Our competencies

We are looking for your potential to become an outstanding children’s social worker and leader, able to empower families to achieve positive change. Throughout the application process we will assess your ability through our competencies. Please consider each competency carefully at every stage of the application process.

As well as the below information you can access more advice, and a video tutorial, about our selection process here.


Commitment to children and families


We are looking for people who want to work closely with children and families to keep them safe, healthy and happy. You will understand that people are capable of change, and demonstrate an enthusiasm to help disadvantaged families and children, even in challenging circumstances. You will be aligned to Frontline’s mission and committed to our programme as well as the communities you work with.


You need to be able to actively identify strengths and weaknesses in a given situation and the impact these have on yourself and others. You will demonstrate an awareness that your feelings and motivations impact interactions with children, families and colleagues. You will appropriately modify your actions, behaviours and approach as necessary based on this insight to ensure growth in your role.


Social work is mentally and emotionally challenging. You need to demonstrate the capacity to overcome adversity and be creative when working through challenges. You will draw upon and develop your own coping mechanisms and self-care strategies. You will welcome input from colleagues and draw upon others’ expertise and experience, responding constructively to any feedback provided. You will know how to balance your emotions and move forward with positivity, maturity and confidence.

Working with people


Good social workers will communicate professionally, flexibly and intuitively with children, families, colleagues and many other external stakeholders. You will draw on a range of appropriate methods of communication (verbal, non-verbal or written) to establish credibility and effectively manage your professional relationships. You will express your thoughts and reasoning clearly in writing (when required), actively listen to others and their opinions, and adapt your communication style to achieve the best results.


Being able to recognise and understand different peoples’ emotional states and any associated behaviours is very important. You will be able to respond with empathy whilst remaining professional. You will use your emotional and social intelligence to quickly build effective relationships with a wide range of people. We’re looking for people who have respect and humility towards others, regardless of their background.

Leading with Sound Judgements


Social work practice is very complicated and time-pressured. We are looking for people who can identify risks and key points from lots of information, and critically evaluate a range of possibilities. You will be thoughtful and rigorous in your approach to complex problems, drawing on the insights and opinions of others when required. You will be open-minded and able to adapt to new evidence.


Social workers empower and support families and children to affect positive change. You will act as an advocate for the children and families you work with, recognising and understanding many different viewpoints. You will have the confidence to make difficult decisions in the face of opposition, while maintaining an open mind about unfolding events. You will demonstrate the ability to negotiate, influence and inspire others in a respectful and humble manner in order to reach a positive outcome.


In addition to these competencies, throughout the process we will be looking for evidence of your ability to manage your time effectively and your professional conduct. This includes your ability to quickly grasp complex tasks or concepts, and plan ahead to complete tasks on time. We will be looking for professionalism in your presentation, communication and in how you relate to others.