Partnering with the Frontline programme

Our two-year programme trains and qualifies high potential career changers and graduates as child protection social workers. As a partner with the Frontline programme, you will gain talented, motivated recruits ready to work and learn, under the supervision of an experienced social worker.

Each year we run comprehensive recruitment campaigns targeting career changers and university campuses across the country.

We apply a rigorous approach to the selection of candidates, assessing them on their intellectual abilities and personal qualities. Applications are consistently oversubscribed – on average one in ten applicants are offered a place.

We provide directly relevant experience through practice-based learning and intensive practical and academic training. Participants undergo a five-week residential training programme where they begin to develop their knowledge of the evidence-based practice models of motivational interviewing, systemic practice and parenting interventions.

Throughout the two year programme, participants spend their time working in a statutory child protection setting, developing their practice skills and knowledge whilst working directly with children and their families.

During the first year participants work in a local authority setting. They are supported by a consultant social worker (an expert practitioner) who leads a unit of four participants. The consultant social worker models effective work with children and families, whilst mentoring, managing and coaching participants. They provide training, supervision and guidance to their unit.

Throughout year one participants also attend regular ‘recall’ days, during which they receive tailored academic teaching. This combination of activity and the real-time application of concepts and techniques accelerates learning.

The second year is participants’ assessed and supported year of employment (ASYE). During the year they work as newly qualified social workers accountable and professionally responsible for their own caseload. They complete an action research master’s qualification. Learning in this way provides participants the opportunity, support and challenge to focus on understanding their own practice in depth, which improves their ability to work effectively with children and families.

The Frontline Fellowship is a national movement of individuals applying themselves to address social disadvantage in different ways. People join the Fellowship once they have completed the Frontline, Firstline or consultant social worker programmes. 

Fellows benefit from peer-to-peer learning and support from the Fellowship community, as well as events and opportunities facilitated by Frontline. Many events are also open to local authority colleagues.

The participants that have joined our local authority have brought new ideas, enthusiasm, passion and an appetite to promote positive outcomes for children and young people that we have been able to share within the teams, allowing us to learn from each other. I have been so impressed by their abilities so early in their social work career and have a great deal of confidence that they will continue to succeed in this profession which supports, protects and brightens the lives of so many.”


Senior Manager, Durham Children's Services

13,000+ families supported by Frontline participants to date.

participants per year

on each cohort of the two-year Frontline programme.