Frontline – 2013

What’s the Big Idea?

Frontline is attracting, recruiting and developing top talent to be leaders in social work and broader society.

Social workers have the power to have a huge impact on the life of vulnerable children. They can be what stands between a life of potential wasted and a life of potential fulfilled.

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The Big Change Needed

There is an urgent need to transform life chances for abused and neglected children. Consistently poor outcomes for children in care demand a shift in the current system.

6% of care leavers go to University compared to 38% of all young people

– UK Gov 2011

Looked after children are twice as likely to get drawn into the criminal justice system

– NACRO 2011

Unfortunately, because of the way the sector is perceived, getting top graduates to consider social work as a career can be an uphill battle. And without the best talent, vulnerable children are not going to get the best care.

This is where Frontline come in – they want to top talent into a profession where they can really make a difference to young people. They want to change the status of the profession to make sure that children in the most difficult situations get the best possible care.

Social work is at the forefront of an effort to help make Britain a more mobile, socially equal, and fairer place for children to grow up in. In many respects, Britain can’t change unless social work changes, and for society to work, social work needs to work

– Josh MacAlister, Founder and CEO of Frontline

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The Solution

With the Department of Education’s support, Frontline have developed an innovative two year leadership programme for training children’s social workers, but they still needed to be able to attract great people to apply and stay on the programme.

With Big Change’s support, Frontline have been able to develop marketing materials to attract the best university graduates and career changers from around the UK.

Big Change is one of Frontline’s Founding Partners, and they came on board very early on. Their grant has helped us recruit some of the best people onto the Frontline programme, and to raise the profile of social work more generally. Big Change have given us the resources to develop the leadership potential of people who are on the programme, and their support has been very helpful in showcasing Frontline to other potential supporters. We’re hugely grateful that they invested in us at such an early stage.”

– Josh MacAlister, CEO of Frontline

Impact on Young People

rontline has had remarkable successful in securing investment in recent years, allowing them to grow and scale their impact significantly to reach more vulnerable children and families. They are training more and more social workers every year; 101 participants in 2013, 128 in 2014, and 180 in 2016, and graduates of the program have already worked with over 500 families in the UK.

Additionally, through their marketing campaigns they are attracting top talent to apply for the profession: 100 Oxbridge graduates applied to Frontline in 2013, while only 4 applied to the whole profession in 2012.

Both Dartington Research and the Department of Education have commission evaluations of the programme and the participants practice that will be published in 2016.

The best thing about the Frontline programme are the people I’ve met along the way- I’ve learnt a heck of a lot from the families I’ve worked with, by speaking with them and learning about how they’ve managed to overcome serious challenges – but also the other participants. Frontline brings together a fascinating group of people.

– Joe, Frontline Participant

What is Big Change doing? 

Big Change is a Founding Partner and our funding at a crucial early stage meant that Frontline could launch and begin running their programme. Three years on and they are backed by the government for national expansion!

Our grant of £215k supported;

  • The development of marketing and communications material – something that they are unable to do with funding from the Department of Education
  • The executive production of a short film that has been the cornerstone of their marketing efforts in universities – the film now has over 30,000 views, and there have been over 158, 000 visitors to the website since launch
  • We have procured over £75,000 of pro bono support including film production and media space for an ad campaign targeting city workers in London

Alex, Bellie, Holly, Phil at launch