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Senior practitioner

Manage complex cases, provide quality assurance and support less experienced social workers
Other names
Advanced practitioner, practice lead, consultant social worker, senior social worker

What you'll do

As a senior practitioner you'll:

  • supervise less experienced social workers and practitioners to achieve positive outcomes for children and families 
  • lead on complex cases and chair key meetings such as case reviews and core group meetings
  • collect and analyse information and present your findings at strategic meetings
  • monitor and assess the quality of work carried out by social workers
  • develop training and track the development of less experienced social workers
  • help develop and implement relevant policies and procedures
  • carry out case reviews and provide feedback to improve social workers' skills and practice
  • work with multi-partner agencies to support children and families 
  • model good practice for less experienced social workers and support their well-being

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • a strong understanding of child and family social work principles, theories and practices
  • communication skills to articulate and deliver your views to varied audiences
  • the ability to manage a complex caseload and prioritise accordingly
  • analytical skills to assess complex situations and come up with effective solutions
  • the ability to build positive relationships with families and external partners
  • to be committed to continuous professional development

How to become one

To become a senior practitioner you must:

  • have completed a degree, apprenticeship or graduate training scheme in social work
  • be registered with Social Work England
  • ideally have at least 3 years' experience as a qualified child and family social worker

Career paths and progression

With experience you could:

  • progress into a management role such as team manager or service manager 
  • study for a postgraduate MA in Advanced Professional Practice with a local authority
  • become a practice educator and train and mentor students
  • further specialise in specific areas of social work practice
  • research or study for a PhD

Current opportunities

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