Skip to content

The Frontline Awards is back for its second year in 2024 and we are more excited than ever to celebrate fantastic social workers across the country and most importantly the young people they support.

Our awards recognise excellent practice, leadership and innovation in children’s social work and highlight the resilience and achievements of some remarkable young people who have had the support of a social worker. 

Nominations open in January, with our award ceremony taking place in London on 22 May 2024.  

Frontline Awards 2023 highlight film

2024 award categories

The Frontline Award for Leadership

This award recognises an individual social worker who is demonstrating excellent social work leadership within a local authority, improving social work delivery to benefit children and families. 

Skilled leadership at all levels is core to systems change. We believe that by tapping into leadership skills, all social workers can inspire positive changes, big and small, within their own practice, teams and across services.  

Leaders do this by maintaining a curious approach and providing a clarity of direction. Clarity enables leaders and teams to manage complex work and ultimately expand their capacity to do what matters to increase their impact on children and families. 

  • This category is open to social workers working in statutory social work in children’s services. 
  • We are looking for evidence of this leadership and what impact this is having for children and families. 

This award is kindly supported by Tile Hill

The Frontline Award for Practice

This award recognises an individual frontline social worker working in a local authority, who is delivering excellent practice which is helping to improve outcomes for children and families.  

  • This category is open to social workers working in statutory social work in children’s services.  
  • We are looking for an existing example of excellent practice and the impact this is having for children and families.

Nominations should demonstrate the following:  

  • A strengths-based approach to social work practice 
  • A commitment to engaging the whole family, listening to children and building effective relationships 
  • The ability to be able to balance strengths and risks 
  • Children front and centre of all decisions

This award is kindly supported by 31ten Consulting

The Frontline Award for Innovation

This award recognises innovation within social work, helping to create social change for children and families who do not have a safe or stable home. 

  • We are looking for evidence of a new idea, initiative or service that is being developed and implemented to create lasting social change for children and families who are receiving support from social workers.  
  • This category is open to groups of up to three people who are working together on an innovation, as long as at least one of them is a qualified and registered social worker (though they do not have to be working as a practicing social worker). Larger groups can be nominated for the team of the year award if they meet all the relevant category criteria.
  • Results may not have been fully realised yet but a clear statement of anticipated outcomes and performance against the objectives of the innovation should be explained.

This award is kindly supported by The Portal Trust

The Frontline Award for Team of the Year

This award recognises a team of social workers or a multi-agency team who have done outstanding work to improve support for children and families. This will be awarded to the team judged to have created the most impact through their collaboration.  

  • For multi-agency teams nominated at least one member should be a practicing social worker within children’s services. Other members can be from other professions or agencies. 
  • Nominations should demonstrate how the team has taken individual strengths and brought these together to collaborate and create change. 
  • Please note when we say team we are referring to teams who work together regularly and not project teams. 
  • A team can be made up of a maximum of 10 people, with two members of each team to represent the group at the award ceremony if they win the final award.

This award is kindly supported by Hampton’s Resourcing

The Frontline Award for Young People

This award recognises up to three individual young people with first-hand experience of the social care system and will be awarded to a young person for their achievements, or to recognise that they have gone above and beyond to help create change within the sector.  

  • This category is open to any expert by experience (person with first-hand lived experience of the social care system) between 16 and 25.  
  • An achievement could be in education, sport, music, dance and many more. We welcome nominations on a variety of achievements.  
  • For a nomination around creating change in the sector, we are looking for evidence of how they are working to help create change for children and families.

This award is kindly supported by The Fairer Fostering Partnership, the Rangoonwala Foundation and The Care Leaders

The Fellowship Award

This award recognises a Frontline fellow or group of fellows who have made a significant contribution to the sector in a specific area.  

  • The winner of this award will be chosen by Frontline’s board of trustees from among the charity’s 3,000 fellows – social workers who have completed one of our programmes.  

This award is kindly supported by Frontline’s board of trustees 

NEW! The Frontline Award for Participant of the Year

This award recognises a participant – a social work student on our Frontline programme – who has excelled in their first year of training, shown commitment to children and families, and has made a difference within their local authority placement or in direct work with families.

  • The winner of this award will be chosen by Frontline’s judging panel from the 400+ participants currently in the first year of the Frontline programme.  
  • Through the Frontline programme, funded by the Department for Education, up to 500 participants qualify as social workers specialising in child protection each year.  

Additional criteria for all social worker awards 

In addition to the category-specific criteria, all awards must demonstrate:

Key dates

Thanks to our 2024 supporters

Support the Frontline Awards 2024

If you would like to support the Frontline Awards 2024 please get in touch with our fundraising team at fundraising@thefrontline.org.uk.

Contact us

For any questions about the Frontline Awards 2024 please email events@thefrontline.org.uk.