As part of our team, you will enjoy an attractive benefits package and training opportunities to help you achieve your full potential.

Your workload will be balanced and appropriate ensuring no more than 15 cases are assigned to you at any one time.

We listen to our staff and the families they support.

We believe a lower, more manageable, caseload allows you to make more of an impact and grow stronger relationships with the families and children in your care.

Your time can be more focused and dedicated to what truly makes a difference.

You will have the opportunity to meet with senior leaders and managers regularly. There are also a number of forums where you can contribute to the direction of the service.

You'll be treated as an individual and supported by regular individual supervision.

You'll also receive support through:

  • monthly group supervision
  • regular case consultation
  • the opportunity for 1 to 1 coaching.

Providing clear pathways for continuous professional development and incremental progression.

Our career progression scheme was re-launched in April 2020.

The aims of the scheme are to support you, with:

  • developing skills, expertise and confidence at every stage of your career
  • opportunities to agree a learning and development plan linked to your annual performance development review, which recognises and rewards the acquisition and application of additional specialist knowledge and skills
  • progression in your career with us, using your knowledge and experience to make a difference for children and families in Medway.
  • meeting Social Work England Professional Standards.

Progression between levels

  • progression from social worker to experienced social worker will be dependent on submitting a portfolio of evidence
  • progression to the role of senior practitioner is through a portfolio and interview process
  • progression to the roles of team manager and group manager are through an interview and presentation.

Our Signs of Safety practice model, is supported by an extensive programme of training. This will be enhanced by a core offer of a skills and knowledge-based training programme relevant to the role and service needs. All new staff joining the Medway team will be supported through this training.

As part of the Signs of Safety programme, further advanced training is also available. There is a dedicated support role within the team to help all staff participating in the training.

We also encourage practice educating to support our learning culture and help bring new talent into the organisation. We run a Practice Educator Professional Standards (PEPS) stage 1 and stage 2 course annually. This ensures that you'll have an opportunity to undertake the qualification within your employment if you wish.

Leadership programmes are also available as we are dedicated to developing leadership in our first line managers. All managers will also be supported through a dedicated management and leadership support lead.

Flexible working options are subject to agreement with your team manager.

We offer flexible working and home working policies as well as flexibility around work hours and patterns.

You'll also be provided with a Surface Pro and mobile phone to support home and flexible working options, and reduce travel time.

Flexible working options include:

Hot desking

You'll be able to use any available desk that has been set up for this purpose. The hot desk may be configured for workers with laptops: it may have a docking station, screen and keyboard.

It enables any worker who is required to hot-desk to sit at any compatible hot-desk and access all the information they require, thereby allowing them to work at any Medway site, provided a hot desk is available.

Blended working

Combining working at the office and at home as requirements dictate and allow.

Flexi-time scheme

Enabling you to work flexible working hours and accrue up to 2 flexi days in a 4-week period. This is subject to manager's agreeing core hours of work.

9-day fortnight

This enables full-time workers to condense their working week over 9 days instead of 10. This is subject to line manager agreement

You'll receive a minimum of 27 days annual leave. This will increase to 30 days annual leave after 5 years’ continuous local government service.

We offer a comprehensive pay and benefits package to social workers in recognition of your skills, knowledge, and expertise.

Retention payments and market premia allowance

Retention payments will be paid at the end of April, following:

  • 2 years' service with Medway, in fostering and adoption
  • 1 year's service with Medway, in all other children's social worker roles.

To qualify for the retention payment you:

  • need to be in post as of 31 March
  • must not have submitted your resignation before the payment is made
  • must not be subject to any formal disciplinary or capability process during the year

The retention payment and market premia allowance are subject to annual review. If these are discontinued you'll be given 3 months' notice.

Payable to specific posts.

The Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) is an occupational pension scheme and a Career Average Revalued Earnings (CARE) pension scheme. A CARE scheme means your benefits are worked out on your pensionable pay each year and added together. Inflation is added to keep its value.

Employee contributions range from 6.8% to 8.5% of pensionable pay based on earnings. Employer contribution is currently 18.3%. In addition to the pension accrued, if you die in service the following benefits may be payable:

Life cover

A non-taxable lump sum death grant of 3 times your annual assumed pensionable pay is paid no matter how long you have been a member of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS), if you are under age 75 at the date of death.

Tax relief

If you earn enough to pay tax, your pension contributions attract tax relief at the time they are deducted from your pay.

Protection for your loved ones

Your family is provided for in the event of your death with a pension for your spouse, civil partner or eligible cohabiting partner and eligible children (subject to certain criteria).

Protection for you

If you become seriously ill, you could receive immediate ill-health benefits at any age.

Early retirement

The LGPS normal retirement age is your state pension age when full benefits are payable. You can choose to retire from age 55 but your benefits may be reduced to take account of being paid earlier. If your employer makes you redundant or retires you on the grounds of business efficiency after age 55, the benefits you have built up to the date you leave are payable immediately without reductions.

Flexible retirement

If you reduce your hours or move to a less senior position after age 55 you can, provided your employer agrees, take the benefits you have built up - helping you ease into retirement - although your benefits may be reduced for early payment.

Employment breaks

Following one year's service you can request an employment break for a period of up to 4 years, subject to conditions being met.

Sabbaticals

Every other year, one of the following options can be requested:

  • Option 1: After 3 years continuous service, 4-week sabbatical (which could be combined with up to 2 weeks annual leave).

  • Option 2: After 4 years continuous service, 6-week sabbatical (which could be combined with up to 3 weeks annual leave).

  • Option 3: After 4 years continuous service professional development package to obtain a masters degree in practice education or systemic therapy or public administration or another relevant practice area. The package would include release for teaching time and proportional payment of fees, refundable if incomplete or not passed.

Length of service will be defined from April 2018 and not actual length of service.

These options are subject to the parameters of the scheme being met.

An important priority for us is to ensure you feel fit to come to work. As an employer we are continually reviewing and introducing new initiatives to enable employees to maintain good health and well-being.

A Better Medway

A Better Medway offers a host of information about how to take the best care of yourself. There are also links to various schemes and initiatives that you may wish to take advantage of.

Eye care voucher scheme

We offer a full eye examination by a qualified practitioner at Specsavers if you spend considerable time using display screen equipment.

Private health care

We offer you the opportunity to join Benenden Health for a small fee each month. Beneden complements the work of the NHS by offering speedy access to private healthcare. Membership includes access to medical experts through 24/7 helplines for any concerns about physical or mental health.

Occupational health service

Access an occupational health nurse or doctor, following a referral, to support health and well-being at work.

Care First counselling service

Access a free confidential service for information, advice or counselling. Care first is available 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.

Online resources are also available including information, advice and articles on issues affecting home, work and health.

CSSC Sports and Leisure

CSSC Sports and Leisure provides a huge range of sports, leisure, health and retail offers. Membership is available for public sector workers at a minimal monthly cost.

All newly appointed permanent social workers who need to move house as a result of their appointment may be eligible to access the relocation scheme (subject to terms and conditions being met).

Download details of our relocation scheme for further information.

An essential user allowance of up to £1,239 per year with the option of transferring to a lease car following completion of the probationary period.

The payment is dependant upon the cc of the vehicle:

  • £846 pa for vehicles up to 999cc
  • £963 pa for vehicles up to 1199cc
  • £1,239 pa for vehicles above 1200cc.

The lease car scheme is available through Kent Lease. A contribution of £1,000 per year is payable by the council towards your contribution.

You can access a salary sacrifice car scheme through Tusker.

All social workers have access to free car parking.

You can apply for an interest-free loan to buy an annual train season ticket, up to the value of £2000.

The loan is repayable in 12 monthly instalments. Payment is taken directly from your salary each month.

Up to £1,000 interest-free loan to buy a bicycle up to the value of £1,000.

Introduce a qualified social worker to a vacancy in Children’s Services. If they are appointed you will be eligible to receive a £250 i-reward card and a further £500 i-reward card on completion of their probationary period.

Please email cscrecruitment@medway.gov.uk with details of the candidate you are referring.

Our sports and social club.

We're committed to providing time and places for colleagues from similar backgrounds to meet, network and discuss the issues that matter to them.

Our forums and networks include:

Time to Change

Time to Change is led by mental health charities Mind and Rethink, and is a growing social movement to change the way we think and act about mental health. Earlier this year, we established a new Time to Change employee group, with representatives from Public Health, Internal Communications, HR and Social Care.

As part of our Time to Change Employer Pledge we have recruited Employee Wellbeing Champions to help support others at work and raise awareness of mental health in the workplace.

Medway Council Disabled Workers and Carers Network (DWCN)

DWCN is made up of employees who have a disability, impairment or long-term limiting illness, health condition, or are a carer of a person with a disability or impairment. If this applies to you, you are very welcome to join the DWCN.

We recognise that not all disabilities are visible. Invisible disability refers to symptoms such as debilitating pain, fatigue, dizziness, cognitive dysfunctions, brain injuries, learning differences and mental health disorders as well as hearing and vision impairments. These are not always obvious to the onlooker but can sometimes or always limit daily activities and range from mild challenges to severe limitations and vary from person to person.

The forum supports all of its members and acts as a consultation body on council policies and training issues.

BAME forum

The BAME forum represents the interests of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic employees. The group is made up of and invites employees of Black, Asian and other ethnic communities to join both the working committee and the forum.

The purpose of the BAME forum is to support Medway in its strategic objectives to improve the lives of its residents and to help Medway to be a great place to work by using the skills and resources of its Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic employees, in order to add value to the organisation.

The network has an external-facing role to support Medway to attract, recruit and retain more BAME staff and an internal facing role supporting Medway to progress workforce race equality issues.

The BAME forum will be a source of information for new and existing BAME employees on career pathways and development opportunities and develop allyship of non-black/non-ethnic partners.

LGBTQ forum

The LGBTQ forum supports lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender staff, straight allies and those questioning their sexuality. This includes challenging homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, heterosexualism or any associated negative attitudes and behaviour.

The forum aims to:

  • support LGBTQ people to be themselves at work and to fulfil their potential
  • provide support to straight allies and employees who support families members and friends who are LGBTQ
  • promote the principles of our Fair Access, Diversity and Inclusion Policy and developments in equality law that aim to protect LGBTQ staff from discrimination
  • give support to all LGBTQ staff who believe they are experiencing discrimination in the workplace
  • provide a contributory and consultative role on the implementation and outcome of the policies and practices of council departments as they affect service users and LGBTQ staff
  • actively promote issues that affect LGBTQ staff to ensure they are properly addressed within all aspects of our work
  • seek representation on relevant groups/bodies concerned with policy development and practice within the council
  • support employees by acting in the role of workplace colleague at any formal hearing
  • continually evaluate the role and aims of the LGBTQ forum.

We want to celebrate our successes and recognise the hard work and commitment of our employees.

The Make a Difference awards are an opportunity for you to be nominated by colleagues or members of the public.

Directorate winners are invited to an annual gala evening where the overall winners of each category are announced.

The Vectis Card is a hassle-free way to save at different venues in Medway and across the UK. Offers are available on shopping, eating out, reloadable cards, gift cards, and much more.

All social workers will be provided with a mobile phone and a Microsoft Surface Pro.

Maternity Leave

All employees are entitled to take 26 weeks Ordinary Maternity Leave and 26 weeks Additional Maternity Leave.

Paternity and maternity support leave

Employees are entitled to 5 or 10 days leave of absence

Adoption leave

Employees are entitled to 26 weeks’ Ordinary Adoption Leave and a further 26 weeks’ Additional Adoption Leave (a total of 52 weeks’ adoption leave).

Details relating to pay will be provided upon request.

  • During year one: one months full pay (after 4 months of service) and 2 months half pay

  • During year 2: 2 months full pay and 2 months half pay

  • During year 3: 4 months full pay and 4 months half pay

  • During years 4 and 5: 5 months full pay and 5 months half pay

  • After year 5: 6 months full pay and 6 months half pay.