Head of Adolescents and Young Adults

Location: Portsmouth, Hampshire
Salary: £66,382 - £74,415 per annum
Reference: A000109
Deadline: Closed

The Portsmouth context

Portsmouth City Council is looking for someone to lead and manage a service which is integral to Youth Justice and the protection of Young Adults and Adolescents, meeting the needs of care leavers and planning for the transition of children to Adults services where appropriate.

The Council is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. It is also committed to promoting quality childcare across the City that works to improve outcomes for children. All staff and volunteers are expected to share this commitment. We want to be an inclusive and diverse employer of first choice reflecting the great city in which we live.

In 2016, Portsmouth chose restorative practice as ‘the way we work with families’. The city continues to be committed to embedding the language, practice and principles of restorative practice: working with, fair process, high support: high challenge. Restorative practice also reflects and informs the way we work together as professionals within and across agencies.

In our “Good” 2018 Ofsted Inspection, Ofsted recognised our innovative practice, positive workforce and child centred practice:

  • “The local authority’s approach to improvement is reflective and systematic. The participation of and direct work with children and families are key strengths. Children are at the heart of social work practice."

The Place

Portsmouth is a great waterfront city and a vibrant place to live and work. It is an island city with an “inner city” feel, a seaside location packed with attractions and events, and the advantage of having beautiful countryside on its doorstep. With a fast-growing university, high-tech industries, and a vibrant cultural scene, Portsmouth is a modern city that looks to the future whilst proud of its unique heritage as the home of the Royal Navy and historic dockyard. With fast road and rail links to London, Brighton and major airports, and ferry links to Europe, it is the perfect place to live and work. Portsmouth has a strong history of partnership working and has successfully integrated a number of local services. We are committed to supporting our residents to live long, healthy, independent lives in the community.

The Role

As Head of Adolescents and Young Adults, you will:

  • lead and manage a service dedicated to adolescents and young adults. Leading on youth justice and diversion, tackling and protecting the victims of the exploitation (sexual and/or criminal), meeting the needs of care leavers and planning for the transition of children from Children’s to Adults services where appropriate;
  • be responsible for the overall management of the Through Care Team 2 (unaccompanied asylum seeking children in our care and care experienced young people), Youth Offending Team and Edge of Care Team;
  • be the strategic lead for PSPC Exploitation Delivery Plan working with an established partnership group in the city and HIPS wide (Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton);
  • actively engage the voice of social work, children and their families in service planning;
  • support the development and delivery of action plans resulting from external inspection (Ofsted);
  • provide high support and challenge to practitioners, managers, senior leaders and elected members to ensure the delivery of best practice and service delivery. You will manage and contribute to practice learning arrangements across the Children and Families Service. You will champion innovation work underpinned by a strong culture of continuous improvement; and
  • have a proactive approach and will be expected to work flexibly to meet business needs, supporting the work of other areas within Education and across the Directorate as and when required. This may include occasional evening and weekend work if necessary. You will be committed to working in co-production with families and stakeholders.

The role will need to drive continuous improvement and will play a critical part in risk management.

If you could be a strategic lead for the council in tackling Child Sexual and Child Criminal Exploitation, working in multi-agency partnerships with Police, the NHS, and other partners and developing innovative practice in transitional safeguarding for adolescents and young adults, we would welcome your application.

Indicative Timetable

Closing date for applications: Sunday 28 November 2021

Assessment Centre: TBC
Interviews with officer and stakeholder panels.

Final Member Interviews: TBC
A final interview with a panel of Councillors.

DBS Disclosure at Enhanced level will be required prior to any offer of employment and this post is exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.


Dawn Faulkner
Tel:  0121 312 3755

Martin Tucker
Tel:  0121 312 3755

Sarah Longbottom
Tel:  0121 312 3755



To apply for this job please submit your CV, a Supporting Statement (no more than four sides of A4), a completed Candidate Application Form and a completed Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form to quoting: ‘Vacancy: Head of Adolescents and Young Adults, Reference: A000109’.

Download candidate application form

Download equal opportunities form    

Your Supporting Statement should address the criteria set out in the ‘You will need to...’ section of the person specification using examples to demonstrate how you meet as many of the essential requirements as possible. Please note the indicative timetable above and let us know if there are any dates when you are not available. Please also provide the names and contact details of two referees, one of whom should be your current or most recent employer. If you do not wish us to approach your referees without your prior permission, then you should state this clearly.