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Partners in practice: Developing integrated learning opportunities on the Frontline child and family social work qualifying programme


Child & Family Social Work

Published online on


The Frontline programme is a social work qualifying route, in England, featuring a different approach to curriculum design and delivery. Students are based in groups of 4, learning through practicing social work in a statutory child and family social work setting, alongside a Consultant Social Worker (in the role of practice educator). They are also supported by an Academic Tutor who works in partnership with the Consultant Social Worker to facilitate learning. A weekly “unit meeting” is a foundational aspect of the programme, providing opportunities for in‐depth discussion, teaching, and reflection on practice with families. The authors worked together over the first 2 cohorts of the programme and undertook action research to explore the learning opportunities that arise when academic staff and practitioners work side by side to support student learning in this model. Three broad themes were identified which were considered to be significant in helping students to learn which are explored in the paper: Learning through engaging in joint dialogue about practice in a unit meeting The influence of relationships on learning in social work The importance of a connected model of learning which has practice with children and families at its heart