Individuals seeking employment or contemplating a career change in Leeds can receive valuable assistance in securing a fulfilling new role in children’s residential care. This aid comes in the form of a complimentary introductory course, culminating in a job interview with Leeds City Council.

Residential practitioners play a pivotal role in the day-to-day lives of children and young people residing in care homes. As essential members of the care team, they contribute to the creation of a secure, nurturing living environment, fostering positive relationships built on trust. These relationships guide each young person towards maturity and independence.

Adults aged 19 and above can explore this rewarding profession and enhance their skills through participation in a two-week pre-employment course, offered free of charge. Leeds City Council extends an interview opportunity for a residential practitioner position to all successful course completers.

Scheduled from 27th November to 8th December at Leeds City College’s Eastgate campus, the course takes place Monday to Friday from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm. The program is cost-free, and assistance is available for public transport expenses.

Applicants must be at least 19 years old and demonstrate competency at Level 1 in maths and English, either through qualifications or equivalent skills and experience. Commitment to the two-week program is essential, and those successful at the interview stage must be prepared to work flexibly for a minimum of 30 hours per week.

Throughout the course, participants gain insights into the role of a residential practitioner, acquire practical skills, and enhance their understanding of the needs of looked-after children. Depending on assessment outcomes, participants can attain an accredited qualification in paediatric first aid.

Leeds City Council’s children’s services, lauded as outstanding by Ofsted in the last inspection, operate children’s homes throughout the city. Ongoing investments in new provisions, including those for children with complex needs, result in a variety of opportunities for aspiring residential practitioners to join their care teams.

Councillor Fiona Venner, executive member for children’s social care and health partnerships, said; “This course for aspiring residential practitioners is a great example of the council and our partners working together to find innovative ways to open up job opportunities for people who may face barriers to training and employment.

“We’ve worked hard to safely reduce the need for children to enter care. For those who are referred to us, we are committed to enabling young people to stay close to their family and community. So we’re continuing to expand our residential provision across the city and are looking for dedicated staff who share our passion for improving outcomes for all our children and young people.”

Shell Stanley, Head of Leeds One Workforce, Leeds Health and Care Academy, said; “The pre-employment programme gives candidates the opportunity to understand the role through simulated practice, whilst being supported to achieve an accredited qualification. Through flipping the recruitment process and providing training up front, we enable candidates to make an informed decision whether the role is right for them.”

Nazir Williams, who recently completed the residential practitioner pre-employment course, said; “The course provides a fantastic overview of the skills and responsibilities involved in working with children and families in Leeds. You even learn children’s first aid and receive a certificate on completion. I would rate it 10 out of 10 for a quality introduction and opportunity to work for Leeds City Council.”

To learn more and apply for the pre-employment course, visit the Leeds Health and Care Academy website and complete the short enquiry form. For additional inquiries about the course, email