About us

Over 700,000 children in England rely on the support of social workers each year. That’s why we develop excellent social work practice and leadership.

Changing lives

Frontline is a charity with a mission to create social change for children who do not have a safe or stable home, by developing excellent social work practice and leadership. We are working towards this through the Frontline and Firstline programmes, and by building a movement of leaders in and outside of social work as part of our Fellowship.

Social workers support some of the most disadvantaged children in society

The scale of the need

Over 700,000 children in England rely on social workers each year.

children in need

A child in need is someone who is unlikely to achieve or maintain a reasonable level of health or development, or whose health and development is likely to be significantly or further impaired, without the provision of support.

subject to a child protection plan

A child put on a child protection plan is considered to be at risk of significant harm, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse or neglect.

looked after children

A child who is being looked after by their local authority is known as a child in care. They could be living with foster parents, at home with their parents under the supervision of social services, or housed in a residential children’s home.


Children and young people who need social workers deserve life-changing professionals. Since 2013 we’ve supported over 98,000 children and families.

What we do

Great social work has the power to change the lives of the most vulnerable children and their families. By developing the practice skill and leadership of social workers, Frontline transforms the outcomes and opportunities of those who rely on social work.


We recruit and train high potential graduates and career changers to become frontline children’s social workers as part of our two-year leadership programme. It is a unique opportunity to join one of Britain’s most challenging and rewarding professions. Participants practise across London and the South East, South West, North West, North East, Midlands, and East of England, undertaking child protection work that changes lives.

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Social work managers play a key role within local authorities. Great management enables social workers to provide the best possible support to families. The Firstline programme develops good social work managers into outstanding leaders, so that they can hold their staff and other agencies to account and empower social workers to create social change for children who do not have a safe or stable home.

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To address social inequalities, we need leaders across society to advocate for those most in need. That is why we are building a community of leaders in social work and broader society. Once an individual has completed one of our programmes, or one year as a consultant social worker, they become part of the Frontline Fellowship – a community of individuals who are applying themselves to address social disadvantage.

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The role of a social worker is to improve the lives of the people they support, as well as their families. While social workers work with people of all ages, our focus at Frontline is on recruiting and developing children’s social workers.


Our values guide everything we do.
  • Be brave: be prepared to challenge and don’t always reach for the easy answer
  • Show respect: recognise and value the contributions ofothers
  • Pioneer: generate new ideas and make waves by sharing successes and setbacks
  • Stay curious: be continually reflective and open to adapting how we work
  • What matters is what works: be practical, flexible and outcome-focused