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The Role:

The What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care is looking to recruit a Practice Development Manager to bring experience of social work practice to the delivery of the WWC’s engagement and cultural change strategy.

Reporting to the Centre’s Head of Practice,this role will work with the Head of Practice in our work engaging with social workers and the wider sector, supporting local authorities to develop evidence mindedness and evidence readiness, and play a leading role in our “Practice in Need of Evidence” programme, building capacity and evidence around promising practice developed by practitioners. Alongside this, the Practice Development Manager will work alongside our Research, Programmes and Operations teams across every aspect of the Centre’s work, to ensure that the voice of practice is a part of everything we do.

Among other responsibilities, the Practice Development Manager role will include:

  • To bring experience of social work practice to the delivery of the WWC’s engagement and cultural change strategy.
  • Work with local authority partners to deliver tools and services that improve organisational evidence-mindedness and support high quality self-evaluation of promising practice.
  • Use the WWC engagement structure to bring messages from the sector, including from children and young people, families, practitioners, practice leaders and the wider sector, into the WWC and use them to deliver the WWC’s core aims and objectives.
  • Represent the WWC at events and through communication with the sector, in particular with practitioners, to improve evidence-informed practice and further the aims of the Centre.
  • Support a movement for evidence-informed practice amongst social work practitioners through leadership workshops and running regional and national events.
  • Support and lead on innovative ways of engaging the social work workforce to understand capability, motivation and opportunity to use evidence and communicate messages about what works.
  • Contribute to the content of the WWC Evidence Store with particular focus on ensuring research findings are communicated clearly and support real world implementation.
  • Support WWC events to promote research partnerships with the sector, facilitate fora to deliberate complex issues and communicate our research findings with an understanding of practice context.
  • Support the development of a WWC social work education offering to improve capability, motivation and opportunity for practitioners to use evidence and be involved in generation of research.

The Person


  • Social work qualification.
  • HCPC registered social worker.
  • Experience of practice in statutory children’s social care organisation.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including experience of public speaking and delivery of training.
  • Understanding of the social work practice landscape and challenges.
  • Commitment to social work values and ethics.
  • Understanding of, and commitment to, working to meet the needs of a diverse group of beneficiaries and stakeholders and the challenges and barriers associated with this.


  • Interest in evidence-informed practice and research methods in children’s social care.
  • Experience of practice development and/or social work education.
  • Understanding of organisational development and implementing cultural change in organisations and across the sector.
  • Experience of maintaining multiple stakeholder relationships.
  • Political awareness.

About Nesta

Nesta is a global innovation foundation. We back new ideas to tackle the big challenges of our time. Our mission is to spark and shape new ideas that improve how the world works for everyone. We use our knowledge, networks, funding and skills - working in partnership with others, including governments, businesses and charities. We are a UK charity but work all over the world, supported by a financial endowment.

How to apply

To apply, please send your CV and a supporting statement outlining clearly how you would succeed in the role to [email protected], citing “WWC Practice Development Manager” in the Subject of the email.

Deadline for applications: 26 April 2019 midday.

First interviews will take place on 1 May 2019.