About Southwark

Southwark supports a thriving, diverse, dynamic community, and a borough of huge excitement and opportunity. A borough with a rich and proud history, strong sense of community and a great ability to transform and renew, sometimes very much against the odds. We provide services to the community of more than 320,000 people, with over 120 languages are spoken.

Southwark typifies the changes, challenges, and opportunities of being part of global city and international destination of choice for business, enterprise, entertainment and the arts. But Southwark is a place of contrasts and as well as the places seen by tourists and visitors, we are a place to call home. As the largest local authority landlord in London, we manage 55,000 council homes which are home to 40% of Southwark’s residents.

We are also home to over 18,300 businesses including iconic London venues and social enterprises. We support and work with our businesses to ensure local people benefit from opportunities to train, work, and progress in our borough. As a young, diverse and growing borough, we demand the best start in life for our children and support their journey to become thriving adults.

We are a green borough, with many award-winning parks, tree-lined streets and estates, allotments and woods. Our ambitious plans to tackle the climate emergency and improve active travel, demand the very best for our residents.

The Southwark skyline is an impressive sight. The incredibly diverse range of buildings, offices and social facilities make it a real mix of old and new. Extending from the River Thames into south-east London, Southwark encompasses some of the capital’s cultural hotspots, vibrant communities, and acclaimed green spaces.

Our central location provides excellent transport links making it a highly accessible area. Our borough is home to the Shard, world-famous attractions such as the Tate Modern, Borough Market, Dulwich Picture Gallery and Tower Bridge. We have recently attracted renowned organisations like Mountview theatre school and the Central Ballet School to our borough.

The passion we have for Southwark is shared by millions of Londoners who enjoy our outstanding cultural offer, use our hospitals, and attend our universities.

About children's social work in Southwark

At Southwark Children’s Services, we pride ourselves on doing our vital job differently. Our systemic, holistic, family-centred approach sits at the core of our values. And our endlessly supportive, collective, culture underpins everything we do to protect vulnerable children across our borough.

Our vision for all our children and families is a simple one: We want all children and young people in Southwark to grow up in a safe, healthy and happy environment where they have the opportunity to reach their potential.

We will achieve this through our mission of:

  • Putting Children First – this means prioritising and actively supporting all children and young people’s right to grow up safe, healthy and happy, in their own families and communities, when it is safe to do so.

  • Keeping Families Strong – this means working together with parents and carers, and the networks and services around them, to enable their families to be safe, healthy and happy

To deliver our vision, all of our services and us need to work toward common principles. Principles that underpin everything we do in our day to day business, as the golden thread through our practice, our engagement with children, families, the community, our partners and each other.

Southwarks’s principles are that we are:

  • Child Centred

  • Family Minded

  • Relationship Based

  • Outcome Focused

  • Strength Based

  • Evidence Informed

  • Fair

  • Reflective

Southwark is rated 'Good' by Ofsted

The recent Ofsted inspection in November 2022 once again rated our Children’s Services as “Good” across all service areas along with our management and leadership. The inspection noted:

“Children are at the heart of practice in Southwark. Leaders have invested significantly in the workforce. They ensure that working conditions are good for their staff. Caseloads are low and manageable”

“Staff have time to work intensively with families when needed, and to reflect and consider ways to improve children’s lives. Specialist teams and [clinical] practitioners are on hand to provide advice, support and consultation.”

“Staff enjoy working in Southwark. Their morale is high, and they appreciate the high level of support, the career progression opportunities, the learning and development offer and the ambition that the organisation has for them.”


Read Ofsted’s published report in full.

Our offer to you

Southwark is a great place to grow and develop as a social worker. We continue to provide fantastic career progression opportunities. Supported by great partnerships and resources we are always growing and developing what we do through innovation, investment in our workforce and, most importantly, listening to children and families, and those that work with them.

Our offer to staff includes:

  • competitive remuneration packages

  • the opportunity to work in a vibrant borough in the heart of London with excellent access to Central London and easy transport links to the South East

  • a multi-cultural and diverse working environment, which provides excellent opportunities for enhancing your skills

  • modern digital plan with technology to support flexible working arrangements

  • professional development and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) opportunities through an established and extensive learning and development plan and opportunities.

  • opportunities to train as a Practice Educator and develop experience with student

  • clinical practitioners attached to every team to support you as an individual and your work with children and families.

  • culture of innovation and a ‘can do’ approach to problem solving in Social Care

  • stable, supportive leadership; Southwark has a lower ratio of workers to managers than most local authorities

  • small teams with supportive managers and manageable caseload

  • travel season ticket loans, cycle scheme, essential user care parking permits and local government pension

  • family friendly, flexible and agile working, from home or on-site

  • wellbeing programme, HSF Health plan and eye care scheme, EAP employee assistance programme, confidential counselling and support, and access to subsidised HSF health plan

Find out more

For more information and detail about working in children’s services in Southwark, visit our dedicated microsite

If you have any questions about applying for roles within children’s social care in Southwark, please contact our resourcing team at socialworkjobs@southwark.gov.uk

If you are interested in having an informal discussion about working in children’s social care in Southwark please contact Dan Comach, our Principal Social Worker at daniel.comach@southwark.gov.uk