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Children: Social Services

Question for Department for Education

UIN 125191, tabled on 18 February 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment his Department has made of the impact of Frontline on (a) retention and (b) vacancy rates in children’s social work.

Answered on

23 February 2022

The government is committed to improving the recruitment and retention of social workers to ensure local authorities are best able to protect and care for vulnerable children and families.

Frontline trains around 450 social workers each year. Social workers trained by the Frontline programme have made a contribution towards retention which is comparable to those who train through other routes. A study undertaken by Cardiff University to track the retention and progression of Frontline and Step Up to Social Work graduates found “no evidence that attrition rates for fast-track-trained social workers at 18 months after qualification are higher than they are for social workers trained via mainstream programmes”. The final report was published in December 2021 and is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/social-work-fast-track-programmes-tracking-study.

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