Social work

About children’s social work in Kensington and Chelsea

As a social worker, Kensington and Chelsea presents a unique and rewarding working environment. The borough is home to a diverse community, with a mix of affluent residents, and those in need of support and assistance. Social workers in Kensington and Chelsea will find themselves working with children and families, children in our care and supporting families and children who are facing struggles in their home life.

Kensington and Chelsea is known for providing high-quality social care services, with a focus on early intervention and prevention. The borough's social well-resourced with a robust Early Help service and commissioned services, highlighting its commitment to ensuring that all residents receive the support they need to live independent and fulfilling lives. Social workers in the borough benefit from a supportive working environment, with regular supervision and opportunities for professional development.

The way we work with children and families is underpinned by systemic practice. Systemic principles and concepts inform our interventions and thinking at all levels within the organisation. Our ambition is to create a children’s social care workforce which has a theory of change informing work with families, which drives purposeful interventions and a thoughtful approach to the work.

This includes using systemic techniques such as genograms, circular questions, writing therapeutic letters and use of reflective groups to understand how best to support families to make changes. Developing and sustaining relationship-based practice is at the centre of our social work interventions, which is underpinned by the principle that children should thrive within their own families and our work is to enable this to happen when this is in their best interests and it is safe for them to do so.

The statutory social work service is provided via six geographical teams (four in the north of the borough and two in the south). They are also complemented by a specialist disabled children’s team and a hospital social work service. The teams are responsible for assessment and interventions throughout the child’s journey, which means there are no transfer points enabling children to receive continuity of professional relationships.

The borough's commitment to social care is reflected in its innovative approach to service delivery. For example, the Council has established a bi-borough partnership with neighbouring borough Westminster, which allows for the sharing of resources and expertise. The partnership has resulted in improved service delivery and better outcomes for vulnerable residents, which was recognised in our last ILACS inspection which found Kensington and Chelsea to be Outstanding in all judgment areas.

The Outstanding Ofsted report said of the borough:

Children in care and care leavers receive an outstanding service from workers who know them exceptionally well and are caring and ambitious for them. There is strong corporate support from the wider council to provide high-quality social work services for children, including significant financial investment so that the conditions are in place for excellent social work practice to flourish.

In addition to the borough's commitment to social care, social workers in Kensington and Chelsea benefit from the borough's central location and excellent transport links. The borough is served by several underground stations and bus routes, making it easy to access for both residents and staff.

Our offer to you

Social workers in Kensington and Chelsea can look forward to a package that includes a competitive salary, membership of the Local Government pension scheme, Travel Allowance Scheme for Zone 1 and 2, reimbursement of Social Work England fees, generous annual leave plus bank holidays and discounts for many leisure activities, restaurants, shops and other establishments. Employees also benefit from an extensive training package, with access to the West London Alliance essential training and to years 1 and 2 of Systemic Practice.

In addition, we offer an annual leave purchase scheme – you can purchase up to 5 days annual leave per annum at 90 per cent of the actual cost. The Council has a staff contributory private healthcare scheme, open to all staff and also offers a Dental Insurance Plan. 

About Kensington and Chelsea

Kensington and Chelsea is a culturally diverse and vibrant area located in the heart of London. With a population of over 140,000 people, we are one of the smallest in London, but we are also densely populated, covering an area of just 12 square kilometres. The borough is renowned for its shopping districts, colourful streets, world-class museums, and iconic landmarks such as Kensington Palace, making it a desirable destination for both residents and tourists.

Kensington and Chelsea is an exciting and interesting place to work, with a diverse range of businesses and cultural backgrounds represented in its various districts. The borough is home to some of the most famous shopping districts in London, including King's Road and Portobello Road, which attract high-end retailers, luxury brands and quirky independent businesses alike. The borough is also home to world-renowned museums such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Science Museum, and the Natural History Museum, offering an array of educational and engaging exhibitions for all ages. Residents and visitors frequently enjoy the wealth of green spaces in the borough, from the sprawling Holland Park with its manicured Kyoto Gardens and nature trails, to smaller more local parks that act as tranquil escapes for their surrounding communities.

Last updated: 7 June 2023