Essex County Council (ECC) is one of the largest and most dynamic local authorities in the UK, serving a population of 2 million residents, and has a very successful track record of delivering transformational change.This is an exciting opportunity to join a specialist and established Mental Capacity Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Team in Adult Safeguarding and Quality Assurance, Adult Social Care in Essex County Council. A Senior Best Interests Assessor will carry out assessment and reviews under the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (Amendment to Mental Capacity Act 2005). The role will have an understanding and respect for individual's qualities, abilities and diverse backgrounds, promote the rights, dignity and self-determination of individuals who might be deprived of their liberty to identify, challenge and redress discrimination and inequality in all its forms.
The post holder must be an experienced social worker and able to practice independently, with a level of autonomy, demonstrating expert and effective practice in complex situations, assessing and managing higher levels of risk, striking a balance between support and control, liaising with a wide range of professionals, including senior levels. The role is underpinned through the 6 key principles Empowerment, Prevention, Proportionality, Protection, Partnership and Accountability defined by the Care Act 2014.
The role involves supporting staff with technical and professional advice in matters of safeguarding including best interests assessments and being the link between Adult Operations and the Mental Capacity and DoLS Team in Adult Safeguarding.
The postholder will model good practice, setting expectations for others and taking responsibility and accountability for the practice of others and provide quality assurance. This may include contribution to the assessed and supported year in employment programme and supervising the work of junior staff.
The role also requires the post holder to build on existing relationships with strategic partners as well as across functional areas, undertake capacity-building with individuals, families, communities, user groups and voluntary organisations, and contributing their views on service provision to commissioners. Job Purpose
• Obtain, evaluate and analyse complex evidence and differing views and to weigh them appropriately in decision making.
• Apply knowledge of assessing mental capacity according to the legal framework taking into account a wide range of factors. Understanding the implications of mental incapacity for people who use services, families and carers.
• Work with service users who lack capacity, their families and carers, Representatives and other professionals including IMCAs and staff from Managing Authorities. Consult, liaise and negotiate with those involved in a Best Interests Assessment, assert a best interests perspective and make properly informed independent decisions.
• Present cases at a legal hearing and exercise the appropriate use of independence, authority and autonomy and use it to inform their practice as a Best Interests Assessor, together with consultation and supervision.
• Be the lead professional in collaborative work in situations where a social work perspective is needed to inform or drive decision-making, ensuring that a legally based, human rights perspective is applied to when and how interventions are made in the lives of individuals, families and communities experiencing complex social and family problems.
• Build relationships with individuals and families who find it difficult to engage with services but need support to develop or maintain independence or autonomy. For example, families with children at the edge of care or older people with social care needs who wish to remain at home.
• Taking responsibility for the learning, development and practice of others, including through local leadership of practice, or supervision of colleagues and students. E.g. making recommendations about whether a social work student has reached the necessary level of capability to pass their placement.
• Providing professional leadership and opinion within multidisciplinary contexts and responsible for arguing their case confidently and persuasively in multidisciplinary discussions, or other situations involving conflicting views, such as in court proceedings.
• Ensure a high level of data quality for all information recorded in matters of Deprivation of liberty, ensuring that the information is timely, accurate and complete to ensure the service meets all statutory recording requirements.
• Aid delivery of the safeguarding service through (when appropriate) carrying out tasks such as quality checking of complex mental capacity assessments with the view of commissioning IMCAs, offering advice, guidance and support to those completing the forms.
• Provide expert advice and support to the safeguarding work and projects outside Safeguarding Teams when deemed necessary by the Safeguarding Adults Manager Mental Capacity and DoLS.Knowledge, skills and experience
• Diploma / Degree in Social Work, CQSW, CSS or equivalent or Diploma of the College of Occupational Therapists or B.Sc. O.T. or other professional qualification recognised by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists.
• Qualified Best Interests Assessor
• Current Social Work England Registration
• A good working knowledge and ability to use information technology and related systems.
• Minimum 3 years relevant experience in Social Care setting.
• Evidence of working with a complex caseload that is underpinned by evidence based practice.
• Required to be mobile throughout an operational area. Driving licence and car or access to other effective transport arrangements is essential.
A knowledge of Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards 2007, Mental Capacity Act 2005 , Mental Health Act 1983 (amended 2007), Human Rights Act 1998, Care Standards Act 2000 national and local policy guidance and ability to apply Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards procedures to assessment role are going to handy for this role.
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 https://www.gov.uk/dbs-update-service
Essex County Council is proud to offer an excellent benefits package to all its employees. More information can be found on https://www.workingforessex.com/benefits 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.
We seek the best talent from the widest pool of people as diversity is key to our success. If you have any queries regarding this role, or require anything further, please contact the Resourcing Team on 0333 013 5888.