London is one of the world’s greatest cities, with career opportunities to match. On top of the host of opportunities that come with living in London, it is a great place to start and progress your social work career. As the UK's largest region, our 33 councils deliver services to children and families: the wealth of career opportunities are unlike any other place.
The rate of pay for children's social workers in London is competitive, and you will also have access to a range of benefits and perks, including options for relocation assistance for new recruits.
"I grew up in Hackney, and love that my job allows me to help children and young people achieve their goals here."Newly Qualified Social Worker, Hackney
"I grew up in Hackney, and love that my job allows me to help children and young people achieve their goals here."
Newly Qualified Social Worker, Hackney
London sits at the heart of innovation in children's social work. We ensure that the voices of both our children and our workforce are heard.
In the most recent Ofsted inspections, over 80% of London's local authorities achieved a Good or Outstanding rating. This is testament to every single member of our dedicated workforce, who enable us to keep improving and innovating for our most vulnerable. We are proud to have the strongest collective Ofsted rating of any region in the country.
Our collective Ofsted results highlight that when you choose to practice as a children's social worker in London, you enter into a positive working environment with talented colleagues to work with and learn from. You will also be provided ample opportunities for career development - after all, we want to keep getting better!
Most importantly, these scores confirm that we are improving outcomes for London's children and young people. Many of our communities face high levels of deprivation and population density, and have their own unique cultural challenges; facing these challenges head on and working together as a region has helped us to achieve these remarkable results.
London is one of the most diverse cities in the world, offering a unique and enriching work environment. Our social workers having exposure and a deeper understanding of the diversity of our communities ultimately benefits the children and families that we support. As a children's social worker in London, you will personally and professionally have the chance to connect with people from a range of backgrounds and work with a rich mix of social work talent from both local and international communities.
Working in children's social work in London also offers you the opportunity to be part of a highly supportive and innovative work environment. You will work a varied case load, with young people and families from multiple backgrounds; this will boost your cultural awareness which will in-turn strengthen your professional development as a social worker.
“It’s a really interesting place to work. You get exposed to so many different cultures and ways to view the world, views about family, so it means you’ve got a real variety around your work."Practice Development Social Worker, Newham
“It’s a really interesting place to work. You get exposed to so many different cultures and ways to view the world, views about family, so it means you’ve got a real variety around your work."
Practice Development Social Worker, Newham
To achieve our ambitions for London locally and regionally, we all need our workforce to thrive. Each council has its own unique identity and individual offer to social workers that recognises the local and cultural nuances of the areas within London. Allowing each borough to play to its own strengths - whilst working together as a region - helps social work in London to thrive and deliver better outcomes.
Wherever possible, our 33 London Authorities collaborate as one. This allows us to maximise opportunities to develop, scale, and share initiatives and best practice for our workforce and as a profession to improve outcomes for children and their families. Although there are different practice frameworks across London, our principles are the same and we celebrate and learn from one another.
Together, we are on an ambitious journey together. Some recent initiatives have strengthened us as a region and we've started to see this play into the support and nurturing we offer to our children's services workforce. Some examples include:
Big Listen – collaborative research with Social Workers from across the region to directly influence London’s regional workforce strategy for Children’s Services, enabling change with our workforce, not to our workforce.
Leadership in Colour – a large Global Majority peer network and bespoke career development programme that aims to address disproportionality at leadership levels and drive cultural competency.
Your Choice – a 3-year programme that at its core seeks to reinterpret the use of CBT principles within current best practice in violence-reduction, providing tools and techniques which practitioners can employ to help the child to keep themselves safe.
Regional statement of principles and practice for in person working – our regional statement developed by Children’s Services leaders to support consistency of in-person working across London and ensure staff are supported at all levels
London Pledge – our commitment to evidence-based agency worker pay rates and quality standards to bring stability to the workforce long-term and allow greater investment in opportunities for our permanent workforce.
In London we understand the importance of attracting and retaining top talent. All councils therefore offer a range of benefits and perks to support social workers in their decisions to practice in the city. This can include financial support through relocation assistance schemes, generous pay packages, benefits and perks to support your work/life balance, and ongoing training and development opportunities to support your professional development.
Student Social Worker Life in London is made easier by excellent public transport links, healthcare and education. Living in London offers many opportunities for leisure, exercise and entertainment, as well as access to many museums, theatres, and restaurants, to ensure you can maintain a healthy life-work balance.
© London Social Work for Children 2024