as part of Apprenticeship routes and in more recent times we have supported a cohort of Master Level students.
Management development
At Halton we nurture talent and strive to retain good staff. As part of this approach we encourages ongoing progression and from time to time this means taking on a management role. To support staff moving up through their team structure we offer Institute of Leadership and Management accredited development programmes, alongside a wide range of other learning and development opportunities. Where available we tap into regional leadership development programmes and we are also able to setup coaching and mentoring relationships as needed. Many of our current team leaders and managers have been with the Council for some time and have been supported to develop into new areas of work, with new responsibilities.

Supporting our adult social care workforce

Our staff are our biggest asset and we aim to support you in all aspects of your employment with us. Our Human Resources policies and processes are thorough, fair and robust, ranging from clear induction programmes to ensure a good start with us through to flexible working arrangements and family friendly provision, a zero-tolerance stance on workplace bullying, well-defined pay progression and annual leave processes and much more. Alongside these underpinning organisational practices, the Adults Directorate is committed to supporting good communication, at all levels of the structure, listening and responding to feedback and ideas and maintaining your personal wellbeing and resilience.

Here are just some of the areas of ongoing support which are important to us:

    Team Meetings

    Teams are encouraged to meet collectively on a regular basis to share good practice, keep up-to-date with new developments, learn from each other and develop working relationships, consider areas of policy and procedure, discuss service direction and ideas, and much more.

    Supervision

    The Adults Directorate has its own dedicated supervision policy which sets out expectations across the adult social care workforce. Supervision is a valuable part of ongoing dialogue between managers and employees and supports effective understanding of job role requirements and reflection on ongoing achievements. A dedicated Adults Directorate appraisal scheme is currently being devised to complement the wider Council Employee Development Review (EDR) process.

    Continuous service improvement

    Maintaining and developing effective services for the public we serve involves strategic planning, upholding quality as a fundamental standard across the directorate and reinforcing the need for continuous improvement. This includes ensuring our teams are equipped with the right skills, knowledge and competencies to do their job and supporting them to understand their roles, responsibilities and the frameworks and standards within which they work. Towards this the directorate maintains an extensive library of policies and procedures. Many of these set out the legislative requirements for the delivery of services as well as best practice methodology adopted across the borough. The library also hosts a range of policies aimed at supporting the workforce, including documentation which sets out process and opportunities for supervision, workload management, progression, communication and engagement, and expectations around audits and continuous improvement processes.

    A strong commitment is made to Directorate communications and is represented through visible management presence, regular Service Development Events and employee feedback mechanisms. Our evolving use of technology is seen through the Council’s investment in equipment and systems to help you to do your job but also to support residents across the community and within services to retain their independence, taking part in social and leisure activity and interact with us when they need any further support.

    Staff health and wellbeing

    The Council takes the health and wellbeing of its workforce seriously and acknowledges that people’s mental and physical resilience plays a substantial role in their ability to carry out their work functions. Council-wide, a Wellbeing Bulletin is produced on a bi-monthly basis, detailing initiatives and services offering a range of support. Additionally, a dedicated portal on the Council’s intranet pages is regularly updated with information, advice and guidance to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle, get support where it’s needed, and join in with leisure, recreation and learning opportunities. Our considered Human Resources policies and procedures enable us to offer compassion, care and consideration in manage ill-health and absence, and our flexible working arrangements can be used to accommodate any change in your life. Within the Adults Directorate, the principles of care we apply to those who use services are equally valid to their lives of our workforce, and team managers and colleagues are expected to develop good working relationships which promote wellbeing in a humanistic and holistic way. Lone working – employee safety is paramount and alongside a range of Health and Safety policies we operate a lone working scheme to support staff who visit members of the public in their home or other settings.

    Wider Employment Benefits
    • Generous salary – our graded salary structure offers opportunities to gain incremental pay rises to the top of the grade.
    • Travelling for job role purposes – the Council pay for mileage and Mersey Gateway toll for work travel requirements.
    • Flexible working – ‘friendly’ practices, and policies to support our approaches, are offered in respect of family requirements, carer responsibilities, disability needs and other identified circumstances.
    • Annual leave entitlement – all new full-time employees start out with 26 days paid leave (rising to a total of 34 days according to length of service). Statutory bank holidays are in addition to this (some services operate during bank holidays and time off in lieu is offered where these are worked.)
    • Local Government Pension Scheme – with generous employer contributions.
    • Ongoing partnership working with recognised trade unions – our directorate works closely with Unison, GMB and MPO to ensure our employees are represented at times of change.
    • Free parking – parking available at Council buildings is free of charge and some sites now have electric vehicle charging points.
    • Further advantages and concessions – working for adult social care opens up a range of discounts for good and services through the Council and other national schemes.
    • Car leasing scheme – for permanent employees with six months plus service.

    Moving into an adult social care career

    To attract and retain talented and enthusiastic team members it is not sustainable for us to simply rely on advertising vacancies as our main source of recruitment. We need to create pipeline of new entrants to the sector, as well as developing our existing workforce.

    We look to ‘Grow our Own’ by means of development and progression programmes.

    Through the Council’s owned and managed older people’s care homes we’ve introduced learning opportunities to develop blended roles which cross the boundaries of health and social care. Level 5 qualifications are available to carers and other workers who want to develop into Nurse Associate and Assistant Practitioner roles.

    For staff across the Directorate, at a level where they’re ready to, there’s opportunity to advance into our Social Work Apprenticeship roles.

    Newly Qualified Social Workers coming to the Council are supported through their Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE) programme and into further professional development routes. As you’ll see from our ‘Development Opportunities’ (link to page) page we also have formalised progression routes for a number of registered professions.

    Nurturing interest in work across the social care sector involves collaboration with local further and higher education institutions. As a major employer in the borough we feed-in to student development through in-reach into education to give ‘real-life’ accounts of different work areas in the sector. Student placements, work experience and even part-time and ‘bank’ job roles are promoted through our education partners. Our strong links with education, together with co-ordinated support programmes, enable us to host practice placements for undergraduates working towards professional registration in Social Work and Nursing.

    Short-term work and employment experience opportunities are accommodated in conjunction with a number of programmes. We have introduced Intermediate Labour Market (ILM) roles into our care home structures and have previously accepted Supported Internships for working-age adults with additional needs in different areas of service.

    Our approach is flexible and welcoming and we aim to shape a workforce that is fit for the future and able to accommodate emerging needs.