Featured job: Educational/clinical psychologists, Witherslack Group

From our September edition.

Dr Simon Jenner, Associate Director of Clinical Services at the Witherslack Group, says: ‘I think what we’re most proud of is the level of stickability among the young people we work with. Many of them have attended several other schools and homes before coming to us, and we provide the stability they need.’

Witherslack Group is a leading provider of specialist education and care for children and young people. ‘We offer a mixed model of service delivery with many day and residential schools, children’s homes and four sites with integrated provision, based across the country. We work with 6- to 19-year olds who have social, emotional and mental health needs as well as communication difficulties such as autism. At the moment we are working with around 750 young people.’

The group started with one Lake District school but has grown and has plans to continue this nationally. What does Simon put the success down to? ‘A rigorous structure and a genuinely multidisciplinary, person-centred approach. We have a very strong emphasis on positive behaviour, for instance. But within that, every site is unique.’

‘The clinical services team is genuinely multidisciplinary, so the successful candidates will work with other psychologists including assistants, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, mental health professionals and other site-specific staff. Usually the psychologists spend one to two days a week in a school or home working with other professionals as part of the integrated support package.’ Simon emphasises that ‘this is a real opportunity for someone who wants to do more in-depth work with young people and settings, not just one-off assessments’.

‘We are looking for HCPC-registered educational or clinical psychologists who are experienced in social and emotional needs and/or autism. If they have experience in other areas – attachment or self-harming, for instance – that would be an advantage.’

What qualities are you looking for? ‘A good sense of humour. Being resilient and a real team player. Wanting to make a difference for young people.’

And what might make it such as good place to work? ‘That latter point is the main one – we offer the opportunity to work in-depth with young people and so feel we genuinely can make a difference. Then, there’s the fact that we have the resources to meet training opportunities. Successful candidates will learn a lot from the other professionals here. And our pay and packages are, in my view, very competitive.’

- The role will go live on our Jobs in Psychology website on 28 August.

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