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Your journey with us

Find your pathway into children's social care at Portsmouth City Council

Get into social work

Choose one of two routes into the profession when applications re-open

The Assessed and Supported Year in Employment programme and step up to social work scheme are two options to consider if you want to become a social worker. Each has its own entry criteria and dates for when applications re-open.

Assessed and Supported Year in Employment Programme

Step up to social work

Introducing the Portsmouth model of family practice

In Portsmouth, we have a vision to improve outcomes for children and young people. At the heart of this vision, we have created eight priorities to support our practice.


Working whole family

Be child-centred and understand the whole family dynamic in terms of need and protective factors.


Work with the family and with each other to co-produce solutions


Develop and sustain strong intra-familial relationships, supporting families to stay together as a bonded unit.


Understand the impact of past and current trauma on child and adult behaviours, their capacity to make and sustain relationships and ability to make changes.


Seek to understand the need and reaction behind the behaviour as this is often fear based.


Understand all aspects of a family’s life using the assessment framework and recognising societal impacts such as poverty and racism.


Enable change to keep children safely living at home wherever possible

Informed by difference

Recognise the significance of difference and the role language plays in structuring the meaning and experience of the world

Develop your career

When you start working at Portsmouth City Council, you'll begin a journey of continued professional development.

How will we support you?

  • A clear progression pathway
  • Access to learning resources (Research in Practice, Knowledge Hub, Boon books)
  • Access to training through the academy, the partnership or external training providers
  • The opportunity to engage in academic learning
  • Access and space to engage in practice development opportunities
  • Good quality supervision, reflective spaces and action learning sets
  • 2 hours protected professional development time per month
  • Bespoke academy support where needed

Learning and career progression pathway

Within Portsmouth we have a clear learning and progression pathway with each career level having a particular focus in respect of your learning.
Assessed and supported year in employment (ASYE)
Social Worker (Main grade)
Experienced social worker (Higher grade)
Team Leader
Child protection advisor (CP chair)
Independent reviewing officer (IRO)
Service leader
Head of service

Start your journey with us

Portsmouth City Council is a fantastic place to develop a career in children's social care. Whether you are a newly qualified social worker or a strategic leader, there are plenty of opportunities to grow at all levels.

Find your pathway into children's social care

When you are considering social work as a career, it can be challenging to understand what route to take. For those starting out for the first time, we've listed local training providers who offer university-based training, a step up to social work programme or apprenticeship pathways.

Your options are...

Option 1: University based training

Training providers include:

Qualifications available:

(BA Hons) in social work

(MA) in social work

Option 2: Step up to social work programme

For more information on the step up to social work programme, visit the government's website.

Programme details…

14 month programme that provides hands on experience and theory in social work.

Upon successful completion you'll receive a post graduate diploma in social work (level 7).

To qualify for the programme, you need: 

A degree qualification or equivalent (Minimum 2:1 level 6 degree qualification or 2:2 honours degree)

GCSE in English and maths (grade C or equivalent)

Over 6 months experience (voluntary or paid work)

Option 3: Social work apprenticeship

Training providers include:

Programme details…

3 year apprenticeship programme providing you with hands on experience working on the job.

You must already be working at Portsmouth City Council (at least 30 hours per week) in a setting with adults or children. Staff who work less than 30 hours but more than 24 hours per week can apply.

Upon successful completion, you'll get the opportunity to gain a BA (Hons) degree in social work practice.

To qualify for the programme, you need: 

A levels (level 3) CCC or;


Access course: Pass with 60 credits or;

Advanced (Level 3) apprenticeship

Proof of English and math's GCSEs or equivalent

Evidence of a current DBS check

Search for an approved course

Find an approved course that's right for you by searching Social Work England's website. Start your journey into the profession today!

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