Head of Service

Company: Polaris Children's Services

Location: Cyprus - Episkopi

Contract Type: Full-time

Closing Date: 29 July 2024

Salary: £48,000 plus on-call payments

Specific Hours: 37.5 hours per week

Head of Service

Head of Service, British Forces Social Work Service, Cyprus (BFSWS) 

Salary: £48,000 plus on-call payments

Specific Hours: 37.5 hours per week

Contract: Full time, permanent  

Location: British Forces Cyprus (BFC)

Base Location: Episkopi, Cyprus

Reporting to: Head of Service, British Forces Social Work Service, Cyprus (BFSWS) 

Benefits: 24 Days Annual Leave plus Bank Holidays as normally observed in Cyprus, Life Insurance x 2, Employee Discount Scheme, potential to earn up to an extra £2150 through out of hours payments as part of an out of hours duty manager rota.

About Us:

Polaris Children’s Services is part of the Polaris Community of companies and delivers statutory and non-statutory social care services in the UK and to military communities overseas.

Since 2014 we have provided Social Work services to the Ministry of Defence in Germany, and in November 2019 expanded our overseas work with the British military, associated civilian personnel, and their families across Europe, Canada, Kenya, Belize,  the United States of America and Saudi Arabia.

From 1st July 2020 we expanded our services further to include The South Atlantic Islands.

On 1st April 2021 included Singapore, British Indian Ocean Territories (BIOT) and Gibraltar.   

From 1st May 2022 the service expanded to include Brunei and Nepal.

On 1st July 2022 we further expanded our services to include Cyprus.

While all services are under the management of Polaris Children’s Services we are proud to have developed our own BFSWS brand with specific identities for each community of military social work service. As such we have a new opportunity in the Polaris Children Services, British Forces Social Work team in Cyprus for a Head of Service to join our team.


  • The Head of Service will work in accordance with the vision, aims and objectives of the BFSWS, Service Charter, Strategic and Service Delivery Plans, the Local Safeguarding Board Child Protection Procedures, the principles of the Children Act and requirements around services for adults at risk
  • To provide an effective, high quality social work service that is fully compliant with UK statutory standards, regulations, the Armed Forces Act 1991 and accompanying regulations.
  • To provide overall leadership and management to the British Forces Social Work Service in Cyprus. This includes overall management of staff, service provision at strategic level, and being the lead contact for partner agencies and Command Personnel within British Forces Cyprus (BFC).
  • To operate in line with the Professional capabilities framework at strategic level.
  • To lead, develop and deliver a range of integrated services under the current contract which meet the needs of service personnel, children, young people and their families as well as for any civilians and their families supporting British Forces Cyprus who fall under the chain of command responsibility.
  • To ensure that the work of the team complies with statutory duties and KPI requirements.
  • To review contract compliance, and report non-compliance to the key stakeholders. Assess and reduce risk in relation to contract compliance.
  • To ensure consistent service standards of delivery against the agreed activity dataset and key performance indicators for the service.
  • To identify and report to the appropriate authorities any gaps in service provision, unmet need, key themes and trends along with associated risks and how these will be mitigated.
  • To negotiate with key personnel for appropriate resources.
  • To work with the wider BFSWS Management team to develop a service vision which is built upon community need. To develop strategic plans to enable staff to deliver this vision.
  • To interface and maintain effective communication and joint working practices with BFSWS overseas, relevant Chains of Command and partner agencies.
  • To participate in local Command strategic meetings, for example:  Local Safeguarding Partnership Board, Contract meeting/Boards, and within the wider MOD,  including Overseas working groups, serious practice review groups and domestic abuse working group/forum
  • To interface effective communication with the wider Polaris Children’s Services management group to ensure consistent policy delivery, business continuity and ongoing development of services / future contracts.
  • To prepare reports for the Safeguarding Board and Contract Management Board,
  • To ensure BFSWS is represented on Command and Garrison safeguarding boards and act as a conduit for BFSWS management meetings.
  • To work in partnership with the Quality Assurance Team to ensure the service remains fit for purpose, by contributing to the development, and delivery of, an effective and holistic quality assurance process across the Social Work Service. Influencing and delivering the implementation plans for each command and offering appropriate advice to relevant personnel.
  • The ability to lead the team through innovation, with a clear focus on business needs, outcomes and business planning.
  • To undertake staff recruitment in line with budgets and resources, and to manage staff disciplinary/ grievance processes, attendance and complaints investigations.
  • To support the overall management of the service working alongside other managers and to be involved in strategic planning activity.
  • To undertake any other reasonable duties commensurate with the grade and nature of the post. 


  • Experience of working at a strategic level and an understanding of the military environment. Understanding of the structures and systems in place which provide the framework for undertaking all relevant duties as a Head of Service.
  • Will require a Professional Social Work qualification (BA (Hons), DIP SW, CQSW, CSS) and must be registered with Social Work England or equivalent.
  • To have successfully completed a Post Qualifying Award in Social Work
  • Management qualification - desirable
  • 5 years’ post qualification experience within a social work management role
  • Experience in a broad range of social work roles
  • Computer literacy skills
  • Experience of report writing to a high level
  • A comprehensive working knowledge of relevant legislation and child /adult safeguarding procedures
  • The willingness and ability to work flexibly, including travel across Cyprus and the UK. This may include some weekend and evening working.
  • Full driving licence for manual cars
  • Participate in the Out of Hours duty management rota - essential.
  • The successful candidate if recruited from the UK will be supported to attain the legal right to reside and work in British Forces, Cyprus. Other benefits such as accommodation, education, health support and moving costs is negotiated and confirmed during ‘on boarding’ process.
  • If recruited from within Cyprus it is expected you already have the right to residence (MEU1 or MEU3) and work permits are already in hand.

Polaris Children’s Services is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and adults at risk. We expect all staff to share this commitment. The successful candidate will be required to complete an enhanced DBS Check, and local Police check if recruited from outside of the UK, the cost of which will be met by Polaris Children’s Services. Polaris Children’s Services is an equal opportunities employer and positively encourages applications from suitably qualified and eligible candidates. 

**The service is currently undergoing a review, so whilst we are committed to this role, within the service management structure, some areas including roles and responsibilities of the post holder may be subject to change.**

Apply now