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Build a stronger future

Start a rewarding career in children's social care at Portsmouth City Council

Why Stronger Futures?

Take that next step into children's social care and create a brighter future for families, young people and children in Portsmouth.

We are looking for social workers who want to be part of a team that make a difference every day. We recognise that social work is a rewarding but challenging career. To support you, we will invest in your professional development and your wellbeing.

If you are looking for an opportunity to work in an innovative local authority, Portsmouth City Council will support you every step of the way. Regardless of where you are in your career, we can help you reach your potential in children's social care.

Be part of Team Portsmouth

Our team work across different disciplines and areas of children's social care. Each team member brings their own experiences to support the city's children, young people and families.

David who has worked in Portsmouth for the past thirty years.


30 years +
I have worked in Portsmouth for the past 30 years. I have worked as a front line social worker and manager. Throughout this time, safeguarding in the city has developed into a true multi-agency response, which ensures our children get a timely and reflective assessment and intervention. My role involves managing the multi-agency safeguarding hub (MASH) which helps co-ordinate this activity.
Sara - service leader for the through care and adoption team.


8 years +
I have worked at Portsmouth City Council since July 2012, starting as a consultant practitioner, then IRO/CP conference chair. In my current role, I am a service leader for the through care and adoption team. I was born in Portsmouth but moved away from the area. I returned years later to continue my career. I'm really proud to work in the city.
Karley - team leader managing the Battenburg Family Centre.


20 years +
I started working at Portsmouth City Council in the youth offending team as a social worker. I progressed and became a team leader managing the Battenburg Family Centre. In 2016, I developed the Stronger Futures Academy for newly qualified social workers which has been adopted by the children and families workforce.
Adam - a member of the frontline child protection team.


30 years +
I initially worked in residential care for older people transitioning to children's residential care, where I qualified as a social worker. I joined the frontline child protection team at Portsmouth City Council where I was seconded to work on a harmful sexual behaviour project. Since then, I have progressed to a senior practitioner, team manager and now head of service.

Explore your options

Children's services at Portsmouth City Council covers many areas and disciplines. Your future team could be in fostering or residential care. Explore what's possible and take a look at some of the opportunities available.

Through care team

Through care team

Work with children and young people in the through care team to support individuals through long term fostering or reunification at home. Help young people prepare for independence prior to becoming care leavers as well as support those most at need into adulthood.

Safeguarding team


Help maintain quality assurance and improvement in delivering services associated with the safeguarding of young people. From independent reviewing officers to child protection experts, the safeguarding team's role is both varied and essential.

Foster carer


Help children find their forever home by helping us build relationships with Portsmouth's caring community. From completing assessments of prospective carers to providing supervision and support, the role is both challenging and rewarding. Through training and support, we encourage carers to develop through the fostering and social work teams enabling us to form stronger ties and relationships.

Prospective adopters


Make an impact by assessing, matching and supporting adoptive parents for Portsmouth's children. By working with other partners, this dynamic team links those who want to make a difference with prospective adopters. The team also offer support services to children/carers where special guardianship orders have been made.

Workers in residential care

Residential care

Start a rewarding career in residental care at one of three residential units in Portsmouth. The residential service supports children and young people from ages 5 - 18 years old. Each location is managed by experienced co-ordinators who support the most vulnerable young people in the city.

Harm and exploitation prevention team

Harm and exploitation

Work with children aged 10 - 17 years old on reducing offending and re-offending in Portsmouth. Help deliver restorative justice to support victims which is the preferred model of working across all children's services at Portsmouth City Council. Make a difference and help turn a young person's life around.

What our children and families say about us?

Every February, the participation team undertake a survey to gather the views of children, parents, young people, care leavers and foster carers on the support they receive from Portsmouth City Council.
In 2020, we received 731 survey responses which has shaped the service we offer.

Feedback included:

"The service has helped my family change their lives for the better"

"I feel you support me extremely well and are available to support my family in urgent situations"

"I think you engage with the child in a way they understand. You don’t talk down to the parents"

"I think you are very understanding. You listen and take in everything we say. You are always making sure the kids are happy"

In a joint targeted area inspections (JTAI), parents said they 'felt heard' and 'were listened to and not judged' by their child's social worker. The report also highlighted that the workforce is 'child-centred and that's how it should be.'

Our partners

Portsmouth City Council works with different partners to support families across the city collaboratively to improve outcomes and build stronger communities.

Portsmouth City Council Logo
Diocese of Portsmouth Logo
Hampshire Constabulary Logo
Home Start Logo
NHS England Logo
NHS Solent NHS Trust Logo
Portsmouth Hospital NHS Trust Logo
Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group NHS Logo
South Central Ambulance Service Logo
Portsmouth Safeguarding Children Partnership Logo
National Probation Service Logo
Hampshire And Isle Of Wight Community Rehabilition Company Logo
Motiv 8 South Logo
Portsmouth Childrens Trust Logo

Making a stronger future together

Hear from our care ambassadors who share their experiences supporting Portsmouth's children.

What makes Portsmouth such a great place to live and work

What makes Portsmouth such a great place to live and work.

  • I am an advocate for Portsmouth as a place to live as well as to work.
  • City's a very vibrant, busy city. There's lots to do. It's a small island, but there's a lot going on all the time.
  • Portsmouth has a lot to offer for young families, for children, for education, for recreation activities. So there's a lot as a young family that we enjoy doing in the city.
  • I hang out in Southsea mostly. Yeah, Southsea is my favorite place. I think it's really quirky. I think it's got a lot of different things in it. It feels like you're just in a different place when you enter Southsea. It's quite relaxed atmosphere. And being down on the green in the common. And I absolutely love going to the bandstand.
  • I think we've got a real good mixture of culture, but you know, we've got old Portsmouth, so we've got lots of things going on there but we've got Gunwharf, so we've got great shopping. And I think the best bit of it is, is living by the sea.
  • So there's lots of attractions in Portsmouth. There's lots of history. I like walking along the beach, along the sea front. There's Southsea Common, which has lots of events and things that you can attend. Just a vibrant city.
  • You've got places like All Saints, Foyer. You've got a lot of places that help care leavers in Portsmouth. And I think everyone's quite close together and it's quite tight run, do you know what I mean? So you sort of know everyone. I think that's why it's nice to work here.

What opportunities Portsmouth City Council offers

What opportunities Portsmouth City Council offers for social workers.

  • I feel that the training is excellent with Portsmouth. You get a lot of support to access different types of training, which informs your practice and helps you develop.
  • So many opportunities. I have stayed in Portsmouth, left briefly, and came back because it was so good.
  • You have lots of opportunities to develop and grow professionally. We have really good in-house training.
  • So, I started with Portsmouth in 2010 and initially I was within Substance Misuse Services. And then I qualified for a step up group, which Portsmouth had offered. So it was like an accelerated Masters course.
  • We do stay current. So we look at new models around the country. We develop our own, and we give social workers the opportunity to get involved in that. And I think that makes it exciting. You know, there's an, it's an exciting place to work. And because we're always doing new things, trying new approaches, and our social workers get involved with that.
  • Having created the Stronger Futures Academy for the qualified social workers, we're also within that tap returned back to social work. So if you've been out of social work for a period of time, you can come back, and actually what we encourage you to be part of of that program. So, that you understand, how you go from the life of the journey. So when you're coming into early help or into the match, then right through to childhood needs and hopefully not up to permanency.

Training and development opportunities in Portsmouth

Training and development opportunities available to social workers in Portsmouth.

  • We have access to research and practice which is a really useful tool to get current research in order to inform practice. There's lots of training available through Portsmouth City Council.
  • In Portsmouth, they have the Stronger Futures Academy. We're for all newly qualified social workers coming in. I remember doing it myself, I think it was the first year that it happened. It's a year's worth of training in everything to do with social work. So in university, you very much learn the theory, but it's about supporting theory into practice. So you get real knowledge on practically how to write, how to do a visit, how to act, how to communicate.
  • We post on, we have experts that come into the academy. So we would have somebody come in maybe from like Barnardo's. We have young people come in who are care leavers which is absolutely crucial to be informing social workers about what's their life been like having a social worker and actually, how can we improve our service to, because of their feedback. And their feedback is absolutely key to shaping our services and making things better for children and young families.
  • We do stay current, so we look at new models around the country, we develop our own, and we give social workers the opportunity to get involved in that and I think that makes it exciting.

Why social work is such a rewarding career

Why social work is such a rewarding career.

  • Because we want to make a difference. We, you know, we. It's challenging. It's, but it is rewarding. When you see families start to flourish and care leavers start to flourish, you get a sense of pride.
  • You work with a plethora of different areas of issues and concerns, and you can work with families in order to improve outcomes, and improve outcomes for children.
  • Working with the family as a whole and working with the network around the family. I think is really rewarding.
  • Getting to see the positive work has made a difference in reunifying that family and seeing the child then back with their parent and being safe and so happy. And, and looking at that situation after that work had happened, was one of the most rewarding things that I've been able to achieve. And that's what we strive to achieve.
  • Working with the families that we do, that, you know, they experienced some really tough times and it's really rewarding helping those families.
  • To form relationships with families and with colleagues. And that's a rewarding way to work. You know, that's, it's a holistic, rewarding way to spend my day.

The best thing about being a social worker

The best thing about being a social worker

  • So the best thing about being a social worker is supporting children and young people. And seeing change, even small change.
  • For me, it's working with children, it's working with families, it's working with professionals in the community. So it's that contact with people that I enjoy and value in my work.
  • You get to meet lots of different people. You get lots of different families, children. You get to work with them, provide interventions and support them in order to make positive change.
  • Because I did want to spend my time doing something that makes a difference, you know, that does motivate me. I want to feel that I matter and that I can be helpful and that I'm adding value.
  • I think the best thing about being a social worker is knowing that you actually make a real difference, whether that's for one or two people, but you are making a difference. I think you have to be very good at delayed gratification. So, you won't always see what you've done, but the knowledge that you might have made some child's life at least okay for a bit, and that as an adult, they will have a period to look back on and think, "I was helped then."

Start your journey with Stronger Futures

Our teams are passionate about what they do, ensuring Portsmouth's children, young people and families are supported. Explore your options at Portsmouth City Council.

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