Simon Linde has worked as a consultant social worker at Wigan Council for the past six years. Consultant social workers’ support and manage Frontline programme participants as they develop into excellent social workers. Frontline is hugely proud of our partnership with Wigan.

I am passionate about the practice models used on the Frontline programme, in particular, systemic practice. For me, it just works.

It provides Frontline programme participants with a set of tools – like mentalisation which helps families build empathy – that are simple to use and understand, but can have a really powerful impact. I never fail to be surprised by how often the families we work with have a lightbulb moment.

The Frontline way of working is about values – working respectfully and empowering families. That can sometimes be a challenge in child protection, where our priority is safeguarding. The Frontline practice models help us work in a way that allows the family to feel respected, however. There is definitely a therapeutic quality to systemic practice, which helps families open up and perceive you differently as a social worker.

I have noticed that we get less re-referrals into the unit than other teams in the local authority. I really believe that this is due to Frontline’s practice models and the way we are working with families.

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