Frontline works to transform the lives of the most vulnerable in society.
We commission and produce practice-focussed research that draws insights from our programmes for the benefit of the social work system. Academics working for Frontline are also engaged in teaching and research at the forefront of social work practice. They have a wide range of expertise which includes reflexive practice, emotional resilience and motivational interviewing through to systemic practice, developmental trauma, and leadership in social work, to name just a few.
On this page you will also find independent research and evaluations which have been used to evidence our impact and support the development of our programmes.
The Centre for Children and Family Research (CCFR) at Loughborough University conducted an independent evaluation of Firstline, a leadership development programme for first-line managers working in children and families social work.
The evaluation reported that those on the programme, known as Firstline Leaders, have given “overwhelmingly positive” feedback, with the majority considering it as “the best training and professional development that they had received as managers and leaders.”
Frontline pilot: independent evaluation
An independent evaluation of the Frontline pilot was conducted by Cardiff University and published in March 2016.
The evaluation compared the practice skills of Frontline participants with those qualifying into social work through other routes. It found that Frontline participants were rated higher than students on mainstream programmes on every one of the ten assessment criteria.
Developing outstanding social workers – what makes great first line leadership?
Frontline conducted extensive research into what constitutes excellent first line leadership in a children’s social work setting. This led to the development of the Firstline curriculum, which is predicated on the insight that enhancing self-awareness is crucial for effective leadership and for creating and sustaining change. The curriculum covers elements such as:
• Creating a personal vision for leadership
• Understanding the internal and external barriers to change
• Influencing others and navigating complex systems
Read the full report into what makes great first line leadership.
Tilda Goldberg: a life in research
Bulletin of the Social Work History Network, 2 (2)
Author: Chris Hemsley
Principal Practice Tutor, Chris Hemsley, gives a brief overview of the life and works of Tilda Goldberg, social work research pioneer.
Read the article in the Bulletin of the Social Work History Network.
Frontline: Improving the children’s social work profession
In 2012, while an Associate Fellow at IPPR, Josh MacAlister developed the case for Frontline, a fast-track programme for children’s social work.
The paper argued that a graduate fast-track programme, drawing on the success of the Teach First scheme, could help to address the problems facing the children’s social work profession. This new programme – Frontline – would help to attract the best people into one of Britain’s toughest professions, and in the long term create a movement of leaders to challenge social disadvantage.
Read the paper in full.