Could you make a difference to the lives of the most vulnerable children in England? If so, join Frontline

Could you make a difference to the lives of the most vulnerable children in England? If so, join Frontline

Social work charity Frontline is looking for people to tackle one of Britain’s toughest but most rewarding jobs and help transform the lives of the most disadvantaged  and vulnerable children and families in England.

In England, almost 400,000 children don’t have a safe or stable home. These are the children social workers have been given the responsibility to help and support. To date, social workers recruited and developed through Frontline’s programmes have worked with over 48,000 of these children and their families.

Frontline has opened applications for over 450 career changers and graduates to start the programme in 2019. The two-year Leadership Development programme offers an exciting new route into one of Britain’s most rewarding professions. Following a five-week Summer Institute, you’ll work directly with children and families within your local authority. After your first year, you’ll become a qualified social worker and will study towards a compulsory master’s qualification in children’s social work in your second year of the programme, being paid a salary throughout.

Two social workers from across the Frontline network share their experiences and some of their standout moments since starting the programme.

 “Rule no. 2: Mum to come to my dance shows if she’s not drunk the day before or the day of the show”

This was the second rule from a seven-year-old girl’s guidelines determining how contact between her and her Mum should take place (her first rule prioritised TGI Fridays and Nando’s as the favoured venues). We worked them out together ready to be presented to her Nan and, of course, to her Mum. And so she began to redefine a relationship marked for so long by distress and disappointment, to one shaped by learning, humour and encouragement. Rule two was about a little girl asserting her right to have Mum watch her in admiration and joy, rather than her having to watch her Mum in fear and apprehension.

When we had agreed the seven rules she wrote them out in her neatest, joined-up handwriting. She asked me “how do you do a signature?”, because “…this is my first form”. Then we laminated the document to give it extra strength and its words extra force. Her daughter’s manifesto for change felt heavy with hope as we handed it to Mum.

Paul, Frontline fellow

“Thanks for making me realise that not everything’s bad in life”

Several experiences come to mind when I think about moments that have made it all worth it. However, the one that stands out most was my work with a 13-year-old boy and his family.

The teenager was suffering from severe anxiety, which was compounded by diagnoses of autism and ADHD. He was struggling on a daily basis and was at risk of losing his place at school. My initial visits were very difficult as he refused to answer my questions and told me how much he hated social workers. Despite this, I continued to visit him, both in school, at home and in the community.

As our working relationship progressed, and we both learned that our perceptions of each other had evolved into mutual respect and shared interests, he began to open up about his difficulties. He allowed me to discuss strategies for anger management and completed a genogram and ecomap to explore family relationships. As time passed, his behaviour began to change for the better, enabling him to keep his placement at school.

The moment that made it all worth it for me was when I received a card from him which simply read “Paul, thanks for everything you’ve done, thanks for making me realise that not everything’s bad in life”.

This was truly a standout moment in my career so far, and although it was difficult to get to that point, it was a privilege to be such a positive influence on his life.

Paul, Frontline participant, 2016 Cohort

Social work has the power to change lives. Through its programmes, Frontline continues to develop more outstanding social workers to help give every child the best chance in life.

Could you play a part in providing every child with a safe and stable home? Find out more about the Frontline programme here.

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