The Unit Manager carries responsibility for the care delivered to the young people living in a Positive Care house and for the staff who deliver that care. S/he is responsible for ensuring that the care given meets with company policies and procedures and with national regulations and that the environment in which the care is given is homely, clean, safe and appropriate for the young people’s ages and stages of development.
As a member of the Region’s Management team, the Unit Manager contributes to the development of strategies, policies and systems related to all aspects of Positive Care Operations, and to their implementation.
Main Duties and Responsibilities
a) Young People
Ensure that all staff employed by Positive Care are treated with respect and that their health, safety and wellbeing is safeguarded during their time at work.
c) Direct Management
Personally support, supervise and guide their Childcare Leaders and all permanently employed care workers for whom the postholder has responsibility in a way which keeps them motivated, committed and enthusiastic so that they are equipped to consistently deliver high quality, child centred services.
Support the Child Care Leaders in supervising the staff (student placement, Relief or Social Care Workers, Night Sitters)that you assign to them to supervise in a way which keeps them motivated, committed and enthusiastic so that they are equipped to consistently deliver high quality, child centred services.
On behalf of the organisation, hold their Childcare Leaders and all Social Care staff, including relief staff and waking night staff accountable for their performance.
Provide direct support and assistance to key workers, Social Care Workers and Regional Managers in the assessment and provision of documentation to referring agents, and positively support and facilitate the movement of referrals into our services.
Provide direct support and assistance to key workers, Care Workers and Regional Managers in the production of accurate, well written reports to social workers and other professionals involved with a child’s care, and their families where appropriate.
d) Ensuring an appropriate environment
Ensure at all times that the house for which the postholder is responsible is clean, welcoming, homely, warm and safe. – in short, that it is fit for purpose.
Ensure the management of the maintenance log for the house, keeping it up to date, and signing off on work completed. Holding the maintenance service accountable for their work by complaining, in writing, to the maintenance manager and the regional manager if work is unsatisfactory or incomplete.
e) Team Management
Lead a cohesive, focused and effective staff team in the delivery of high quality services which comply at all times with regulations and standards. Manage the team effectively and appropriately and ensure staff are properly trained, so they are equipped to deliver child care which meets and exceeds the regulatory standards and requirements.
Fully participate in the regional 24 hour on-call service, so that staff in the region have, at all times, access to direct help and support by telephone.
When organisational change processes are initiated at Board and Senior Management Team level, lead the change process at unit/ house level to its successful conclusion.
f) Financial Control
Take responsibility for the house budget, ensuring that spending is kept within approved limits at all times.
Ensure budgets in all areas of the house services are adhered to, and that appropriate and effective financial controls are in place, and are operated according to procedures and in line with good financial management practice and good governance.
Within budget, and in a timely fashion, in consultation with the Regional Manager, ensure that the unit has an appropriate, qualified and balanced staff team with sufficient relief to deliver the service safely.
Within budget, and at all times, ensure that the house has appropriate, furniture, transport, food and other resources so that the children can be cared for safely and properly, and staff are safe and treated with respect by the Company.
g) Meeting Standards
Actively engage in Positive Care’s auditing and performance management system, operating it appropriately.
Ensure that the house, at all times, receives excellent feedback from TUSLA monitoring / inspection recommendations.
Ensure at all times that regulatory and procedural requirements (Child Care, Health & Safety, HR etc) are met.
Conduct grievance and disciplinary investigations and hearings, as appropriate, according to procedures outlined in the Positive Care Staff Handbook and in line at all times with advice from our HR advisers and insurers.
h) External Relationships
Develop and maintain positive and effective relationships with TUSLA inspectors, Monitoring Officers, CFA Team Leaders, CFA Social Workers, Gardai, Garda Superintendents and Inspectors, CAMHS teams, School Principals and all other key stakeholders in the delivery of services to our children.
Generate new business for the Company by the effective use of relationships with key stakeholders and potential customers.
Support the development of new services as required, helping to set up buildings, helping to recruit and inducting new managers.
Provide written and verbal reports, as required, to the Regional Manager and other managers as required by the Regional Manager. Ensure all statutory and standard reports are made to the TUSLA and other professionals, as required, in the times required and to the standard required.
Notify Positive Care Directors of any serious risks to Positive Care, our staff, the children in our care, or our business
Deputise for the Regional Director when necessary, representing the interests and views of Positive Care professionally and appropriately.
j) Whistle Blowing, Confidentiality, Company Welfare:
In line with our duty of care both to young people and to staff, bring to the attention of a Director any matter which may pose a risk to the safety or well being of a child, staff member or the company, according to our whistle blowing policy.
Encourage “whistleblowing” in all staff, according to the whistleblowing policy, and receive reports from staff and managers as appropriate, acting upon them promptly and effectively.
At all times maintain confidentiality in regard to the children in our care, staffing matters, financial matters, procedural matters and any other matters internal to the company.
Take responsibility at all times for the wellbeing of the Company, putting it before personal, financial or other gain.
k) Any Other Duties:
Any other duties, within the competence of the postholder, that may be required, reasonably, from time to time.
Bachelor, Honours Bachelor Degree in Youth and Community Work; Social Care; Applied Social Studies in Social Care; Addiction Studies; Social Care Practice; Nursing; Psychiatric Nursing; Psychology; Counselling and Psychotherapy.
OR a MA or MSc: in any of the above; Social Work.
OR a HDip Education along with a Bachelor’s degree.
Qualification in Management, Business Administration, in HR management, in Hotel Management,
Knowledge of basic book-keeping skills
Minimum 5 years relevant post qualification experience which must include at least two years supervisory experience.
- Full clean Garda vetting for Ireland and police clearance for any other country in which the post-holder has been resident for more than 6 months.
- Sound knowledge of professional child care practice, detailed knowledge of the National Standards for Residential Childcare
- Sound knowledge of the provisions of the 1991 Child Care Act and especially Section 8 relating to the provision of residential care; Knowledge of the regulations associated with this.
- Sound knowledge of Irish Health & Safety legislation and its application in a residential child care context.
- Sound knowledge of Irish Employment legislation and its application in a residential care environment
- Sound knowledge and experience of management in a residential care context
- Ability to lead, motivate and support individuals and teams effectively
- Ability and confidence to hold individual staff members accountable for their work
- Ability to quickly analyse complex, conflicting and contradictory information, reach a balanced decision, act on it and ensure that others follow through
- Ability to function effectively in a crisis, balancing the interests of children, staff and the company
- Ability to assert oneself and exert authority appropriately and in a balanced way both with subordinates and with more senior managers
- Ability to effectively manage conflict
- Ability to meet and manage deadlines and to prioritise work in a high pressure environment
- Excellent negotiation and networking skills
- Drive and initiative in developing the job and the service, taking advantage of marketing opportunities