What Works for Children’s Social Care partners with Frontline on new social work leadership programme

11 July 2022

The Department for Education has awarded a contract for the new social work leadership programme to children’s social work charity Frontline. What Works for Children’s Social Care is partnering with Frontline and North Yorkshire County Council to deliver this programme, which will allow us to bring a focus on evidence-based practice to the leadership development in the social care sector.

Effective leadership is a vital part of the social care sector. WWCSC’s involvement in the programme will give leaders the opportunity to learn about what works, the importance of evidence-based practice and empower them to use evidence to improve outcomes for children and families. 

The Social Work Leadership Pathways Programme will be developed by, and for, leaders immersed in local authority practice. It consists of multiple bespoke pathways for four different levels of leadership: practice supervisors, middle managers, heads of service and practice leaders. Frontline will be delivering the programme over the next two years and WWCSC will support with the design and delivery of elements of the programme that are about use of research and evidence. WWCSC has experience of delivering research methods training to social workers and supporting local authorities to undertake service evaluations and this will be embedded in the Pathways Programme.

Anna Bacchoo, Director of Practice at WWCSC said:

“We are delighted to be partnering with Frontline on the exciting new Social Work Leadership Pathways Programme. Our mission is to bring evidence-based practice to the heart of children’s social care, and this programme is a fantastic opportunity to embed that approach in each pathway. We’re excited for this opportunity to improve outcomes for children and families by supporting high quality leadership, based on an understanding of what works.”

Mary Jackson, Frontline’s CEO said:

“We are privileged to have won this bid and are confident that, alongside our partners, we will deliver a high-quality and effective programme. We know that excellent leadership empowers people at all levels to navigate their roles and contribute to creating a culture which prioritises children and families above all else. That’s why a focus on equipping social workers with the skills to deliver the best possible support and improved outcomes for children and families sits at the heart of each pathway.” 

Notes for editors

About What Works for Children’s Social Care

What Works for Children’s Social Care seeks better outcomes for children, young people and families by bringing the best available evidence to practitioners and other decision makers across the children’s social care sector.

Our research looks at the point of referral through to permanence, including adoption, care-leaver support and targeted early help. We focus on children’s social care practice in England and draw on and share learning at the international level.

Engagement and co-design are central to our approach and we are working in close consultation with leaders, practitioners, children and young people, families and researchers across the sector to:

Identify gaps in the evidence, and create new evidence through trials and evaluations

Collate, synthesise and review existing evidence

Develop, test and publish tools and services that support the greater use of evidence in children’s social care

Champion the application of robust standards of evidence in children’s social care research.

About Frontline

Frontline is England’s largest social work 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, leadership and innovation.