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We partner with a large number of high-quality local authority partners that host participants on Approach Social Work (formerly known as the Frontline programme). Through working in these areas, participants are able to support some of the most disadvantaged children and families in England.

Joining us on programme, you could be working in one of the following areas:

North East

We expect to partner with local authorities in the North East and Teesside. This may include Hartlepool, Newcastle, and Middlesbrough.

Yorkshire and the Humber

We expect to partner with local authorities across Yorkshire and the Humber. This may include North Yorkshire, York, North Lincolnshire and Wakefield.

North West

We expect to partner with local authorities in Greater Manchester and Merseyside. This may include Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Tameside, Wigan, Warrington, and Wirral.

East Midlands

We expect to partner with local authorities across the East Midlands. This may include Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, and Nottinghamshire.

West Midlands

We expect to partner with local authorities in West Midlands (county), Staffordshire and Warwickshire. This may include Solihull, Sandwell, Coventry, and Wolverhampton.


We expect to partner with local authorities across London.

South East and East of England

We expect to partner with local authorities across the South East. This may include Hertfordshire, Essex, Slough, Oxfordshire and Kent.

South West

We expect to partner with local authorities across the South West. This may include Devon, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire.

Please note locations are subject to change and we cannot guarantee that placements will be available in all of the locations listed above.

We receive a high volume of applications for our programme and places fill up quickly. While there are many places nationally, we will close applications for specific locations when they are full. We therefore recommend you apply as soon as possible to ensure your best chance of securing a place in your preferred location on the programme.

Preparing for your placement

We partner with a number of local authorities across England in the regions listed above. As a result, we need participants to be flexible with the location in which they will work. All of our locations offer the same excellent training, development and support. By being flexible in your placement preferences, you will be going a long way to improving the outcomes for children and families in the areas that need Frontline participants the most.

During the application process for Approach Social Work, you will be given the opportunity to tell us more about yourself and your circumstances. Your placement will then be carefully chosen with consideration of your circumstances and the needs of our local authority partners.

Due to the fast-track nature of the programme that combines work and study, we will not offer placements to applicants that would have a commute of longer than one hour.

The following advice will help you prepare for your placement.

Consider your preferences carefully

Think about connections you might have to parts of England other than your preferred region. For example, tell us about friends or family living in other regions, the region or area you studied in, or areas that you would be willing to move to. This will help us to consider where might be desirable for you if we’re unable to offer a place in your preferred region.

Learn to drive

Being able to drive and having access to a car is a requirement for most local authority placements outside of London in order to best reach and support the children and families in the area. We know that in some parts of the country wait times for driving tests are now very long, so if you live outside of London and don’t have a driving licence, please carefully consider if this is the right time for you to be applying to the programme, as we would not be able to defer your place if you weren’t able to pass your driving test in time.

We recognise that some applicants will be medically exempt from driving. We work with individuals on a case-by-case basis in these circumstances to identify a suitable placement.

Consider finances

Approach Social Work is fully funded, with participants receiving a bursary for the first year of the programme, and a salary from their local authority in the second and third. However, we recommend that applicants are proactive in planning ahead with their finances, to support any relocation or other costs that may arise for the programme. We recommend using budgeting tools to support you in determining if it would be helpful to save, if possible, ahead of starting the programme.

You can also find more information about the Approach Social Work bursary and finance.

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