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Arts Therapist -FTC

Shooting Star Children's Hospices
Post date
7 May 2024
Closing date
17 June 2024
Guildford GU3 1LP, and Hampton TW12 3RA
£38,336 - £43,410 (including geographical allowance)
37.5 per week, 18 Months FTC
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Job Title: Arts Therapist
Team: Family Support Service
Salary range/pay band: £38,336 – £43,410 (including geographical allowance)
Reports to: Lead Therapist
Direct reports: Volunteer or student therapists
Hours: Full Time 37.5 hours per week, 18 months fixed term
Location: Across both hospice sites

Introduction to Shooting Star Children’s Hospices

Shooting Star Children’s Hospices are a leading children’s hospice charity caring for babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions, and their families. We support families across Surrey and Southwest London from diagnosis to end of life and throughout bereavement with a range of nursing, practical, emotional and medical care.
At the heart of the hospice are our dedicated clinical staffs. Their exceptional commitment and professionalism is commented on by so many of the supported children and their families.
It costs £10.5 million a year to maintain our current level of care. Only 30% of that income comes from government funding via the NHS or local authorities, so we rely on our supporters’ generosity to keep the service running. We employ 175 staff, including 98 nursing and medical staff, providing hospice and community-based services to around 700 families.
Predominantly we work with families living in the Northwest and Southwest of London and Surrey, although will accept children outside these geographical areas if they do not have access to specialist palliative care support locally. We have a reputation for delivering high quality care. We have a CQC rating of ‘Outstanding’.

Introduction to Team

SSCH provide care to children and young people with life-limiting conditions, and family members known to the hospice. Depending on their need, hospice families access respite care, community nursing interventions and specialist palliative care. All families can access SSCH’s core psychosocial care from point of referral/diagnosis, at end of life and bereavement care provided to the family for 3 years and 3 months after the death of their child. This encompasses a holistic and flexible offer of family support, a pathway of care through bereavement and a substantial program of therapeutic support groups and events provided at both hospices, in order that families can benefit from building a network of support with others who have lived experience. Where required, each member of the family system can access specialist psychological care in the form of individual, couples and dyadic therapies and counselling, EMDR therapy and trauma-informed CBT, social work, transitional care, and closed therapy groups.

Part 1: Job Profile

a) Main purpose of job
The post holder will provide high quality, evidence-based art, drama, play or music therapy to life-limited children and families, including the siblings and family members accessing SSCH Specialist Bereavement Service. This therapy should be child and family focused, utilising the medium of art, drama, play or other creative techniques, addressing the psychological challenges associated with life-limiting conditions and issues of loss and grief.

The post holder will have a diverse caseload, and provide assessment, individual and group therapy programs with designated children and/or family members, alongside providing advice, education, signposting, supervision and support to staff, families, schools and other professionals.

b) Scope of job
As part of our Family Support Service, children’s psychological therapy assessments are offered to life-limited children, young people, siblings (including adult siblings) and families. Assessments are also offered to bereaved siblings, parents and families. Depending on the outcome of the assessment, where appropriate, series of sessions/support are put in place.

Therapy sessions are predominantly provided individually with close collaboration with parents (while respecting the bounds of confidentiality); however, programs may also consist of joint parent and child sessions, family sessions, closed and open group sessions.

Within the team, the post holder contributes to the continual multi-disciplinary assessment of families’ needs, as well as the provision of support, signposting, information sharing, developing resources and groups and events for children and families.

The postholder is responsible for ensuring and enhancing the quality, safety and effectiveness of psychological support offered to SSCH children and families. This involves seeking innovative, flexible and individualised approaches that meet the psychological needs of children, and continually developing professional knowledge and skills to respond to evolving needs within children’s palliative care.

This care and support will predominantly be provided at Christopher’s in Guildford and Shooting Star House in Hampton. Risk assessments, consultations, assessments and sessions for children and families may take place virtually or in-person. Some travel to family homes and hospitals will also be required. Hospice Care is provided 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, therefore the post holder may be required to work occasional Saturdays or Sundays.

Part 2: Main duties and key responsibilities

a) To plan and implement individual, joint and family therapy sessions safely and effectively
• To risk assess, identify clinical need, and determine the appropriateness of a creative therapy interventions for children and family members referred for therapeutic support.
• Provide individual, family and group therapy, working within the defined parameters of the SSCH children’s psychological therapies agreement and guidelines.
• Utilise creativity and the arts to support a child and family in accessing therapeutic support that meets their psychological need, and to offer opportunity for development and growth.
• Utilise an expert, trauma-informed approach in formulation and delivery of therapy.
• Work collaboratively with the child and family to carefully consider the aims of therapy programs and to continually review work, identifying outcomes.
• Utilise outcome and evaluation tools and assessment measures throughout clinical interventions to assess, record and measure impact; to continually review aims and approach.
• Initiate and participate in effective communication with the other teams within care; to ensure the wider team is informed of any relevant changes in the family or child’s needs or circumstances.
• To be proactive in forming effective inter-agency collaboration with schools, GPs, social care, child death review nurses and other external professionals.
• Provide a series of parent consultation meetings to an identified caseload of parents/carers whose children are not accessing therapy.
• Demonstrate safe clinical practice in all aspects of your work with families.
• Ensure accurate and contemporaneous notes and records of all contacts are recorded within the electronic notes system.
• Ensure the respect, dignity and rights to privacy of children and their families as far as possible, whilst following safeguarding guidelines.
• Produce written reports to a high standard, when requested.
• Manage own time and prioritise workload, providing a flexibility in the service delivery that is responsive to families’ individual and changing needs.

b) To provide holistic family support
• Consider families holistically, ensuring they are aware of relevant support services available to them both internally and externally.
• Contributing professional expertise to multi-disciplinary discussions and meetings to ensure all families at Shooting Star receive support suitable to their needs.
• Supervise the work of the Family Support Workers through multi-disciplinary case review.
• Lead and contribute to the planning, development and delivery of therapeutic support groups and events for children, siblings and families, utilising a flexible approach to support the emotional wellbeing of those known to SSCH.
• Create and lead group therapy projects/workshops for children and families.
• Participate as an active member of the team, promoting family support services and supporting their development.
• To be the representative therapist at hospice multi-disciplinary meetings, journal club and case presentations.
• To deputise for the Lead Therapist when required.
• Provide immediate care to those experiencing mental health crisis including self-harm and suicidal ideation, drawing on a wide bank of strategies for individualised safety planning.
• To identify and share safeguarding concern, with a detailed account of your risk assessment and action planning with members of the Safeguarding Team.
• To share first-hand accounts of concerns with children’s named social workers or a single point of access duty team.
• To identify professionals who can participate in joint safety planning, promote and facilitate collaborative safety plans.
• To continue a dynamic risk assessment throughout therapy work in order to report safeguarding concern in a timely manner.
• To ensure ongoing documentation and communication of safeguarding matters.

c) Practice education and quality
• Maintain awareness of current developments in children’s psychological therapies and their implications for practice.
• Engage in learning about the wider care of life limited children, and family members who have experienced anticipated and unexpected death in children.
• Contribute to service evaluation or audit to ensure equity of service and maintain high quality service provision.
• Contribute to the on-going development of the therapies provided by SSCH through evidence-based practice and research where appropriate.
• Advise on the purchase of appropriate and necessary equipment for therapy.
• Hold responsibility for own caseload and oversee those of assigned volunteer and student children’s psychological therapists.
• Ensure that you receive effective and timely supervision.
• Ensure all documentation is maintained in accordance with SSCH policies, guidelines and standards.
• Maintain professional membership and registration of the relevant professional body relating to your creative therapy practice.
• Take responsibility for your own on-going education and professional development, to facilitate lifelong learning which complies with the professional educational requirements of your accreditation, and your identified personal objectives.

d) To support staff and volunteers
• Be a source of knowledge and expertise for families and colleagues, assisting others in understanding children’s psychological needs.
• Plan and deliver ad hoc therapy groups for resident children, using the opportunity to work collaboratively with other professionals and demonstrate positive ways of interacting with children through expressive arts.
• Act as psychological lead for families of end or life children and those with complex or significant need.
• Provide individualised advice and consultation concerning breaking bad news, for example through use of social stories or example questions and answers.
• Offer consultations to parents and schools requiring advice and support, and deliver education/training to those in education settings on working with children with additional needs, showing signs of psychological distress, going through bereavement or trauma.
• Provide clinical supervision, debriefs and training to members of the care team.
• To provide clinical supervision to family support workers, ensuring safe and effective work, and encouraging reflective practice and skill/knowledge development.
• To carry out any other duties that are deemed appropriate by your line manager and are within the scope and purpose of the role.

e) Other duties
These duties will be applicable to some posts. (Please delete/amend those which are not relevant for this role.)
• The post holder must be able and willing to get to and work in Christopher’s in Guildford and Shooting Star House in Hampton.

• The post holder will need to travel extensively throughout their area and less frequently in other parts of Surrey/West London

• The post holder should be prepared to attend SSCH meetings in different parts of the country. Some meetings may be during evenings or weekends.

• The post holder will be required to apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service check

f) Mandatory Criteria
1. Other duties
The post holder will be working in a developing environment and they will therefore be expected to undertake other appropriate duties as required for the effective operation of Shooting Star Children’s Hospices
2. Professional Codes of Conduct
The post holder will be required to respect professional codes of conduct and practice relevant to their role, as appropriate.
3. Health and Safety
Be responsible for health and safety in the area under their control and ensure that they are familiar with Shooting Star Children’s Hospices policy on health and safety at work.
4. Mandatory Training
The post holder will attend all mandatory training relevant to their role
5. Our values and behaviours
Shooting Star Children’s Hospices is a leading children’s hospice charity for babies, children and young people with life –limiting conditions, and their families. We require that all of our staff share our common values and display behaviours that will enable us to achieve our goals.

Professionalism – we will safeguard our families, each other and our organisation by working to ethical and professional standards at all times.
Respect – We will treat each other with the utmost respect.
Integrity – We will be open, honest and transparent in all that we do.
Diversity – We will respect individuality and ensure inclusion and fairness to all.
Excellence – We will strive for excellence in all that we do.

Shooting Star Children’s Hospices is committed to ensuring the welfare and safety of children and young people. All staff members are expected to adhere to our safeguarding policies and procedures. This includes undergoing appropriate training, following reporting protocols for any concerns related to child welfare, and promoting a safe and supportive environment for children and young people. Before commencing employment, successful candidates will be required to provide satisfactory references and undergo an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

Part 3: Person specification: Qualifications, experience and skill levels
a) Qualifications
The post holder will hold an Arts Therapy MA or Play Therapy qualification recognised by the Health and Care Professions Council or British Association of Play Therapists.
They must have post qualification experience as a therapist, which includes time working with children or families in a health/social care/education environment.

b) Experience
Training and qualifications
• The post holder will hold an Arts Therapy MA or Play Therapy qualification
• Health and Care Professions Council or British Association of Play Therapists registration Additional training in one or more specialised areas of psychological practice.

• Additional training in one or more specialised areas of psychological practice.
• Qualification in Family and Systemic Psychotherapy.
• Qualification in a trauma-informed approach such as trauma-informed CBT or EMDR.

• Experience of working as an arts therapist in a health or social care environment, as part of a multi-disciplinary team
• Significant experience of working with children and young people, including those with disabilities.
• Experience of working with issues of loss and grief in children.
• Experience of working with children and young people who have experienced chronic or acute trauma.
• Experience of working closely with parents/carers, providing clinical expertise and suggesting specific approaches/strategies.
• Experience of delivering therapeutic groups.
• Experience of representing therapies within the context of multi-disciplinary care.
• Experience of exercising full clinical responsibility for clients’ psychological care and treatment.
• Experience of delivering teaching and training.
• Experience of providing clinical supervision.
• Experience of conducting assessments/consultations on a virtual platform.

• Experience of working with family systems in dyadic or family therapy sessions.
• Experience in the use of standardized assessment tools with children, young people and adults.
• Experience of the application
• of therapy in different cultural contexts
• Experience of delivering therapeutic groups focused on loss and grief.
• Experience of providing supervision to professionals and non-professionals, including critical incident debriefs.
• Examples of service development that has enhanced the quality and accessibility of therapies.
• Experience of working with children, young people and their families affected by life-limiting illness in a palliative care environment.
• Experience of working within a hospice setting, Pediatric Intensive Care or Neonatal Unit.
• Experience of working with clients who have experienced anticipated or unanticipated death in infants/children.
• Experience of conducting sessions together with interpreters.
• Experience in conducting research that has enhanced an area of practice/knowledge.

Knowledge and Skills
• Well-developed knowledge of grief and loss and how this presents following the death of a child.
• Sense of fun, playfulness and creativity that engages children in exploring the arts.
• Flexibility in approach, tailoring the intervention to the needs of the child (both virtually and in-person).
• Skill in providing consultation and advice, concerning communicating with children and young people of different ages and abilities, about death and dying.
• Ability to contribute professional expertise in multi-disciplinary case discussion.
• Ability to communicate effectively in writing, to clients, their families, carers and other professional colleagues both within and outside SSCH.
• Ability to respond to urgent referrals, drawing on specialist knowledge to provide immediate risk assessment, risk management, support or advice in regard to mental health and safeguarding concern.
• Understanding of appropriate professional boundaries.
• Knowledge and skill in good safeguarding practice, including referral to social care and collaborative safety planning.
• Expertise in creating effective individualized safety plans with children and young people.
• Evidence of continuing professional development.

• Formal training in supervision
• Skill in utilizing the skillset of a psychosocial MDT, working collaboratively within a holistic framework.
• Awareness of relevant research concerning children’s psychological therapies in children’s palliative care.

• Ability to recognise and manage one’s own stress/wellbeing, ensuring self-care and support is sought where required, to be able to work with highly emotive material that forms part of this work.
• Ability to identify, provide and promote appropriate means of support to carers & staff.
• Works well in a team and on own initiative.
• Flexible and willing to undertake varied responsibilities as part of a team.
• Able to build good relationships with others (including staff, volunteers, children and families known to SSCH).
• Organised, methodical and able to multi-task.
• Car owner/driver with full UK driver’s licence, with appropriate personal and business use insurance.

What we offer

Pension scheme
• NHS Pension Scheme (eligible employees)
• Stakeholder pension scheme
• Employee contribution 3.5%
• Shooting Star Children’s Hospices contribution 4.5%
• Additional contributions – we will pay 1% above the contribution up to a limit of 7%

Annual leave
• 35 days including Bank Holidays rising with length of service
• 2 weeks paid sabbatical leave after 5, 10 and 15 years’ service

Contractual benefits
• Generous sick pay scheme
• Enhanced maternity, adoption, and paternity leave pay
• Flexible working arrangements
• Death in service benefits
• Reimbursed professional membership fees
• Eye care
• Employee referral scheme
• Blue Light discount card

Health and wellbeing
• Employee Assistance Programme
• Occupational Health
• Cycle to work scheme
• Mental Health First Aiders
• Nutritionally balanced meals at Christopher’s (free employees)

Equality, diversity and inclusion
Shooting Star Children’s Hospice is committed to inclusion and diversity in everything we do. We know that getting things right is critical for us to live our organisation’s values: Professionalism, Respect, Integrity, Diversity and Excellence.
We are always trying to improve our way of working to be more inclusive and equal. Our vision is for Shooting Star Children’s Hospice to be a place where people of all backgrounds, groups and communities feel welcomed to work and volunteer.

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