My name is Amanda Cole, I am an experienced social work practitioner with over twenty eight years’ experience in total. Twenty two years working for Bedford Borough Council in all areas of social care and subsequently six years working for Cafcass as a children’s guardian in public law work and as a family court advisor in private law work. Subsequent to becoming a qualified social worker I have held case-loads in the looked after children team; the intake and assessment team as a senior social worker then the family support team as a deputy team manager.
Within these respective roles the focus has been on providing a professional care service to children and their families having regard for their individual socioeconomic, religious and cultural backgrounds. I am motivated and driven to provide the best possible service to children and their families in need of assistance, support and social care. I am able to adapt to the broad range of situations that arise with individuals, teams or within families. I have also managed a Mother and Baby unit in Bedford and prepared it for Ofsted in readiness for registration as a Residential Family Centre. I am currently working as a Locum Senior Social Worker holding a case load consisting of child protection and court work.
Extensive knowledge of social work legislation, principles and techniques
Working with children who are in need and their families under s.17 CA 1989
Recognising when children are at risk of significant harm and taking the appropriate steps to safeguard including undertaking s.47 investigations and completing assessments for presentation at child protection conferences
Being the lead professional in the utilisation of child protection plans and ensuring that plans are regularly reviewed at core group meetings
Communicating well with all other professionals who are working with families
Ensuring that children have a voice in the decision making process
Liaising with the other professionals who are involved as part of the child in need and child protection plans for children
Preparing court statements and care plans for care proceedings
Completing Child Permanence Reports for children who are to be adopted
Keeping confidential client files in line with data protection
Undertaking regular training to keep knowledge up to date
Supervision of social work staff
Scrutinising and critiquing local authority care plans within care proceedings and ensuring that the child’s voice is heard by the court
Confident and accomplished at giving oral evidence within care proceedings
Robust advocacy skills
Good self-organisational skills
Why Work With Amanda Cole
My ethos as a practitioner is that wherever possible children should remain in the care of their immediate or extended family. Research tells us that in the majority of cases the outcomes for looked-after children are not good; they can experience several disruptions in their attachments due to placement breakdowns that in turn impacts detrimentally on their physical, social and emotional wellbeing. My assessments focus on the risks that are posed to the children within their respective families and how or whether they can be managed in the best interests of the children.