Return to Social Work - Working for Essex

We recognise social work can be challenging and multifaceted, but a very rewarding sector to work in.

With Essex County Council you can develop a career that enables you to achieve your goals in a range of roles across our services.

Our Return to Social Work Programme is available for Social Workers interested in returning to practice with either Adult Social Care or Children and Families. Click on the link below for further information of each function.

Adult Social Care

“If you’re thinking of a return to social work, then do take a look at what we have to offer here in Essex Adult Social Care. Warm and welcoming teams with clear leadership and supportive managers, a fabulous professional development offer that will help you to develop your skills and build your career and most importantly, a deep shared commitment to supporting citizens of Essex to have maximum choice and control over their lives.”

Dr Tanya Moore, Principal Social Worker

Our Quests

In Adult Social Care we want to be as diverse as the communities we serve and have an inclusive culture where everyone has the chance to thrive.  We have developed a Quest programme which enables colleagues to leave the ‘day job’ for a 6-week period so that they can explore what it is like to work in ASC from an equality, inclusion, and diversity perspective against a protected characteristic. 

At the end of each Quest, our colleagues (Questors) share their findings and recommendations with our senior leaders so that we can make service developments and improvements.  This is very much led by our workforce and supported by our leaders. We have held Quests on Race, Disability, LGBTQIA+ and Age and have a future Quest planned to consider mental health.  We have received insightful feedback from the Quests, and they are integral to promoting ED&I within Adult Social Care.

You can find out more information here:

If you’d like to return to Adult Social Care, please click here.

ECC on the Community Care Podcast

Alison, Phil and Ganiyat spoke about Anti-racist practice in a recent podcast with Community Care.

You can listen to the podcast in full by clicking on the image below:

Learn more about our award-winning Adult Social Care team on their role page.

Children and Families

“Our Children’s services are diverse, and we have interesting and stimulating opportunities for everyone, as well a real mix of career pathways you can explore with us.

With our return to social care, outstanding services and championing your wellbeing; could Essex Children’s Services be the right place for you to kick start your return to practice? We would certainly love to see you join us and be part of our Essex team.”

Helen Lincoln, Executive Director of Children and Families Social Care

Meet Ziggy

After having a career break due to caring responsibilities, Ziggy returned to Social Care in 2021 as a Social Worker and has since been promoted to Senior Practitioner.

We also champion Social Worker wellbeing and have recently been able to implement a 9-day working fortnight for our frontline children’s Social Workers.

If you’d like to return to Children and Families Social Care, please click here.

We’re outstanding!

Children & Families teams and Youth Offending Service were awarded ‘outstanding’ in all categories by Ofsted in June 2023. This was the 2nd inspection in a row Essex Children Services received ‘Outstanding’.

Recruitment timeline

Application window open – 22nd January to 18th FebruaryYou can submit your application along with your CV by clicking here , or if you’d like more information, please send an email to Once we’ve received your application, we’ll be in contact to discuss your requirements and answer any questions you may have.
Interview technique workshop – w/c 19th FebruaryTo help those of you who may be feeling a little nervous at the thought of going through an interview process again, we’ll be hosting workshops, to provide you with some guidance for successful interviewing.
Interviews – w/c 26th FebruaryTo help those of you who may be feeling a little nervous at the thought of going through an interview process again, we’ll be hosting workshops, to provide you with some guidance for successful interviewing.
Interview Outcome – w/c 4th MarchDuring this week, you’ll be notified of the outcome of your interview and offers will be made to successful individuals.  Should you not be successful, you’ll be provided with comprehensive feedback on your interview to aid your future applications.
Compliance – w/c 11th MarchOnce you have accepted your conditional offer of employment, your file will be moved over to our Employment Vetting Team to process pre-employment checks. You’ll be assigned an Employment Vetting Officer who will be your single point of contact throughout this process.
Programme Start – AprilOur launch event will be held at our head office, County Hall, Chelmsford, from 10:30am to 1:30pm. You’ll be provided with your ECC laptop as well as a detailed training schedule. Joining the event will be the Social Care Leadership Team and other ECC employees who have been involved in the programme journey. Refreshments and lunch will be provided.

Looking for further information? Head back to our Return to Practice home page.