There is widespread agreement about the importance of first-line managers in children’s social work in shaping good practice and contributing to better outcomes for children and families. The Frontline organisation developed a new leadership programme (called Firstline) for managers in Children’s services and this evaluation followed progress as the programme was rolled out to a wider number of local authorities in England.
2018 – 2020
Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme (Department for Education)
This was a mixed methods study using surveys, observations and interviews with managers undertaking the Firstline Programme and those responsible for delivering it. A sub-sample of local authorities whose staff had undertaken the programme was compared with authorities whose staff had not undertaken the programme. These authorities were compared on a range of data, including the costs of leadership training, trends in recruitment and retention, and differences in leadership styles between Firstline leaders who had undertaken the programme and those who had not.