Current job title: Child Rights Adviser, Children’s Commissioner’s Office
I chose Frontline because of its innovative approach to social work training. Opting in to the first cohort was a risk, but one worth taking. I started my career at a children’s charity, but I soon realised I wanted to get away from my desk and help children face to face. Social work gave me the opportunity to work with children in their homes and schools, supporting them and their families through difficult challenges.
Now, I am a Child Rights Adviser at the Children’s Commissioner’s Office. The Children’s Commissioner has a legal duty to promote and protect the rights of all children in England, and my role is to offer advice and representation to children. Just as I learnt in my Frontline training, I am continuing to help children express their views, using influence and leadership to advocate on their behalf to make sure their voices are heard and their rights are upheld.
Though I love child protection social work, my new role has given me the opportunity to work with an even broader range of children. It has allowed me to engage with local authorities across England and to contribute to far reaching, impactful research and policy work for children and young people.
The Frontline Fellowship brings together a passionate network of people who want to share ideas and work together for children and young people. Being able to meet other fellows and learn from their experiences has been really valuable. With other fellows, I’ve been able to think about the scope for change and innovation in practice, policy and research across the sector.
Frontline is committed to making sure fellows and participants are able to contribute to the organisation’s growth and development, and I now sit on the charity’s board representing the fellows. I have a responsibility to ensure Frontline fulfils its mission and has the greatest impact possible on the children and families it serves.
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I received coaching from Hazel Hyslop during my second year of Frontline, and I am pleased to say that I found it so helpful that I continue to see her now.
Having a child confide in and trust you, and seeing them grow is also something that stays with you and gives you hope for the future.
With other fellows, I’ve been able to think about the scope for change and innovation in practice, policy and research across the sector.
The Firstline programme has challenged my views of social work management entirely, and I am now enjoying my role much more.
I joined the Firstline programme because I was looking for something that would challenge me both professionally and personally.
I definitely feel like I’m part of a positive movement to change social work – and I’m thankful to be part of it.
I don’t know any other career where you can work in such a collaborative way with a child and their family.
What I enjoy most is that social work is just so interesting. Families are unique and fascinating and no two will ever be the same.
Everyone has a different story, but we all share a passion for helping vulnerable children and families.
I really enjoy getting to know families and building useful relationships with them.
I work with children within the criminal justice system and their families to reduce reoffending and manage their risk to themselves and others.
A unit is essentially a small, tight-knit team, with an experienced leader.
Leadership is important to my work because it helps to define acceptable behaviours and is an opportunity to role model to staff with varying levels of experience.
Leadership is not just about making the best of what we are presented with. It is about asking the question – what could different look like?
I decided to apply to the Undergraduate Taster Day because I wanted to ensure that I had as much information about the Frontline programme as possible before I applied.