The Home Office works to build a safe, fair and prosperous UK. We achieve this through our work on counter-terrorism, policing, fire, crime, drugs policy, immigration and passports. Customer Services Group brings together Asylum & Protection, His Majesty’s Passport Office and UK Visas & Immigration. As a major operational arm of the Home Office, we play a vital role in supporting the economy and cultural life of the UK.
About the role
We’re recruiting qualified social workers to join the new age assessment function in the Home Office. The National Age Assessment Board (NAAB) will consist of expert social workers dedicated to the task of conducting ‘Merton’ compliant age assessments. NAAB social workers will work in pairs to conduct age assessments across the UK on behalf of local authorities and the Home Office.
NAAB aims to strengthen and improve processes for assessing the ages of those who claim to be unaccompanied asylum-seeking children or child dependents of asylum seekers, where there is doubt about their age. The reforms aim to mitigate against safeguarding issues which arise if a child is inadvertently treated as an adult, and equally if an adult is wrongly accepted as a child and placed in accommodation with children to whom they could present a risk.
The role offers the opportunity to become an expert in the field of age assessment by improving the quality and standard of age assessments and develop strong working relationships with a variety of stakeholders and partners.
You will ensure that the young people who are assessed are at the heart of what we do and adopt a child-centred and trauma-informed approach to working with young people and undertaking assessments.
This is a dynamic and challenging area of the Home Office, and a rare opportunity for social workers to join this new flagship function. If you have extensive post-qualification experience in a local authority setting, alongside proven expertise and experience in complex assessments, you will thrive in this fast-paced environment.
When you are not conducting age assessments in a local authority setting there will be opportunities to either work from home or your nearest office.
There will be a requirement for frequent travel, and you may occasionally be required to stay overnight in a local authority area. Where this is necessary the Home Office will pay for travel costs and other expenses.
We offer competitive starting salaries – further details below – a Civil Service Pension with employer contribution rates of at least 26.6%, and a range of other brilliant benefits including 25 days annual leave on appointment, rising with service.
You will also have access to learning and development tailored to your role, an environment with flexible working options and a culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
More about the role
- National: £39,000 min – £42,900 max
- London: £43,000 min – £47,300 max
- Qualified and registered social worker with Social Work England, or the equivalent in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
- A successful track record with extensive post-qualification experience in a local authority setting, including experience of working in children’s services.
- Culturally sensitive with experience of working with service users from diverse backgrounds.
- Proven ability to conduct complex social worker assessments and complete high quality written assessment reports, robust enough to withstand legal challenge, within agreed timescales.
- To maintain up-to-date knowledge of research findings, legislation, statutory guidance, policy developments and case law relevant to age assessments and child safeguarding practice.
- Experience of conducting Merton compliant age assessments.
- Have experience of managing interviews and working with an interpreter.
- Have strong planning and organisational skills, including proven ability to work independently and balance competing demands. Ensuring that interviews scheduled maximise resources and minimise travel time and overnight stay.
Qualified Social Worker
You must be a Registered Social worker in the UK – you will need to supply an up-to-date registration number.
We’ll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:
- Managing a Quality Service
- Communicating and Influencing
- Making Effective Decisions
- Working Together
This vacancy uses Success Profiles and will assess your Strengths, Experience and Behaviours. This gives us the best possible chance of finding the right person for the job, drives up performance and improves diversity and inclusivity.
You will submit your application through the online civil service recruitment portal: Civil Service Jobs.
As part of the application process, you will be asked to complete a Statement of Suitability (personal statement) of no more than 1000 words explaining how you meet the essential criterial outlined in this advert.
Sift will be completed on the personal statement only.
Candidates successful at sift stage will be invited to interview, which will be a blended approach of strength-based questions (no preparation necessary) and on the four behaviours listed (preparation recommended).
Sift and interview dates
Sift will take place week commencing 6th February 2023
Interviews will take place week commencing 20th February 2023. This may change subject to business needs.
The closing date for the test and full application form is 23:55 on 31st January 2023.