What is a social worker?
Social workers change lives
Social workers work with people of all ages, at times in their life when they need support, care and protection. Whatever the challenges individuals and families are facing, social workers aim to build trusting relationships, and to help them make positive changes in their lives.
Each year, children’s social workers in England support hundreds of thousands of children who do not have a safe and stable home. They make a real difference to their lives, and to those of their families. We want to showcase just how significant this work is: the exceptionally high levels of skill that social work takes, and the difference social workers make to people’s lives.
Child and family social work
Life can be hard and many families need help at some point. While social workers work with people of all ages, one of Frontline’s key aims is to recruit and develop children’s social workers.
Children and family social workers take the lead in providing help, support and high-quality assessment of family situations, often when families are struggling with a wide range of difficulties. Social workers bring about lasting behavioural change that delivers safety and stability for children.
They intervene at moments of crisis and need within families, where their skills are to manage risk, protect children, provide support and build relationships to make change happen. Children and family social workers are part of a team around the child that can include police, teachers, health workers, the courts and others, bringing these professionals together to work in the best interests of children and supporting families.
Social work for social change
Social workers who become qualified via the Frontline programme or learn leadership and other skills at a later stage of their career via the Pathways programme share our charity’s vision and mission, and therefore have a deep understanding of their potential to bring about wider social change.
We believe that as a result of our programmes, they are highly equipped with the skills needed to work effectively with families and to create lasting and sustainable change. Our programmes have a strong emphasis on relationship-based practice, and therefore our social workers unfailingly put children’s needs at the heart of all of their decision making. They take the time to get to know the families they work with, and put relationships above process.
Our social workers are also passionate about the system working as effectively for children and families as possible, and seek to work with and support local authorities to improve processes and remove the bureaucracy that prevent this happening.