Salary: HEO £35,733 – £39,369 per annum
Contract Type: Fixed-term until 31 March 2024
Do you want to make a tangible difference to the lives of children across England? Can you use your skills to be a catalyst for creating meaningful change? Are you ready to join a committed team dedicated to giving children and young people a voice on the issues affecting them?
Now is the perfect time to join the Children’s Commissioner’s office (CCo) as the team launches ‘The Big Ambition’, a new campaign to hear directly from children and young people across England about what they need to make their lives better. In the lead up to the next General Election, the Children’s Commissioner wants to take children’s thoughts, opinions and ideas to decision-makers, to ensure that the Government reflects children’s voices in the decisions that will affect them in years to come.
What children want and need underpins all the work we do, with the Children’s Commissioner working across sectors, Government, and the civil service to deliver for their needs.
Joining the team is a chance to be involved in shaping children’s policy, making sure children’s voices are heard and be part of an exciting environment which puts children’s needs at the heart of everything they do.
We are working to make the changes children said mattered to them. And we’re looking for dedicated, highly skilled people to join the team.
We are looking for a wide variety of people to take on our roles, however we would particularly welcome applications from care leavers or individuals with experience of being ‘looked after’ by the state. We are also actively encouraging applicants from Black, Asian and other minority ethnic backgrounds to join our team.
We welcome applications from both inside and outside the Civil Service.
Purpose of the role
The Children’s Commissioner for England sits at the heart of Government, delivering for children, and championing their voices and needs. This includes a particular responsibility towards children who rely on the state for their safety or protection.
The Children’s Commissioner is a unique statutory role with powers to help bring about long-term change and improvements for children. Her statutory powers include providing assistance to certain groups of vulnerable children and care leavers. She does this through her Help at Hand team staffed by expert child rights advisors.
The Child Rights Adviser will work as part of the Help at Hand team. The Help at Hand team give advice, assistance and representation to children in care, children working with social service, children living away from home and care leavers. The post holder’s primary responsibility will be to assist these children to realise their rights and have their voices heard, and may from time to time assist with other parts of the service including promotion and reviewing of the service.
Respond to calls for advice and assistance:
- Make prompt responses to enquiries that come in by phone, email or online. They will assess queries and will make strategic decisions about what next steps are necessary to ensure the children’s and young people’s voices are heard and rights are adhered to. This work will be supervised by the Head of Advocacy who will also support more complex enquiries.
- Make written and oral representations to decisions makers in children’s lives – this will include Local Authorities, Clinical Commissioning Groups and Youth Justice.
- Be alert to safeguarding concerns and will make immediate referrals, when necessary, in accordance with the Safeguarding Policy.
- Log and record cases in accordance with Help at Hand procedures and adhere to the Data Protection Policy.
- Carry out tasks in relation to our data sharing agreement with Ofsted in relation to ensuring advocacy provision for children in inadequate homes
- As directed by Head of Advocacy, assist other teams in the office by providing cases studies and sharing information from Help at Hand.
- The post holder may go on visits to seek the views of children and young people.
Knowledge and Experience
- Good knowledge of the rights and entitlements of children in care, care leavers and those receiving services from children’s social care, including those involved in child protection processes
- Experience of providing advice, support and/or advocacy to children and young people
Skills and Abilities
- Strong interpersonal skills, especially in communicating with children and young people and with relevant adults involved in their lives
- Excellent written communication skills to draft and check documents including correspondence, briefings, online content and information for professionals.
- Good organisational and planning skills that adapt to changing priorities and demands
- High degree of efficiency in prioritising, planning and monitoring of workflows and loads
- Strong analytical skills and the ability to deal with complex issues applying sound judgement and creativity, while using support and guidance
- Ability to monitor, analyse and report on service usage.
- Strong IT skills including Microsoft Office (Word/Excel/Teams/Powerpoint) and using bespoke localised systems quickly
- Ability to understand and develop data systems relevant for the service, with support
- An ability to build positive relationships with internal and external stakeholders to meet the needs of the service
- A key team player who can also work independently and confidentially with sound judgement
- An ability to promote the service to children and young people with strong levels of empathy and understanding of need
- Passionate about promoting and protecting children’s rights
- Committed to the Children’s Commissioner’s principles in relation to equality and diversity and to operating with integrity at all times
- Occasional travel to meetings within the UK
- Understanding of and willingness to abide by the 7 Standards of Public Office
Knowledge and Experience
- Expert knowledge of legal frameworks relating to children in care, children in custody, children in mental health settings, children in need, disabled children and children and care leavers
- Experience of and interest in participation activities with children and young people
Skills and Abilities
- Excellent problem-solving skills
Alongside your salary of £35,733, Office of the Children’s Commissioner contributes £9,647 towards you being a member of the Civil Service Defined Benefit Pension scheme. Find out what benefits a Civil Service Pension provides.
- Learning and development tailored to your role
- An environment with flexible working options (Please note that all CCo staff are dividing their time between our offices in Westminster and home working)
- A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
- A Civil Service pension
- 25 days annual leave in your first year, increasing by one day for each year of service to a maximum of 30 days, plus 8 bank and public holidays and 1 day of privilege leave for the King’s birthday
- Employee wellbeing initiatives
- Enhanced maternity/paternity pay
Things you need to know
Selection process details
To apply please download the job specification and send an anonymised (name-blind) copy of your CV, statement of suitability, candidate information form and the Equality and Diversity form to our recruitment team at [email protected] by 23:55 on 03 December 2023. The job description will not be available online after the closing date. Applicants are advised to download a copy for future use.
Your statement of suitability should be anonymised (name-blind) and should set out how you meet the essential skills and any relevant experience to the key duties of the role (no more than 500 words).
Applications will be sifted against the requirements set out in the essential skills/experience listed in the job description.
Interviews for shortlisted candidates are expected to take place during the week commencing 11 December 2023.
Please note that the successful candidate will be expected to join at the base of the salary band.
Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.
Successful candidates must undergo a criminal record check.
People working with government assets must complete baseline personnel security standard (opens in new window) checks.
This job is broadly open to the following groups:
- UK nationals
- nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
- nationals of the Republic of Ireland
- nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with settled or pre-settled status or who apply for either status by the deadline of the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) (opens in a new window)
- relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
- relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
- certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals
Working for the Civil Service
The Civil Service Code (opens in a new window) sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.
We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s recruitment principles (opens in a new window).
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.
Apply and further information
Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.
Our recruitment process is based on fair and open competition and is committed to:
- ensuring equality of opportunity for all applicants, with selection decisions made solely on the basis of merit.
- ensuring all applications are dealt with professionally and in confidence.
- ensuring applicants are treated with respect and courtesy at all times.
- candidates invited for interview will be asked if they require any adjustments, we will make every effort to provide reasonable support.
- procedures are in place to ensure that the OCC is safe environment for the children we come into contact with, as part of our work. All applicants are required to complete a Child Protection Declaration Form and Declaration of Criminal Convictions.
- Development opportunities including access to senior people within our organisation and across Whitehall and Westminster.
- A working environment that supports a range of flexible working options.
- A working culture which encourages inclusion and diversity.
- Civil service pension scheme, although our staff are public servants not civil servants.
- Cycle to work scheme
- Season ticket loan
Successful applicants are required to provide proof of their entitlement to work in the UK and complete a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service process to an enhanced level.