The Big Listen: Valuing Children’s Social Worker


We are delighted to launch details of ‘The Big Listen: Valuing Children’s Social Workers’, workforce research that LIIA (London Innovation and Improvement Alliance) is undertaking to support ALDCS (Association of Directors of Children’s Services) commitment to an ambitious workforce programme.


London Focus Groups - Book your place

Focus Group Options



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Permanent Children’s Social Work Operational Managers working in London Boroughs

Thursday 24th November

11am - 12pm

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Permanent Children’s Social Workers working in London Boroughs

Tuesday 29th November

2pm - 3pm

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Agency Children’s Social Workers working in London Boroughs

Wednesday 30th November

2pm - 3pm

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AYSE Social Workers working in London Boroughs

Thursday 1st December

9:30am - 10:30am

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Student Social Workers

Thursday 1st December

2pm - 3pm

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This is a chance for all Social Workers to be heard in order to help London’s regional response to improving the working environment and we are grateful for your support in promoting the opportunity to your colleagues across London. This research is being led in collaboration with the South East regional partnership building on research conducted in partnership earlier in the year.

What is #thebiglisten?

Local Authorities across the London region have supported a piece of research, led by LIIA, to improve their understanding of how they can better support children’s social workers working in the region. They recognise that they need to do more to help social workers do their jobs.

Who are we listening to?

They are interested in all aspects of the role and are holding focus groups for a wide range of staff including social work students, AYSE social workers, experienced local authority social workers, agency social workers and social work managers.

What will happen at the focus groups?

The sessions will be an hour long and held on Microsoft Teams. Each of the sessions is likely to be attended by 15-45 social workers. Topics for discussion will include:

  • What matters most to you about your job
  • Progression and career development opportunities
  • Workload
  • Agency staff
  • Disproportionality and discrimination
  • Tools for doing your job
  • Pay and conditions
  • Support, supervision and training
  • Safety and wellbeing in your role

They will be interactive workshops groups enabled by an independent facilitator. Each of the meetings will be recorded to help analyse the information shared.

What do we plan to do with the information collected?

The information collected at the focus groups will be used by the 33 London Local Authorities and the 19 Authorities in the SE in partnership to develop a deeper understanding of how they can improve the workplace for children’s social workers. The information collated will be anonymised and not attributed to any individual. We may also share some the high level data collected with the Department for Education. The research will also include surveys of social work professionals and research to identify best practice that they can learn from.

We aim to complete the research and report back in Spring 2023.

Who is doing the research?

The research is being conducted by the South Sector Led Improvement Programme (SESLIP) in partnership with the London Innovation and Improvement Alliance (LIIA). Both are not for profit organisations funded by local authority partners who work to support and improve children’s services.


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