Partnering with the Firstline programme

A tailored, intensive ten month training programme, developing outstanding leaders to even more effectively support their teams and influence their social work systems.

We work with children’s services partners to identify social work managers who are eager to develop their leadership skill and willing to
challenge themselves to become more effective leaders.

Our intensive, social work specific, leadership development programme helps Firstline leaders generate different ways of thinking, ensuring they can identify and meet challenges in new and effective ways.


Three, two-day residentials bring together managers from all of our local authority partners. Facilitated by experts, the residentials introduce innovative leadership skills, tools and techniques and allow space for Firstline leaders to practise and hone these skills.

Leadership sessions

Six, two-hour individual leadership sessions focus the development of Firstline leaders into tangible and achievable goals. These are delivered by a group of exceptional leadership development advisors who are either systemic practitioners, professional coaches or have senior leadership experience in children’s social care.

Group sessions 

Leadership development advisors facilitate four group practice sessions which enable Firstline leaders to practice skills such as challenging conversations, learn from their peers and implement wider system change.

The Firstline diagnostics is a tool we have developed that enables Firstline leaders to collect 360º feedback from colleagues at the beginning and end of the programme. This enables them to better understand their leadership strengths, increases their awareness of their impact on others and helps them identify areas for further development to work on with their leadership development advisor.

What we’ve found for our Firstline leaders is it’s helped them go from really good managers to really effective influential leaders. They are leaders who absolutely shape and influence outcomes for children through high-quality conversations with managers who have a really good insight and awareness into what they bring to that.”


Principal Child and Families Social Worker , North Yorkshire

35,000+ families have been supported through Firstline leaders to date. 

participants on the Firstline programme annually.