Customer Services Group - National Age Assessment Board - Social Worker Team Manager
Apply before 11:55 pm on Tuesday 5th March 2024
Type of role
Number of jobs available
Asylum Support, Resettlement and Accommodation (ASRA) work closely with colleagues across the Migration and Border system, the wider Home Office and partner organisations to provide the resettlement of refugees and support to asylum seekers. This includes work with some of the most vulnerable in our society, and we put people at the heart of all that we do.
The National Age Assessment Board (NAAB), established on 31 March 2023 as part of the Nationality and Borders Act 2022, is a new age assessment function in the Home Office. It consists of expert social workers dedicated to the task of conducting ‘Merton’ compliant age assessments, primarily upon request by local authorities, and in certain circumstances on behalf of the Home Office. The team are becoming experts in this field with the aim of improving standards and the quality of age assessments throughout the UK.
The aim of the NAAB is to strengthen and improve processes for assessing the ages of those who claim to be unaccompanied asylum-seeking children or child dependents of asylum seekers. Assessments will be more consistent and robust from the outset, with any disputed decisions resolved quickly and conclusively.
The reforms aim to mitigate against safeguarding issues which arise if a child is inadvertently treated as an adult, and equally if an adult is wrongly accepted as a child and placed in accommodation with children to whom they could present a risk.
Merton compliant age assessments are careful, holistic assessments which are undertaken by social workers. While there is no entirely prescribed manner in which these assessments must be conducted, the courts have set out minimum standards which must be applied. These are holistic assessments of age, usually involving a number of meetings with the age-disputed person, as well as taking into account additional sources of information such as the social care file, third country information and views of professionals.
This is a rare opportunity for a social work professional to provide expertise and leadership of a new flagship function that has significant Ministerial, local authority, non-governmental organisations (NGO) and public interest.
There will be exposure to senior colleagues and Ministers across the breadth of the department.
The successful applicant will:
- Provide social work leadership and age assessment expertise to the NAAB operation. This includes professional supervision of social workers and providing line management to team members.
- Ensure that a high-quality service is provided to local authorities and relevant bodies throughout the UK, young asylum seekers and others. Take into account the needs and viewpoints of others when delivering the service.
- Quality assure the work of social workers and ensure that it meets the required standards. Take appropriate remedial action where this is not the case.
- Support the Head of NAAB, policy and NPI programme colleagues in developing and delivering the NAAB function.
- Alongside the wider management and policy team, ensure that future developments, such as scientific age assessment, codification and the right of appeal are fully understood and applied by the team.
- Collaborate with operational partners across the Borders and Immigration System to deliver a service for Home Office age assessment referrals.
- Ensure that both LA and Home Office referrals are afforded appropriate levels of priority.
- Maintain high quality and professional relationships with all parties who refer work into NAAB.
- Drive continuous improvement, bringing together the new function into a cohesive team with a focus on customer service.
- Proactively manage talent and succession pipelines to optimise operational and organisational resilience and capability.
- Build high performing teams, championing diversity and equality, fostering positive employee relations, employee engagement and wellbeing.
- Utilise age assessment experience to work alongside policy teams and stakeholders to develop a quality assurance framework that supports the new function in conducting quality age assessments.
- Draft high quality Ministerial submissions, briefing and correspondence as required.
ASRA currently operates an ‘on call rota’ so please note that occasional evening/weekend working will be required.
The office base location will be at one of the locations advertised. You will be required to work partly in the workplace and partly at home with occasional travel for business meetings throughout the UK based on business needs.
Where business needs allow, some roles may be suitable for a combination of office and home-based working. This is a non-contractual arrangement where all employees will be expected to spend a minimum of 60% of their working time in an office, subject to local estates capacity, by Spring 2024. Applicants can request further information regarding how this may work in their team from the Vacancy Holder.
- Qualified and registered social worker.
- A successful track record of leading social work teams in a Children and Families statutory environment including teams focused on the task of age assessment.
- Age assessment experience including knowledge of relevant case law, process and guidance including defending age assessments decisions following legal challenges.
- The ability to identify and build capability and oversee the deployment of resources to drive delivery and transformation.
We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:
- Managing a Quality Service
- Changing and Improving
- Developing Self and Others
We only ask for evidence of these behaviours on your application form:
- Managing a Quality Service
- Learning and development tailored to your role
- An environment with flexible working options
- A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
- A Civil Service pension with an average employer contribution of 27%
Selection process details
This gives us the best possible chance of finding the right person for the job, drives up performance and improves diversity and inclusivity.
As part of the application process, you will be asked to complete:
- A CV detailing job history/qualifications/skills
- A Statement of Suitability (Personal Statement) (maximum 1000 words)
- provide evidence of the lead behaviour Managing a Quality Service (250 words maximum)
Further details around what this will entail are listed on the application form.
The statement of suitability should be aligned to demonstrate your skills and experience for the role and how you meet the essential criteria as detailed in the job description.
For guidance on how to construct your personal statement, you are encouraged to visit Civil Service Careers. Links – Statement
For guidance on how to construct your behaviour examples, you are encouraged to visit Civil Service Careers. Links –Behaviours
The sift will be held on the lead behaviour Managing a Quality Service and the statement of suitability (personal statement). The CV will not be scored.
However, if a large number of applications are received, the sift will be conducted on the statement of suitability (personal statement) only.
The statement of suitability will be scored first for all candidates. Those candidates who achieve the minimum pass score for the statement of suitability, will progress to a further sift where the lead behaviour Managing a Quality Service will be scored. These candidates will therefore receive a sift score for both elements.
Candidates who fail to meet the minimum pass score for the statement of suitability will not have their lead behaviour scored and will therefore only receive a sift score for the statement of suitability.
If you are successful at sift stage, you will be invited to an interview which will be based on behaviour questions. You will also be required to prepare a short presentation (no slides or handouts required) to present at interview, further details around what the presentation will entail will be provided before the interview.
Sift and Interview dates
This is a 5-week rolling campaign, which means that candidates will be sifted and interviewed in 2 tranches.
Tranche 1 - Closing date 20 February 2024. Sift to be conducted week commencing 26 February 2024. On applications received before the 20 February interviews to take place week commencing 18 March 2024.
Tranche 2 - Closing date 5 March 2024. Sift to be conducted week commencing 11 March 2024. On applications received between 21 February and 5 March, interviews to take place week commencing 1 April 2024.
We will try to meet the dates set out in the advert, however on occasions these dates may change.
Interviews will be carried out via video. Candidates will be required to have access to:
- A laptop (personal or work) with a working webcam
- Good internet connection
- Microsoft Teams
For meaningful checks to be carried out, individuals need to have lived in the UK for a sufficient period of time to enable appropriate checks to be carried out and produce a result which provides the required level of assurance. You should normally have been resident in the United Kingdom for the last 3 years if the role requires CTC clearance, 5 years for SC clearance and 10 years for DV. A lack of UK residency in itself is not necessarily a bar to a security clearance and applicants should contact the Vacancy Holder/Recruiting Manager listed in the advert for further advice.
For further information on National Security Vetting please visit the following page https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/demystifying-vetting
Please be aware the levels of national security clearance are changing which may impact on the level needed for this role by the time of appointment. All efforts will be made to keep candidates informed of any changes and what that will mean in terms of vetting criteria. For more information please See our vetting charter
In order to process applications without delay, we will be sending a Criminal Record Check to Disclosure and Barring Service/Disclosure Scotland on your behalf. However, we recognise in exceptional circumstances some candidates will want to send their completed forms direct.
If you will be doing this, please advise Government Recruitment Service of your intention by emailing Pre-EmploymentChecks.firstname.lastname@example.org stating the job reference number in the subject heading.
Successful applicants will be placed in roles based on their location preference and when roles become available. Where we are not able to offer posts immediately, we will place candidates (who meet the standard), on a reserve list for up to 12 months.
A location-based reserve list may be created for other similar roles for a period of 12 months. Selection will be in merit order to fill the same role or similar roles with closely matching essential criteria and Success Profile elements without further assessment. If you refuse an offer for a role that was originally advertised, you will be removed from the reserve list and will not be considered for further roles within this application.
When completing your application, you will have the opportunity to select your preferred location(s). Please ensure you select all locations you are interested in. Candidates who are successful at Interview will be placed in order of merit per location and provisional job offers will be made in strict merit order per location preference.
Please ensure that all examples provided in your application are taken directly from your own experience and that you describe the examples in your own words. All applications are screened for plagiarism and copying of examples/answers from internet sources. If any is detected the application will be withdrawn from the process. Further action, including disciplinary action, may be considered in such cases involving internal candidates. Providing false or misleading information would be contrary to the core values of honesty and integrity expected of all Civil Servants.
Offers will be provisional only, subject to satisfactory references.
Membership of Social Work England (SWE) or the equivalent in the Devolved Governments is an essential requirement for this role. In compliance with SWE and Devolved Government Practice, should you be successful at interview, the Home Office will confirm current valid membership with SWE, or the equivalent in Devolved Governments. Candidates found to not hold current membership will have their provisional offer withdrawn.
The Home Office as an employer has a responsibility to prevent illegal working. The steps to do so are set out in ‘An employer's guide to right to work checks’ which can be found on gov.uk webpage. To meet this responsibility, we will be completing right to work checks as part of the application process. In some instances, this may require the attendance at a Home Office site.
Every day, Home Office civil servants do brilliant work to develop and deliver policies and services that affect the lives of people across the country and beyond. To do this effectively and fairly, the Home Office is committed to representing modern Britain in all its diversity, and creating a welcoming, inclusive workplace where all our people are able to bring their whole selves to work and perform at their best.
We are flexible, skilled, professional and diverse. We work to recruit and retain disabled staff and area Disability Confident Leader. We are proud to be one of the most ethnically diverse departments in the civil service. We are a Social Mobility Foundation top 75 employer.
New entrants are expected to join on the minimum of the pay band.
Applicants who are successful at interview will be, as part of pre-employment screening, subject to a check on the Internal Fraud Database (IFD). This check will provide information about employees who have been dismissed for fraud or dishonesty offences. This check also applies to employees who resign or otherwise leave before being dismissed for fraud or dishonesty had their employment continued. Any applicant's details held on the IFD will be refused employment.
For further information please see the attached notes for candidates which must be read before making an application.
Existing Civil Servants should note that some of the Home Office terms and conditions of employment have changed. It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure they are aware of the Terms and Conditions they will adopt should they be successful in application and should refer to the notes for candidates for further details.
Transfer Terms: Voluntary.
If you are invited to an interview you will be required to bring a range of documentation for the purposes of establishing identity and to aid any pre-employment checks.
Please see the attached list of Home Office acceptable ID documents.
Any move to the Home Office from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk
If a person with disabilities is at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes.
If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should:
- Contact Government Recruitment Service via HOrecruitment.email@example.com as soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs
- Complete the “Assistance Required” section in the “Additional Requirements” page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need further on in the recruitment process. For instance, you may need wheelchair access at interview, or if you're deaf, a language service professional
If you are experiencing accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact the email address in the ‘Contact point for applicants’ section.
Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.
Working for the Civil Service
Contact point for applicants
Job contact :
- Name : Home Office Resourcing Centre
- Email : HORCCampaignTeamHMPOandUKVI@homeoffice.gov.uk
- Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
principles, and wish to make a complaint, then you should contact in the first instance
HORecruitment.GRS@cabinetoffice.gov.uk. If you are not satisfied with the response that you receive, then you can contact the Civil Service Commission.