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Children, Young People And Families Practitioner Level 4

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The aim of the apprenticeship is not just to train individuals for effective and efficient performance but to prepare them as professionals to undertake a variety of roles and contexts across the children’s, young people and family workforce. To show that they have learned their craft, they will need to demonstrate that they can competently negotiate their way around a relationship-based environment that doesn’t have easy answers or immediate solutions. 

CORE: As a practitioner, you will be working with children, young people and families, including carers, to achieve positive and sustainable change in their lives. You will demonstrate a passion to care for and about children, young people and families. You will be skilled in recognising and assessing the complex needs that children, young people and families often present. You will agree with the child, young person or family any specific interventions or referrals.  Your approach will be one of respectful curiosity that challenges and supports children, young people and families to achieve their potential and stay safe. You will work alongside other professionals and organisations to share the responsibility for improving outcomes. Each piece of work with a child or family will be different and you will exercise judgment on a range of evidence-based approaches to inform your practice. You will regularly evaluate the effectiveness of your methods and actions. Regular supervision with an experienced practitioner will encourage reflection on your practice. At the end of the apprenticeship, the high quality of your practice will be making a real difference to those that you work with.


You will be required to gain qualificatio9ns during the apprenticeship, i.e.:

Option 1. Level 3 Diploma for Residential Childcare

Option 2. Certificate in Higher Education in working with Children Young People and Families

OPTION 1: Practitioner in Children’s Residential Care

You could be working in a number of settings e.g. a children’s home, a residential special school or a secure children’s home. The children might be living on their own or in a larger group. You will take the lead in developing and delivering the child’s placement plan and will work with the child to support their health, education, social and day to day needs, playing a significant role in helping them to thrive and fulfil their potential.

OPTION 2: Children, Young People and Families Practitioner within the Community

You will understand the importance of and be skilled in, early intervention and safeguarding work. You will manage risk across the spectrum needs for children, young people and families’. You may work in settings as diverse as family homes, youth centres, early years, youth justice, children’s centres, educational settings and the community. You will play a significant role in working across agencies to improve outcomes. You may work with particular age groups, across the full age range or specifically with families. By supporting the confidence and skills of children, young people and families you will help them to overcome barriers and maximise their independence.


The values and behaviours expected of a Children, Young People and Family Worker

Care: Respecting and valuing individuals to keep them safe, being affirming and working with them to help them make a positive difference to their lives

Compassion: Consideration and concern for children, young people and their families, combined with an understanding of the perspective of those you work with

Courage: Honesty and a positive belief in helping children, young people and families. Being confident when faced with confrontation, holding a safe space to manage and contain really difficult behaviours and working with children, young people and families to challenge and enable them to fulfil their potential Communication: Your work is based on building effective relationships, being perceptive and empathic and building good rapport

Competence: The relationships you build to effect change for children, young people and families will be informed by social care ethics and values and will be developed through reflective practice.

Commitment: Creating sustainable change in others by working alongside children, young people and families and being authentic, consistent, patient, persistent and resilient

Core Requirements – knowledge and skills

These are based on the kind of statements we would typically expect children, young people and families to make about the work that the practitioner has undertaken with them

‘You listened to me, understood what has happened to me and how I feel about my life, and I am confident my voice is heard’

  1. Knowledge and understanding of:
  • Communication that enables the voice of the child, young person or family members to be heard
  • Multiple factors that contribute to uncertainty in the lives of children, young people and families
  • Equality, rights, diversity and cultural differences, and the values of the organisation in which you are working
  1. Skills
  • Communicates in way that enables the voice of the child, young person or family members to be heard
  • Encourages individuals to engage positively with their community and relevant agencies and actively participate in the way their care and support is delivered
  • Actively promotes respect, equality, diversity and inclusion

‘You helped me to identify risk, you made me aware when things were unsafe’

  1. Knowledge and understanding of:
  • The range of potential safeguarding risk factors (e.g. domestic violence, membership of gangs, missing children, online activity, radicalisation and Prevent agenda), the different forms of harm to children and vulnerable adults (e.g. neglect, child sexual exploitation, physical abuse, emotional abuse) and the local and national thresholds for safeguarding
  • the safeguarding requirements contained within mandatory local safeguarding training or nationally accredited equivalent

2.1  Skills

  • Works together with children, young people and families to keep them safe and manage risk and promoting the development of skills the family need to successfully manage risk themselves
  • Works with and supports other professionals to respond to safeguarding concerns

‘You identified my/our strengths and difficulties and helped me learn about myself/ourselves. We prepared and made plans where we agreed the next steps together’

  1. Knowledge and understanding of:
  • Child, adolescent and adult development
  • The spectrum of needs and how they may be met
  • The principles of effective assessment and the importance of analysis and professional judgment

3.1 Skills

  • Identifies the influences on the individual and the family and supports them to make informed choices
  • Leads on the development and recording of holistic plans, delivery of interventions and evaluates their effectiveness
  • Identifies and addresses barriers for accessing resources

‘You supported me through the changes, stuck with me and checked how things were progressing and asked whether things were better for me’

  1. Knowledge and understanding of:
  • Models for monitoring changes in a child, young person or family member’s well-being
  • A range of evidence based interventions and their strengths and weaknesses

4.1 Skills

  • Identifies and manages evidence-based approaches and evaluates their effectiveness
  • Contributes to the development of a resilient, consistent and persistent approach to practice

‘You weren’t afraid to make difficult decisions when you thought it was the right thing to do’

  1. Knowledge and understanding of:
  • The duties, responsibilities, boundaries and ethical nature of the role
  • Theories and guidelines underpinning sound practice

5.1 Skills

  • Models clarity of purpose, clear expectations and a professional approach to decision making
  • Appropriately challenges and/or offers alternative perspectives with the children, young person or family
  • Contributes to own professional development

‘You knew what you were doing – you understood the law and knew where to find other information and helped me to form creative ideas about how to make things better’

  1. Knowledge and understanding of:
  • Systems and policy frameworks for work with children, young people and families. e.g. education, healthcare, employment, criminal justice, special educational needs and disabilities, first-aid and safeguarding

6.1 Skills

  • Applies knowledge of legal, economic and social justice systems and implements policy frameworks in support of positive outcomes for children, young people and families

‘You thought about things’

  1. Knowledge and understanding of:
  • The role of professional judgment and analysis in complex situations
  • The importance of considering ethics and values, challenging self and the systems in use

7.1 Skills

  • Demonstrates critical evaluation of practice and insight into own emotions, behaviour and feelings, and uses these insights to challenge own practice
  • Takes an active part in continuous professional development

‘You included people who were important to me or could help me’

  1. Knowledge and understanding of:
  • Techniques for establishing shared goals and outcomes when building relationships with others

8.1 Skills

  • Sharing and agreeing goals and outcomes when building relationships with partner organisations, other workers, children, young people and families, to ensure appropriate and timely support

Children, Young People and Family Practitioners will need to supplement the CORE standard programme with specialist skills and knowledge, by choosing ONE of the following options:

OPTION 1: Practitioner in Children’s Residential Care

  1. Working with families, carers and children to devise, deliver and evaluate the effectiveness of interventions for the care and support of individual children and young people in residential care
The legislation and compliance requirements for residential careThe aspirations for a child in residential careGroup living and group dynamicsLegislation and the Code of Practice for Special Educational Needs and DisabilityAssumes the role of professional parentContributes to creating and reviewing placement plans based on individual needIs able to support traumatised children and young people to live together and make progress
  1. Work within a team to promote the ethos of the home</caption.
The ethos of the home and how to create and promote itTeam dynamics and collaborative approach in residential environmentDevelops and promotes the ethos of the homeModels collaborative team working and the ability to support and appropriately challenge each other

OPTION 2: Children, Young People and Families Practitioner within the Community

2.1. Forge networks with other agencies and the community, within a specific working context (e.g. early years, youth, youth justice, family work, special educational needs and disability etc.) and build sustainable solutions together

2.2. In-depth understanding of a particular age-group, context or family system

Contemporary social issues that affect family life and the care of children and young peopleDetailed understanding of working with a particular group e.g. U5, 5-11, 12+, young adult, parents, families, children with special educational needs and disabilitiesKey ethical and professional aspects of roleEngages effectively with child, young person and/or family membersSupports children, young people or vulnerable adults to identify and take action to deal with safeguarding risk


Option 1. Level 3 Diploma for Residential Childcare

Option 2. Certificate in Higher Education in working with Children Young People and Families


On-ProgrammeAssessmentApprentices must develop a portfolio that will inform the end-pointassessment competence interview. This portfolio development isoverseen by the employer and by the training provider who willadvise the apprentice accordingly. It is recommended that it willinclude, examples of the apprentice’s work including:Three or four specific cases the apprentice has dealt with that demonstrates evidence of assessment, planning, implementation and review. Specific evidence could include assessments, action plans, case-notes, supervision records, reports or records produced as part of the implementation of the work activity, reviews of cases and evidence of issues and resolution in the implementation of action plans evidence of the values and behaviours that the apprentice has displayed while undertaking their activities, such as witness testimonies, feedback from children, young people and families and partner agency colleagues, and manager observations a minimum of three recorded observations of practice and a maximum of five. any continuing professional development undertaken during the apprenticeship period Once complete it must demonstrate the on-programme evidence of the application of the knowledge, skills and behaviours contained within the apprenticeship standard (see Annex 4), so that the assessor can prepare for the competence interview.
Apprentice undertakes the mandatory qualification specified in the standard: Option 1 for Children’s Residential Care Practitioner – Level 3 Diploma for Residential Childcare OR Option 2 for Children and Young People and Families Practitioner in the Community – Level 4 Certificate in Higher Education in working with Children Young People and FamiliesApprentice completes Level 2 maths and English (if not already achieved)
External End-Point AssessmentThe apprentice will undertake the two end-point assessments: Observation of practice by independent assessor in apprentice’s own workplace setting. Competence interview with independent assessor. Apprentice will submit the portfolio at least three weeks before the competence interview is due to be held. The portfolio will be reviewed by the assessor and will be the subject of the competence interview

Observation of Practice

  • An 80-90 minutes individual observation of the apprentice at work. This includes:
    • 10 minutes initial briefing session for the apprentice to outline the context of the work about to be undertaken
    • The actual observation period will be 55- 60 minutes.
    • 15-20 minutes clarification question-and-answer session at the end, for the assessor to gain a clearer understanding of the choices made, the outcomes achieved and to ask the apprentice to reflect on the work undertaken during the observation.
  • The observation must be designed to make sure that the apprentice demonstrates the required skills, knowledge and behaviours.
  • The observation will consist of a live setting practical example, undertaken at the apprentice’s normal place of work. The practical example chosen must show that the needs of a specific child or young person are at the heart of this work. This will utilise the apprentice’s skills and link their theoretical knowledge to practical working.

The purpose of the observation within practice is to assess the competency of the apprentice within their work environment. The observation must afford the opportunity for the apprentice to work with or on behalf of a child or young person as an individual in their own right and as a central part of a family/carer entity and it should allow them to demonstrate the application of their knowledge, skills and behaviours. 

The live setting practical example that will be observed should reflect a frequent activity from the apprentice’s work activities and should include evidence of the analysis and professional judgment, practical application of and reflection on theories, models and legislation and child centred practice, values and ethical considerations with the child, young person or family. The standards against which this will be assessed could include a family engagement meeting, early-help meeting, parenting programme, a visit to a home, multi-agency meeting or contact with children, young people and families. The observation aims to utilise the apprentice’s skills and link their theoretical knowledge to practical work.

The apprentice will know in advance the criteria against which they will be assessed. During the 10 minutes initial briefing the apprentice will present the assessor with a summary of the context of the piece of work they are about to undertake and an outline of the aim and objectives of the session and how this relates to the outcomes for the child or young person (2,000 words +/- 10%).

The Competence Interview

The purpose of the competence interview is to ensure that the apprentice understands and can explain the work presented in their portfolio and that there is no plagiarism involved in the work. It is an opportunity for the assessor to discuss with the apprentice the content of the portfolio, allowing them to seek reassurance, where necessary, that the apprentice meets or exceeds the apprenticeship standard. The assessor must not asses the portfolio, but uses it to inform the questioning for the competence interview.

The competence interview is a structured discussion of 55-60 minutes duration between the apprentice and the independent assessor, focusing on the work covered in the portfolio. It will look at both the work the apprentice has undertaken, the strengths demonstrated and will consider any gaps or weaknesses in knowledge, skills or behaviours. There will be probing questions and discussion about the professional practice undertaken within the course of the apprentice’s work, based on the application of the core skills and knowledge and behaviours which will:

  • confirm and validate judgments about the quality of work;
  • provide evidence for any gaps or perceived weaknesses in skills and knowledge;
  • explore aspects of the work, including how and why it was carried out.
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