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Service Manager - Regional Improvement Lead

Essex County Council
England, Essex, Chelmsford
Closing date
1 Jul 2024

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Job role
Social Worker
Contract Type

Job Details

Service Manager - Regional Improvement Lead

Fixed Term, Full Time

£64,950 to £74,058 per annum

Location: Chelmsford

Working Style: Fixed-base worker

Closing Date: 16th June 2024

Service Manager - Regional Improvement Lead

'DFJ Trailblazers - Reducing Time to Family Court' Pilot Programme

This is a Secondment/Fixed Term opportunity until March 2025

This is an exciting and unique secondment/fixed term opportunity until March 2025 to lead on a national project across 4 Local Authorities: Essex, Southend, Suffolk and Thurrock (ESST), to reduce the time children spend in court. ESST have been successful in a joint bid to become one of only five trailblazers across England and this role will put you in a position pivotal to the project's success. The Regional Improvement Lead will work closely with the Delivery Partner, Evaluation Partner, Governance Board and the Local Family Justice Board (LFJB) to develop cross-system commitment to the desired outcomes, to gather feedback from partners and to use this to develop and implement impactful solutions which will have the ability to directly improve the experience of children and families and their outcomes. We are seeking whole system and longer-term transformation and an individual with skills, experience and commitment to this area of practice who can lead this change.

Working to an agreed solutions blueprint but potential to shape the action taken you will be responsible for two key workstreams:

1) Improving Tracking and Case Management

This will include developing greater consistency in, and the impact of, tracking PLO case data across ESST, and using this data to ensure we have a better, clearly evidenced, understanding of delay and pressures across the system. You will use this to proactively engage with system leaders, including via the HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS), to encourage joint action to limit delay and to mitigate the impact of pressure points.

2) Improving Whole System Communication and Co-ordination

This will include convening stakeholders in collaborative work with the intention of developing communication, shared culture and understanding with the potential to result in transformative changes in how system partners interact and accept collective responsibility for the causes of delay. You will review and improve existing forums and communication pathways and will develop consistent processes and standards for preparing and planning for the court process across all local authorities. You will lead on specific process improvements, including developing an approach to 'seeking clarity', and a 'fairness test' to apply at key decision making points. Ultimately this will result in a new set of agreed principles for whole system engagement which will be committed to by the system to support longer term change.

This role will involve working directly with senior leaders across the 4 LA's, the Judiciary, Legal Services/Legal Professionals, CAFCASS and HMCTS to identify creative ways to remove the blockages in our court system. You will be supported in role by two highly experienced national organisations who have been appointed by the DfE as both delivery and evaluation partners and will have the opportunity to engage in national peer learning events with other trailblazer authorities.

The successful applicant will be an experienced children and families social work service manager with a track record of leading a high performing service, and will be able to demonstrate a high level of knowledge and strategic thinking in this area of practice.

Please ensure you have informed your line manager of your expression of interest and that you are in a position to start in July/August 2024. Applications to be made directly via

Please feel free to contact Dave Barron to have an informal discussion.

If you would like further information regarding the project and to review the " DFJ Trailblazer Solution Blueprint" please request this from

To read more about us please visit: Children & Families

Please take a look at our 'No Magic' Children & Families video

Essex County Council is proud to be a Disability Confident Leader. We're committed to interview all disabled applicants who choose to apply under our Job Interview Scheme if they meet the minimum requirements of the job. Please speak to our Recruiters if you require any reasonable adjustments during the process.

We're also committed to interview all veterans and care leavers, who meet the minimum requirements of the role for which they are applying.

As part of employment with Essex County Council (ECC) should your role require a DBS check you will be required to register with the DBS update service. The DBS update service ensures all registered DBS certificates are kept up to date and allows authorised parties to view the status of your certificate. This is an annual subscription, and you will be responsible for ensuring this is maintained. For further information on the DBS update service please go to

Essex County Council is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults and expects all employees and volunteers to share this commitment.

If you would like to be kept up to date on other relevant opportunities, blogs, news, events and industry related news at Essex County Council, please join The Essex Talent Community

If you have queries on this role or require anything further, please email

Follow us on Facebook , Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn . Further details can be found on our careers page .


Pay and Reward | Our Ways of Working | About Us | Organisation Behaviours


Why Essex?

Essex County Council covers 1,300 square miles from Constable Country to the Thames Estuary. From the dynamic M11 corridor to the traditional seaside resorts of Clacton and Walton. England’s oldest town, Colchester, and two of its newest – Basildon and Harlow – are right here. Along with the City of Chelmsford, the county town, they form our major population centres. It means real choice and makes Essex the ideal place for your career.

We celebrate difference and work to ensure that no one is disadvantaged when accessing services, employment or public life in Essex. We’re proud to be a Disability Confident Leader. We’re committed to interviewing all disabled applicants who choose to apply under our Job Interview Scheme if they meet the minimum requirements of the job. We’re also committed to interviewing all veterans and care leavers, who meet the minimum requirements of the role for which they are applying.

Free to deliver big

We recruit creative, ambitious, talented people, and free them up to think – and deliver – big.

We’ve made substantial changes in recent years, reorganising how we’re structured and how we work, so we can protect the most vulnerable and enable our economy to grow. Join us and you’ll be trusted to take control, manage change and make a lasting impact. You’ll be able to call upon external partners and suppliers to help you deliver. More importantly, talented, trailblazing colleagues – including many industry-leaders – will be right by your side to share ideas, knowledge and experience.

Find out how Essex County Council is changing, and how you’ll fit in.

Employee Recognition & Engagement

Here are some of the things we have in place to give our employees a sense of belonging, involvement and recognition. 

Employee Networks:

  • Ethnically Diverse Employee Network (EDEN)
  • Carers Forum 
  • Christian Network 
  • Disabled Employees Network 
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Network
  • Parents Network 
  • Women’s Network
  • Men’s Network
  • Young People and Apprentice Network. 

You Make The Difference’ Awards - giving employees the opportunity to nominate individuals or teams who go above and beyond for our residents.

Employee Surveys – where we listen to the voices of our people and take action on what we hear.

Employee Panels – giving you the opportunity to feed back on a range of policies and initiatives, network with colleagues and influence far-reaching changes.

Learning and Development

We have developed diverse learning opportunities to support our people to grow both personally and professionally. This includes:

  • A large suite of online training and tools
  • Dedicated learning events such as ‘LearnFest’ – our flagship annual celebration of learning
  • Apprenticeships for both new and existing colleagues
  • Financial support to achieve professional qualifications
  • Support from subject matter experts 
  • The opportunity to share your own expertise to up-skill colleagues
  • Leadership and executive coaching
  • Learning on demand
  • Career pathways

Rewards and Benefits

  • Family Friendly flexible Working
  • Generous holiday and special leave allowances (including the option to purchase extra holiday)
  • Local Government Pension Scheme
  • Life Assurance of three times annual salary
  • Volunteering leave (up to 4 days per year)
  • Employee wellbeing and counselling
  • Travel discounts & season ticket loans
  • Learning and Development opportunities/coaching & mentoring
  • Payment of professional fees for approved professions
  • Eye care vouchers
  • Lease car scheme (dependent on business needs)
  • Up to £8,000 relocation package (subject to terms and conditions)

You’ll also have access to MyReward, a unique platform for Essex County Council employees to gain various discounts and savings.

Your Wellbeing

At Essex County Council we are committed to supporting the wellbeing of our people. We work closely with our employees to provide wellbeing support based on their needs. We strive to enable the right environment, conditions, and behaviours so individual and organisational wellbeing is embedded in everything we do.

Join us and get Inspired to do More.

Company info
0845 743 0430
County Hall
Market Road
United Kingdom

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