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Practice based learning with the Frontline Programme

VOICES frontline programme

By Eleanor Etherton-Rogers, Consultant Social Worker (Frontline)

& Toni-Marie Foster, Student Social Worker (Frontline)


The Frontline programme is a two-year Leadership Development programme, offering graduates and career changers an exciting new route into social work. The programme prioritises hands-on experience through practice-based learning, with participants benefiting from intensive practical and academic training, tailored to their needs, as one of a new generation of children’s social workers.

During their training in children’s social work, Frontline participants complete a 30-day placement in an adult service to get a better understanding of the social care system as a whole.

Frontline participant, Toni, completed her placement with VOICES: “I feel that my adult learning experience provided me with an excellent opportunity to develop as an individual, especially in my knowledge of vulnerable adults with multiple needs. The whole experience helped me to develop my compassion, empathy and understanding of the complexities of people’s lives.”

“What I enjoyed most about my placement with VOICES is the different people that I was able to meet. This included customers, the project staff and other professionals, such as the probation service, prison service, drug and alcohol service, mental health service and housing service. I was provided with lots of opportunities to meet people from a wide range of backgrounds.”

“I was also sadly able to experience how many customers experience discrimination, stereotyping and stigma on a daily basis. However, the determination, compassion and dedication of the VOICES team was outstanding. They would challenge this every step of the way, advocating for their customers and getting them the support they need.”

“I was privileged because I was able to attend training with VOICES, which included Navigating Mental Health Services, Advocacy, and Self Injury; these were really insightful. I also attended a multi-agency day in Sheffield with other organisations from the fulfilling lives project around the country to understand their approaches and focuses.”

“I’ll always remember the people I met through VOICES, and I feel so privileged and grateful that I had the opportunity to be a part of their team. I strongly recommend a placement, or even a day, with them to experience the harsh reality of those with multiple needs and see first-hand the outstanding work they do.”


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