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Apply to Step Forward

Our 12-month fully-funded leadership development programme for social workers in the early stages of their career.

Why apply to Step Forward?

Develop your leadership skills

Discover your unique leadership style, while identifying your personal strengths and areas for development.

Navigate your next career steps

Explore the career opportunities available to you and the knowledge and skills to progress into your next role. 

Drive systemic change for children

Collaborate and gain insights into the tools required to help shape the future of social work.

Our team tell you about Step Forward

Time commitment

Step Forward is a 12-month programme and requires a commitment of nine days. This is typically distributed as two two-day residentials, one day for coaching sessions, three days for online workshops and one day for additional commitments. You are not required to submit any essays or assignments as part of the programme.

The next cohort will start in February 2025 and applications will open in autumn 2024.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for Step Forward, you must fit at least one of the following criteria.

Post-ASYE fellows

Fellows who are working in local authorities having completed year two of the Frontline programme and want to progress within local authority social work. 

Fellows who are experiencing barriers to progression

Social work and non-social work fellows who are working in children and family services who are experiencing systemic barriers to progression or are from underrepresented groups.

New or less experienced managers

Fellows who are in supervisory roles in or outside local authorities, but they have not had the opportunity to engage in leadership development CPD to support them in the transition to a leadership role.

Fellows working as social workers in different settings

Fellows working outside of statutory social work, including in the voluntary sector or wider sectors that support children and families. They might face challenges in accessing development opportunities due to their organisation’s structure or experience difficulty staying connected with their practice or finding tailored learning and development opportunities.

Express your interest

Data Protection

Please read Frontline's data privacy policy for more information on the purpose for collecting and processing your data, the lawful basis, who we share your data with, and how we keep it secure. It also contains information on your rights under data protection law.

A tracking (website)

By completing this form, you are giving us permission to contact you when applications for Step Forward open.

Join the Fellowship community

To stay up-to-date with the latest opportunities, upcoming events and connect with your social work community, sign up and download the Frontline Fellowship app.

Diversity and inclusion

We recognise social workers from underrepresented backgrounds may be facing systemic barriers to progression. The Step Forward curriculum has been designed specifically to address and overcome those challenges, giving social workers the tools to navigate next steps in their career.

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