Children’s Services

Setting high standards

Inspirational, visible leadership and great management

Our connected leadership truly knows its workforce, listens, acts, and cares. Our leadership approach is to be rigorous and unrelenting around the improvement of practice, and we are highly ambitious to achieve the best performance within the service. We have a clear vision for developing our practice model with strength-based and systemic approaches.

Practice standards

In partnership with our staff, we have developed a comprehensive set of practice standards which articulate a high quality baseline for social work practice. The standards focus on delivering clear, measurable and consistent assessment, intervention and support to children and families in Oldham. These practice standards consider the expectations for all social workers employed across Oldham Children’s Social Care and seeks to demonstrate child focussed expectations of practice.

Manager’s Practice standards

Manager’s standards describe and establish the standard required of managers with regards to leadership, oversight and supervision. The Managers Practice Standards are intended to assist managers in evidencing consistent scrutiny and support.


We know that having a manageable caseload is one of the top priorities for team members. As a result, we’ve undertaken a whole service review, evaluating our staff caseloads and ensuring they are set at the right levels.
Newly qualified social workers and those in their ASYE will have protected caseloads and additional support with complex cases.

In order for our social workers to develop their knowledge and skills, we provide access to complex casework. Our managers provide excellent oversight on these cases to ensure robust support.


As with any job, it’s hard to perform at a high level without the right tools.
We ensure you have modern, up-to-date, agile mobile working solutions along with the appropriate software and training to ensure technology is a help and not a hindrance. Access to the resources to do the job including the latest telephone and laptops, and access to IT packages and tools, including Microsoft Teams.
Mobile working and improved IT systems will enable you to work flexibly within Oldham’s communities and home working where appropriate to support flexible and efficient working.

We are particularly proud of strengths in the following areas:

  1. Engagement of children and young people – we have an active Children in Care Council and other youth participation groups. We have dedicated staff roles to increase participation and our young people are involved in the recruitment of our leadership positions. Oldham is a diverse community bringing great opportunities and rewards. Our Youth Mayor is the country’s youngest recipient of a BEM (British Empire Medal) in the New Year’s Honour’s 2020-2021, for her work in empowering young people
  2. Oldham’s excellent response to Covid-19 – we have delivered a flexible and speedy response to the challenges including partnership working, with a relentless focus on maintaining outcomes for children and young people balanced with full commitment to staff health and wellbeing. This was recognised and commended in our Ofsted-focused visit in October 2020.
  3. Staff’s influential voice in practice and service improvement – with a consultative style, social workers have opportunities for developing as subject matter experts and champions in specialist areas. We gather for monthly social work forums to showcase good practice and develop our learning. We are engaged in a dynamic and energised improvement journey, giving you an opportunity to shape and develop service delivery.
  4. Commitment to supporting your health and well-being through effective and supportive line management – Our managers are highly responsive to staff with weekly check-ins, regular case and professional supervision underpinned through practice standards, and opportunities for group reflective supervision. We engage in formal and informal ways to understand staff well-being and to address any concerns. Wellbeing provision includes classes from Yoga to mental health first aid. Our culture is of high support alongside respectful mutual challenge as we share a vision for excellence and diverse work opportunities. We offer a diverse range of Career Progression including NAAS (National Assessment and Accreditation System) and Post Graduate modules.
  5. Accredited ASYE (Assessed and Supported Year in Employment) programme – We have highly acclaimed Practice Learning Mentors, a comprehensive programme of training and workshops, reduced and protected caseloads, group based reflective practice development and supervision. Skills for Care gave high commendation of our ASYE programme at their quality assurance visit in November 2020.