Scottish Government have a secondment opportunity for a Realigning Children’s Services Development Adviser.

Applications are invited from interested and suitably qualified candidates to fill a two year secondment position in relation to the Realigning Children’s Services (RCS) programme.

Realigning Children’s Services Programme

RCS seeks to support local improvement in joint strategic commissioning practice, focusing on improved evidence collection and analysis and a strengthening of partnership working across children’s services – from statutory services to voluntary and independent providers of services to those who benefit, the children and their families themselves.

It aims to increase the fit between every child’s needs and services provided to meet those at the earliest opportunity. The benefits we hope to realise from this work are two-fold: better outcomes for children and their families and better value for money regarding spend in children’s services.

RCS provides a focused input into a minimum of 6 CPPs but not more than 3 CPPs at a given time, to help and encourage them make tangible, sustainable, measurable improvements that shift their children’s services expenditure towards prevention and intervention at the earliest opportunity to improve children’s outcomes 

The catalyst for this will be child epidemiological wellbeing/need surveys linked to current service provision to provide a baseline on the fit of services provided to need, help identify specific opportunities for improvement and provide an analytical framework for measurement of improvement. This, combined with a landscaping of currently provided services to children across the CPP and associated spend and purpose, provides a comprehensive, evidenced picture for those with strategic commissioning decision making responsibilities.

Alongside evidence collection, RCS will provide a development programme for those involved in decision making roles in finance, education health and social care as well as those providing children’s services from the voluntary and independent sector to consider best practice in relation to the full joint strategic commissioning cycle. 

RCS Development Adviser

 This secondment represents an important and high profile opportunity to help shape the development of commissioning practice across Scotland.  It will involve a considerable amount of networking across government and with senior leaders in the non statutory sector. Candidates should be comfortable in engaging with stakeholders at a number of levels including strategic issues and relatively detailed operational and managerial discussions at both national and local partnership levels.

This secondment offers an excellent opportunity to develop knowledge and experience of joint strategic commissioning between the statutory, voluntary and independent sector, from a national perspective.  The secondment will be for a two year period and will be based in Victoria Quay in Edinburgh but require travel throughout Scotland.

The post holder will be working as part of the RCS team, which is made up of a programme manager, a communications and programme support officer, an analytical support officer responsible for the evaluation of the RCS programme and a seconded RCS Data and Evidence Adviser.

Main duties

The successful candidate will work as part of the RCS Programme Team and will be responsible for leading the RCS development programme. The development programme will focus both on CPD style seminars/exercises (already developed) and consultancy-based work depending on the needs of the CPPs by providing a focal point for planning, improvement, and partnership support.

The post holder will work closely with the RCS Evidence programme and will support CCPs to gather children’s services information and support sites’ readiness to take part in the RCS programme. They will work closely  with the RCS Data and Evidence Adviser and help run and shape a series of development workshops and strategy days in the CPPs to help create focused discussion for the development of a commissioning strategy 

They will provide input into the RCS Learning Network where CPPs taking part in RCS are able to share learning. They will support the shaping of the national messaging around joint strategic commissioning in children’s services.

The post holder will be accountable to the RCS Programme Manager and will contribute to the wider learning and improvement agenda supported by the Directorate for Children and Families.

Skills, knowledge, experience and qualifications required

Candidates should have experience and knowledge of local authority children’s services and/or child health services, joint strategic commissioning and partnership working involving the statutory, voluntary and independent sectors.

The successful candidate must have experience of leading change within and between sectors in order to support service planning and redesign as well as substantial strategic and managerial experience of partnership working, particularly as it relates to local authority children’s services, but including also the NHS, voluntary and independent sectors. 

They should have a detailed knowledge of the children’s policy and legislative context in Scotland and an awareness of relevant procurement and joint strategic commissioning practices.

They should have substantial knowledge and understanding of approaches that support the delivery of improved outcomes for children and an appreciation of how the core aspects of a strategic commissioning approach can enhance our ability to improve preventative approaches and deliver more personalised services.  In particular candidates should be knowledgeable about the implications of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 and of the impact of health and social care integration and self-directed support.

Candidates should be influential, have good negotiation and communication skills and be able to resolve complex problems. They should be well respected amongst their professional peers and have some experience of working at a national level on significant issues and challenges facing the sector.

Remuneration and conditions of secondment

The successful candidate will remain on their employers’ salary rate, terms and conditions.  They will continue to be paid by their employer and will remain an employee of their organisation during the period of secondment. The employer (donor) organisation will be expected to invoice the Scottish Government Directorate representative on a quarterly basis to recover salary and on costs during the secondment period. This opportunity may also potentially be offered on a fixed term appointment basis – please direct enquiries to the contact below.

Further information and applications 

For further information or an informal chat about the secondment opportunity, please contact Isabella de Wit at 0131 244 1664 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The donor employer must consent to the secondment application being put forward.  If appointed, it is expected that the successful candidate will commence full time work with the SG Directorate for Children and Families within 8 weeks of their appointment.

Applications for this secondment should be made by forwarding a CV and covering letter by closing date of midnight 8 February 2015 to:

Isabella de Wit

Area 2B North

Victoria Quay