Another group of talented graduates have joined the City of Wolverhampton Council and are embarking on a career in children’s social work as part of the Frontline training and development programme.

This is the seventh year that the council has teamed up with the charity Frontline to give people a unique route into the profession, through which they will benefit from intensive practical and academic training tailored to their needs. 

Dozens of people applied to take part with the successful candidates Antonia May, Melanie Hill and Pandora Quintyne joining a summer institute before arriving in Wolverhampton in September.

Over the next 2 years they will work with children, young people and their families while qualifying as a social worker in their first year and working towards a full Masters qualification in their second, also their Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE), under the guidance of Consultant Social Worker Cathrene Musabayana.

Although the focus of their work will be within children’s social care services, the group will also be given experience of adult social care, disability services and fostering.

Councillor Chris Burden, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “We are delighted to have teamed up with Frontline again this year to offer this unique introduction to social work and to give Antonia, Melanie and Pandora the chance to learn through practice whilst they are also supported in their academic studies.

"The programme has provided the council with numerous qualified social workers over the last few years, all of whom have completed an intense programme of both academic and practical studies working with some of our most vulnerable families in Wolverhampton and who have gone on to take permanent positions within the council. This is really important, particularly given the recruitment pressures there are within social work nationally.

"I would like to welcome our latest cohort to Wolverhampton and wish them the very best as they embark on their social work careers with the council.”

Antonia said: "I am excited to be starting the Frontline programme and to empower families to make positive and long lasting change. I am particularly enjoying the practical element of placements in both the Children’s and Adult teams in Wolverhampton, who have all been very supportive. 

“I can already see the positive impact of the ‘restorative’ approach taken by Wolverhampton which aligns with the values of the Frontline programme, and I look forward to the next 2 years!”

Melanie explained: “I am happy and excited to be completing the Frontline programme and feel that Wolverhampton is a great local authority to do this with as the restorative practice seems to really align with the values of Frontline. 

“I am eager to start working with families and empowering them to make sustainable, positive changes; both my Children’s placement and my placement in Adult Mental Health have been very welcoming and supportive which has made me even more excited for the next 2 years.”

And Pandora added: “Being part of the Frontline programme has given me invaluable hands on experience that you wouldn’t get if you were to go down a more traditional route into social work.

“The working and learning environment in Wolverhampton is friendly and nurturing. I particularly the like how Frontline’s systemic approach and Wolverhampton’s systemic approach to social care work hand in hand to create a comprehensive and holistic approach when working with both children’s and adults’ services.

“I’m finding that there are not only lots of learning experiences but equally lots of time for reflection and growth and I’m enjoying my journey into social work.”

For more information about the Frontline programme please visit Frontline.