Frontline fellowship

The Frontline Fellowship is a community of individuals who are applying themselves to address social disadvantage in different ways, and who have all received training from Frontline. There are three routes into the Fellowship: completing the Frontline programme, completing one year as a consultant social worker and completing the Firstline programme.

Being part of the Fellowship offers the chance to connect, learn and collaboratively create positive change for children and families with over one thousand fellows across the country.

The Fellowship is directed and led by Frontline fellows. Fellows set the agenda and can bring forward any ideas related to Frontline’s mission. If a fellow has a project they’d like to work on, an innovative idea they’d like to pursue, or workshops they’re keen to run, the Fellowship will provide the support to do so.


We continue to invest in the practice skills of fellows who remain in social work. This includes developing their direct work and leadership capabilities. We want to support fellows to constructively disrupt, innovate and challenge within their systems and beyond, to drive improvement. Excellent practice skills are essential for outstanding social workers, and we will continue to support fellows in the approaches in which we have trained them.


Frontline fellows have the skills and ability to positively influence policy for vulnerable children and families, and for the social work sector more broadly. We are interested in hearing suggestions for how we can support fellows to do so.


Frontline fellows can connect with each other to explore, develop and test ideas or initiatives that work towards our mission.


The Fellowship promotes a range of events and activities.

In 2018, these practice workshops have involved hosting a speaker to discuss contextual safeguarding. They were co-led by a Frontline fellow and a member of the Fellowship team, and delivered across the regions. In addition, a member of the team ran a number of policy workshops for fellows, exploring how they could push for change on a local and national level. In the past, we have also run innovation events for fellows, as well as a fellow-led policy workshop about tackling neglect.

We meet fellows individually to support them to have a positive impact on children and families. We also connect fellows with similar interests and provide opportunities to teach new cohorts on the Frontline programme.


We are committed to supporting the career journey of Frontline fellows and the majority of fellows continue to work in the social work profession. However, some fellows decide to move away from direct frontline practice where they can lead change in broader society.

After completing their respective programmes, Frontline fellows embark on a wide variety of roles. Those continuing in social work have moved into consultant social worker roles, specialist areas such as domestic violence, while others have completed further qualifications. Outside of direct child protection social work fellows have taken up roles with the Children’s Commissioner, the Anna Freud Centre, policy roles within the Department for Education, as well as joining the Frontline charity, to name a few.


We support fellows to progress in their social work careers with a selection of workshops that focus on developing fellows’ practice and leadership skills. In addition to this, we support fellows to seek out advice and mentoring from others within the community.

Case studies

Want to find out more about the Fellowship? Hear from some of our fellows.

  • Frontline fellow, AntonCase study
    I’m proud of being a social worker and I talk about my job a lot. It’s a fascinating role and people are often surprised by what I do on a day to day basis.
  • Case study
    I got involved with the Fellowship because I got so much out of my experience with Firstline. I can confidently say I don’t think I would be a service manager today had it not been for the Firstline programme.
  • #FellowshipFridayCase study
    Devina Cross is a Frontline fellow and head of safeguarding at the RAF Air Cadets. Over the past months, Devina has been busy developing a training programme - with a twist.
  • Emily NobleCase study
    I decided to deliver a session through the practice network because I wanted to support other social workers where separation between our personal home lives and the things we were seeing and hearing in our work lives became impossible during the pandemic.
  • Case study
    Sometimes social work is about hard-fought but small successes, which although small can be really rewarding when they represent a shift in a family’s thinking or behaviour.
  • Frontline fellows
    Heather came into the programme as a very experienced leader. It quickly became apparent to her how impactful the ‘imposter syndrome’ she felt was; underpinning most of her daily work was a pervading stream of thought about not being good enough.
  • Frontline fellow, JoshCase study
    When I started the Frontline programme, I had no idea how varied the job of a field social worker was and how many different ‘hats’ social workers need to wear.
  • Case study
    Prior to starting Frontline, I enjoyed a stimulating career as a teacher for 35 years. Frontline presented me with the opportunity to work with these young people at the other end of the school day, in their home and family.