Data and impact

Our Frontline programme participants have supported over 67,000 families while on the programme, and tens of thousands more families since becoming social workers.

This is something we are hugely proud of. Hearing about their experience enables us to continually learn and improve. We are delighted that we continue to see high satisfaction rates – almost 90% reported high satisfaction rates with the programme in 2021. Collecting this feedback and hearing their views continues after they have completed the programme and join the Frontline Fellowship – a growing community of over 1,800 social workers and a space for fellows and social workers from across the country to collaborate, innovate, and continue to create change for children and families.

We have introduced over 2,000 people to the social work profession. 

%

of Frontline programme participants had not previously considered a career in social work.

%

The Frontline programme now accounts for almost 10% of those entering children’s social work each year.

Strong retention in social work

More than 80% of Frontline programme fellows are still in social work practice. Our fellows are also impacting public and third sectors, as 10% of Frontline programme participants have moved into mission-aligned roles such as with government bodies and charities.

The below graphs show the percentage of Frontline programme participants who are still in social work practice, in a social work related role*, or in a mission-aligned role**.

Key: 

2014 cohort

  • After 1 year 78% 78%
  • 84% 84%
  • After 2 years 70% 70%
  • 77% 77%
  • After 3 years 64% 64%
  • 76% 76%
  • After 4 years 62% 62%
  • 70% 70%
  • 82% 82%
  • After 5 years 68% 68%
  • 77% 77%
  • 88% 88%

2015 cohort

  • After 1 year 79% 79%
  • 83% 83%
  • After 2 years 73% 73%
  • 77% 77%
  • After 3 years 80% 80%
  • 86% 86%
  • After 4 years 83% 83%
  • 96% 96%

2016 cohort

  • After 1 year 82% 82%
  • 84% 84%
  • After 2 years 71% 71%
  • 75% 75%
  • After 3 years 74% 74%
  • 76% 76%
  • 83% 83%

2017 cohort

  • After 1 year 77% 77%
  • 83% 83%
  • 92% 92%
  • After 2 years 80% 80%
  • 85% 85%
  • 89% 89%

*We define ‘social work related role’ as individuals working in a role requiring a social work qualification or HCPC registration.
**We ask fellows if they consider themselves to be in a role which is aligned with the Frontline mission, whether in social work or beyond.

Progression in social work

73% of Frontline programme fellows in a social work role have progressed into more senior positions after five years, with one fifth being promoted within 18 months.

The below graphs show the percentage of Frontline programme participants who have progressed into a leadership role*.

2014 cohort

  • After 1 year 10% 10%
  • After 2 years 40% 40%
  • After 3 years 64% 64%
  • After 4 years 76% 76%
  • After 5 years 81% 81%

2015 cohort

  • After 1 year 6% 6%
  • After 2 years 23% 23%
  • After 3 years 63% 63%
  • After 4 years 72% 72%

2016 cohort

  • After 1 year 18% 18%
  • After 2 years 43% 43%
  • After 3 years 58% 58%

2017 cohort

  • After 1 year 9% 9%
  • After 2 years 43% 43%

2018 cohort

  • After 1 year 8% 8%
*Social workers are considered to have progressed if they have been promoted to a more senior social work role. Frontline social workers have progressed to become Assistant Team Managers, Team Managers, Consultant Social Workers, Senior Social Workers, Heads of Service and to other social work leadership roles.

How we collect our data

Frontline has been collecting retention and progression data from Frontline programme participants who completed the programme since the first cohort (2014). This data is collected from Frontline programme participants after completion of the second year of the programme. Initially, data is collected at 6 month intervals after graduation (6 months; 12 months; 18 months; 24 months) until 2 years after graduation, at which point survey intervals are annual.

It is worth noting that participants are not required to fill out these surveys, and do so voluntarily. This often results in different groups of people responding to the different surveys within each cohort, which can incur some validity issues, as well as peaks and troughs throughout the timescales. We try our best to alleviate this by having survey minimum thresholds, to ensure a satisfactory amount of respondents fill out surveys before they are closed and reported.

Methodology

The retention figures come from internal data collected through a biannual survey to fellows about their current employment. Though we usually have adequate response rates, validity can still vary due to this. Our methodology differs from external evaluations which focus on minimum attrition from the profession of the whole cohort (using multiple sources) and therefore we expect variation between the two.