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Your journey with us

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

Models of practice at Portsmouth City Council

Our approach in children's social care features three distinct models of practice to inform what we do.


Restorative practice

Trauma informed

Family safeguarding

Develop your career

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

Stronger Future guarantee
2 hours of protected time offered as standard every month. 
All social workers (regardless of level) will be offered restorative practice training when they start at Portsmouth City Council. 

  • Newly qualified social worker (ASYE)

    Extra support through the Stronger Futures Academy

    Develop your skills, knowledge and professional confidence

    12 development days looking at a child's journey

    Reflective group supervision

    One to one supervision with your team leader

    POD learning session and learning workshops to support development in role

    Protected caseload

  • Qualified social worker

    As a qualified social worker you will be given opportunities to embed practice in your specific job role through training delivered by both our internal experts and our safeguarding partnership.

    The training and resources you receive will support your resilience and wellbeing. You will also be provided with opportunities to explore practice dilemmas and use of self through reflective spaces and group supervision.

    Specialist training includes:

    • Achieving best evidence
    • PAMS training

  • Experience social worker (higher grade)

    As a higher grade social worker, you will manage a caseload with a higher level of complexity and act in a mentoring and consultative role to less experienced social workers.

    You will be driven by best practice and research, using this experience in your mentoring of colleagues as well as supporting the training and development of student social workers. In this role, you will also be given the opportunity to be a champion in your subject area of choice.

    Specialist training includes:

    • Critical reflection course
    • Practice supervisors development programme
    • Coaching and mentoring training

    If you want to progress in your role, we can provide the training and development opportunities you will need to develop and grow as a professional. A talented and dedicated social worker can move into management, or one of our specialist teams or become a CP Chair or IRO, teaching at a partner university, or a range of other opportunities.

  • Management

    Typical role could include:

    • Team leader
    • Service leaders

    At Portsmouth City Council, if you are a new or experienced leader, we will ensure you recieve the right training that nurtures and develops your leadership potential. We recognise that at this stage in your career you will want to 'lift your head' and understand how your team or service fit in with the broader service and vision.

    As such we will provide you with opportunities for growth such as observing others in their role, understanding the different functions in the council, receiving mentoring and coaching. We will also provide you with the management 'fundamentals' training that will allow you to do your job well, monthly supervision and supportive spaces that will help unpick the dilemmas and opportunities of being a frontline manager.

  • Senior leadership

    As a senior leader your talents will be nurtured and developed. You will have opportunities to be involved in shaping and building strategic vision and driving innovation. You will be supported to do your job well through the identification of a mentor and/or coach and monthly supervision.

    Specialist training includes:

    • Leadership training through SESLIP and the Staff College
    • Apprenticeship in leadership and management (level 7)

Wherever you are in your career, you'll develop professionally through training and learning opportunities.

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 qualifed social worker or a strategic team 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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