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Why work for us?

Make a difference and support Portsmouth's families, young people and children

Create a stronger future for everyone

Our Portsmouth model of care and restorative approach ensures we lead the way in supporting our community when they need it most.

When you choose to work in children's social care at Portsmouth City Council, you will benefit from strong partnerships that lays the foundations of support that the city's families, young people and children deserve. Our team work across six main areas:

  • Prevention and early help service
  • Assessment and intervention (Family safeguarding)
  • Looked after children
  • Safeguarding and quality assurance
  • Youth offending team
  • Domestic abuse services

Every child and young person deserves to reach their full potential and feel positive about themselves.

Your starter guides

Portsmouth's model of practice explained

Discover two workforce handbooks that detail the steps we will take to support the city's children, young people and families, explaining how we will achieve this together. As part of your induction, each guide is given to new starters to showcase Portsmouth's unique model of family practice and our restorative approach to care. Our workforce is an important part of our success, enabling children and families to reach their potential.

Our senior team

Join the team who make a difference every day

Whatever role you play, make an impact on the lives of Portsmouth's families.
Hear from senior leaders who co-ordinate teams as they support children, young people and their families who are most at need.

Councillor Suzy Horton

Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education
Introduction video clip by Suzy Horton - Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education

Alison Jeffery

Director of Children, Family and Education Services
Introduction video clip by Alison Jeffery - Director of Children, Family and Education Services

A message from deputy director for children and families, Sarah Daly

"We are on a journey to outstanding. We have worked hard to create the right environment for young people, children and families to flourish.

We know there will be challenges along the way however with your help you can make us change lives and improve outcomes for Portsmouth.

Stronger Futures enables us to showcase what Portsmouth City Council has to offer social workers at all stage of their career. Some of our team have talked about their journey into the profession, giving those interested in joining the team a realistic picture of what it is like to work here.

If you'd like more information on what we do, we're always happy to help."

Clare Poyner

A message from principal social worker, Clare Poyner

"I am delighted that you are interested in working in Portsmouth. Our children's social care service is a great place to work and develop your career.

At Portsmouth, we are keen to promote a high support, high challenge environment where you will be given opportunities to develop as a practitioner and learn new skills through our comprehensive learning and development offer. Our staff tell us they feel valued, enjoy working in Portsmouth and are well supported by their managers with regular reflective supervision and good access to training and action learning sets.

If you are interested in working in a relationship-based way and are committed to developing your social work practice and skills to deliver an excellent service for Portsmouth's children, then we look forward to welcoming you."

What our partners say?

Partnership working is integral to the success of what we do

We work with internal services as well as external organisations to create a stronger future for everyone. See what our partners said about working together.


Clare Jenkins

Portsmouth superintendent and district commander, Hampshire Police

“The close relationship we have with Portsmouth City Council and its children, families and education department is imperative in achieving our objectives. Our partnership enables us to provide that support and protect children and young people, offering help to the families that need it most."


Derek Benson

Chair of Portsmouth Safeguarding Children Partnership

“Portsmouth has a well established and effective safeguarding partnership, with strong and consistent engagement from all the partners. This has been put to the test throughout the COVID pandemic, a uniquely challenging period that has seen an even greater level of information sharing, shared responsibility and commitment across the city. Children, families and education services continues to play a leading and innovative role in the partnership, working with colleagues to achieve the best outcomes for our children and young people”


Richard Brown

Operations Director – Children and Families East

Solent NHS Trust and Portsmouth City Council have a longstanding relationship and shared vision to work collaboratively to deliver good health outcomes for children and families in the city. Our joint work with social care and education colleagues within the council is crucial to deliver this vision. Through our integrated prevention and early help service and in other ways too, we always make sure that key decisions about services and support for individual families are taken together. It makes a huge difference to our ability to help families improve their lives.”

Journey towards outstanding

Help us reach our goal

In 2018, Ofsted rated children's social care at Portsmouth City Council as 'good,' highlighting a number of key successes.

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Social workers have good relationships with children and children's wishes are sought and acted on. Children are at the heart of social work practice.

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The authorities well embedded restorative model of practice draws on families' strengths, focusing on maintaining children in their families wherever possible.

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Partnership working is well established at all levels and children and families receive a seamless and effective service.

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Leaders and professionals across education, health and care (EHC) share the same ambitious vision for children and young people with SEND.
One leader summed this up by saying: ‘In Portsmouth, we work together to make things happen.’

Your benefits

Portsmouth City Council is a dynamic place to develop a career in children's social care. We pride ourselves on:

Staff development

Committed to continuous training and staff development in a culture that shares expertise and challenges us to deliver high quality services.

Competitive Pay

Enjoy generous allowances and pay that reflects the job you do as well as an industry-leading recruitment and retention package of £5000 over 6 years.

Other benefits

Flexible working and access to a fantastic pension scheme. If you have a family, child care benefits are available as well as discounts with local businesses.

Good work life balance

On average, our social workers have a caseload of 17 enabling you to focus on life at work and outside of it. Dedicated wellbeing package to support all colleagues.

Partnerships that work

Great relationships with organisations across the city ensure local residents benefit from joined up working from the get-go.

Apply for vacancies

Join Portsmouth City Council and apply for vacancies in children's social care.

Live, work and play in Portsmouth

Experience Portsmouth as a place to live, work and play by the sea

Portsmouth offers incredible culture, entertainment and leisure as you explore the waterfront city and the benefits it brings.