Headline programme

What is the Headline programme?

Headline is our brand new 12-month leadership development programme specifically for heads of service (or for those in equivalent roles or at similar experience levels). Headline will give leaders the tools they need not only to lead their teams more effectively, but also – and most importantly – to develop the skills and approach to delivering social work to create lasting positive change for children and families.

Through the Headline programme, senior social work leaders will be equipped with the skills to tackle the most common and persistent challenges they face in their roles. They will grow and develop their strategic leadership skills and knowledge to maximise the impact they are able to have on their service, teams and ultimately the children and families they serve.

Headline joins our Frontline and Firstline programmes, which together, sit at the heart of our mission as a charity; to create social change for children who do not have a safe or stable home, by developing excellent social work practice and leadership.

Evidence-based curriculum:

based on extensive research and consultation, literature, and existing knowledge-base

Training and coaching:

from experts both inside of and outside the profession, and qualified coaches

Access to a national peer support network:

learning from others across the country

Join the Frontline Fellowship:

a growing, passionate community of social workers

Why does the Headline programme exist?

Social workers are vital members of our communities. Unfortunately, the social work system does not always support and empower social workers to do their best work, nor give them the freedom to make the best choices for children and families.

At Frontline, we are determined to be part of the solution and create transformational social change. The Headline programme exists to equip heads of service with the skills needed to address persistent problems in the profession that, if tackled effectively, will have a lasting and positive impact for social workers working in the system, and the children and families that they support.

Upon completing the programme, Headline leaders will become part of the Frontline Fellowship, a community of social workers who together are continuing to develop their skills, share excellent practice and scope ideas and initiatives that will bring about real and sustainable change for children and families.

What makes the Headline programme unique?

The Headline programme is the only one of its kind in the country. The curriculum has been designed based on extensive research and consultation with sector experts, and in partnership with local authorities and experts by experience (people who have experienced the support of social services). This puts both the requirements of the heads of service role, their teams and the children and families they support at the heart of their development as a leader.

At the end of the programme, Headline leaders will not only be better able to lead strategic change and role model outstanding leadership, they will be better able to develop a workforce that can do the same.

“A leader shouldn’t feel removed from families – you have to find time to keep in touch. When you get removed from families, things can be interpreted wrong or communicated incorrectly to social workers and vice versa. Any leader feeling removed from practice can’t do an effective job.”

Head of Service, Hertfordshire

“You should walk in the shoes [of children and young people and families] not for a mile, but whatever distance you need to understand what it’s like living in their household. I always ask myself when I am making decisions, would this be good enough for my child?”

Assistant Director of Children's Services, Yorkshire and the Humber

Who can apply?

To be eligible to join the Headline programme, you must work as a head of service or an equivalent role within one of our current partner local authorities. If you are not sure whether this is the case, or if you require further information about the programme, please get in touch with us.