Service Manager - Regional Improvement Lead - Working for Essex
Salary: £64,950 to £74,058 per annum
Closing date: 16 Jun 2024
Location: Chelmsford
Hours: Full-time
Req ID: 17060
Role: Social Care
About the role

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

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