Calls for extra volunteers to work in social work charity’s child protection teams

Frontline is appealing for more volunteers. Picture: Getty Images

Frontline is appealing for more volunteers. Picture: Getty Images - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

More volunteers are needed to work in child protection teams across North Somerset next year.

Social work charity Frontline, which runs the largest social work training programme in the country, is expanding into the South West for the first time after five years of recruiting and developing volunteers.

The charity is looking to recruit around 40 social workers to join child protection teams as part of its 2019 cohort of recruiting 452 volunteers.

Those who secure a place on the leadership development programme will have the opportunity to join eight partner authorities across the South West, including Somerset and Bristol.

Shelley Caldwell, principal social worker for North Somerset, said: “Children and families often on the fringes of society rely on social workers to stand alongside them during their most difficult moments.

“We need more outstanding individuals joining the profession to support vulnerable children and families and this represents an excellent opportunity for the next generation of social workers to continue to make a life-changing difference to those most in need.

“Having spent some time with Frontline colleagues, we believe this opportunity aligns itself to the South West regional approach to investing in excellence in children and families social work.

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“The partnership will enable us to develop highly skilled people who are ambitious in their practice and we are excited to be part of the Frontline programme and its approach to training social workers.”

In the South West, there are more than 5,000 looked-after children, with 34,960 children referred to and assessed by children’s social services in the past year.

The Mercury reported in August 2017 there was a rise in the number of vulnerable children needing support from social services which coincided with funding cuts.

There was also a nine per cent increase in the number of children being referred to North Somerset Council’s social services department at the same time the council lost its Government grants.

Applications can be submitted until December 16.

To join the Frontline programme, log on to