This September Frontline made history by lifting social work into the Times Top 100 list of graduate employers for the very first time. In its first year, Frontline’s children’s social work leadership programme for graduates and career changers attracted over 2,600 applications and this year Frontline became the highest new entry in the Times Top 100 Graduate Employers list as students voted that Frontline is one of the organisation’s offering the best opportunities to graduates.
So why are so many students and graduates now seeing social work as a career of choice? One reason may be that high-achievers are starting to see social work as one of Britain’s toughest yet must rewarding jobs – and as a career where you can help transform the lives of some of Britain’s most vulnerable children and families.
Another answer could be that Frontline offers something different to other routes into the profession. Frontline’s two-year programme has a focus on participants learning ‘on-the-job’, ensuring that individuals are practice-ready upon qualification. The programme begins with a five-week residential Summer Institute of academic study, followed by one year of in-practice learning in a local authority child protection team. During this year participants work in units of four and are supported by an experienced professional known as a Consultant Social Worker. Once qualified and accepted onto the social work register at the end of Year 1, participants spend Year 2 working in a children’s services team as a qualified social worker. In Year 1 they gain a Post Graduate Diploma in Social Work and in Year 2 they work towards a Masters or specialism.
Leadership development is a key component of the programme with participants gaining skills needed to set out a vision with families to bring about change in complex situations. Frontline expects individuals to apply these leadership qualities throughout their careers, either in frontline social work or by making a positive social impact in in broader society.
Francis Goodburn is on Frontline’s 2014 cohort and is just beginning Year 1 of the programme. He says:
“The two things I most want from a job are to know what I am doing is truly worthwhile and to take on varied, challenging work every day. With this in mind, social work seems like a fantastic career choice. I’m particularly excited about Frontline’s model of on-the-job training, and learning leadership skills that could help me make a difference to the lives of children and families.”
Cate Spencely is a Consultant Social Worker leading one of Frontline’s participant units.
“I really do believe in what Frontline is doing” says Cate. “Children’s social work is a fantastic career choice and I would advise anyone who is interested to apply for the Frontline programme.”
Frontline has gained a wealth of cross-party backing from influential political figures such as Lord Adonis and Children’s Minister Edward Timpson MP. The programme also has support and endorsement from organisations including the Boston Consulting Group, Big Change Charitable Trust and Deloitte.
Applications are now open for the 2015 cohort via Frontline’s website: www.thefrontline.org.uk