Lewisham Council Homepage Skip navigation

Careers in children's social care

We run a children’s social care service that prides itself on excellence, values your skills and dedication, and offers a lot in return.
Are you worried about the safety or welfare of a child?

If you think a child or young person may be in immediate danger, call 999. Otherwise contact us on 020 8314 6660 or out of hours call 020 8314 6000.

We’re working hard to make Lewisham one of the best places in London, and the country, to work in children’s social care. 

We aim to be an ‘Outstanding’ service and we’re making progress on this journey. Ofsted recently rated our service as ‘Good’ across all inspection criteria and highlighted sustained and widespread improvements in the services we deliver. 

Whether you’re a newly qualified social worker taking the first steps in your career, or an experienced one looking to join a supportive, nurturing and ambitious team – we want you to join us on our journey and help us provide the very best care and support to children and families in Lewisham.

See what roles are available and apply today.

Recruitment Events

Recruitment Events for Experienced Social Workers

Join us for exclusive events dedicated to qualified social workers registered with Social Worker England. Discover why Lewisham is the ideal career move in Children’s Social Care.

Please note these events are for qualified social workers registered with Social Worker England. Separate events for students and newly qualified social workers are planned. While we welcome international applications, please be aware that we are currently unable to sponsor work visas, and registration with Social Work England is required.

Recruitment Events for Student Social Workers

Are you a student or a newly qualified social worker interested in our ASYE Academy? Learn why Lewisham is the perfect place to start your career in children’s social care. 

Stay tuned for updates, please register your interest to receive invitations to our ASYE recruitment events.

Children’s social work in Lewisham

Children’s social work in Lewisham is changing. We're building a reinvigorated, effective service we can all be proud of. 

Excellent social work starts with our people, which is why we’re providing our social workers with the support and resources they need to make a real difference for our children and young people. 

Our video highlights our culture, training, development, and ambitions for children and young people, shared by our teams.

What we offer

We are making Lewisham one of the best places in the country to start and build a career in children’s social care. 

Our offer to you includes:

  • the opportunity to work in small, supportive teams with caseloads on average between 15-20 children
  • a positive learning culture with tailored training and development, regular supervision and appraisal, and opportunities for reflection and relationship-based practice
  • a comprehensive leadership development offer for staff including professional development coaching and access to national leadership programmes such as Pathways and the Black and Asian Leadership Initiative (BALI)
  • access to Thinking Spaces for reflective learning and professional support, as well as support and expertise from within the service
  • our ‘Signs of Safety’ practice framework that means we're committed to working in a relationship-based way with children and families, focusing on strengths in the family network to achieve change
  • a clearly defined career progression pathway with opportunities for professional development at all levels, including continuing professional development courses and post-qualifying courses at Goldsmiths, University of London
  • a commitment to anti-racist practice and to eliminating systemic racism, discrimination, and injustice
  • ongoing workforce support from our dedicated wellbeing lead, including weekly mindfulness sessions, debriefing sessions, and regular feedback forums to promote professional wellbeing
  • flexible working with a variety of hybrid options
  • generous salary and holiday entitlement:
    • newly qualified social worker: £39,378
    • experienced social workers: £42, 855 - £44, 862
    • senior social workers: £47,043 - £49,071
    • advanced practitioners: £53,109 - £55,158
    • team managers: £57,177 - £59,220 
    • group managers: £61,347 - £65,853
    • holiday entitlement ranging from 27 to 35 days (based on service length), plus public holidays and special leave provisions

Find out more about living and working in Lewisham.

Who we are

Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)

MASH provides a single point of access to the services that help keep children safe. It is a multi-agency team made up of representatives from a range of professional agencies that provide advice and support, making sure children get the right help from the right services. The MASH provides a secure environment for these services to share information and improve decision-making whenever there are concerns for a child.

Referral and Assessment

The Referral and Assessment service is a front-line social work service. The team assesses and provides services to children in need and children who are at risk of serious harm and in need of protection. The service also includes the emergency duty team which deals with children's welfare outside of office hours and at weekends.

Family Support and Safeguarding

The Family Support and Safeguarding service works with children and their families across the spectrum of statutory intervention, where children are subject to child in need plans or child protection plans or are in the Council’s care. The service works closely with parents and wider family members with the aim of increasing safety and sustainable, positive outcomes for their children.

The service also incorporates the Meliot Family Centre which is a specialist centre offering supervised and supported contact to children and their families where children are placed in local authority care. In addition, senior social workers at the centre carry out parenting assessments in complex cases which are before the courts.

Corporate Parenting

The Corporate Parenting service provides case management for children looked after whose care plan is that they will not be returning to the care of their birth family. The service also supports children looked after and care leavers in their transition to adulthood from the age of 16 (and in some circumstances up to the age of 25) and has the lead responsibility for corporate parenting and the children in care council.

We have two active children in care councils and a care leaver’s forum. We promote group work and creative activities for our children including music and spoken word and trips both in the UK and abroad which staff help to organise and participate in.

The Fostering and Placements teams are also part of the Corporate Parenting service as well as the Unaccompanied Minors team and the Special Guardianship and Private Fostering team.

Children with Complex Needs

Children with Complex Needs provides integrated services to children with disabilities and special educational needs, including short break services, support for SEN, occupational therapy, travel assistance, and multi-agency planning pathways

Workforce Development and Business Support

The Workforce Development and Business Support service works across the Children’s Social Care and is responsible for the implementation of Signs of Safety as Lewisham’s practice framework and the wider learning and development offer for practitioners. The Workforce Development Service is responsible for the ASYE Academy supporting newly qualified social workers in Lewisham. The Business Support Service provides all administrative and organisational support to the social work teams.

Children’s social care works closely with other services in our Families, Quality and Commissioning and Education directorates which are part of the wider Children and Young People Directorate. These include:

  • Quality Improvement - ensures high-quality social work practices through audits and handles processes like child protection conferences, independent reviews for children in care, and managing complaints and access to records
  • Safe Space - a specialist team focuses on supporting young people at risk of harm from contextual safeguarding concerns like County Lines, gangs, child sexual exploitation, and child criminal exploitation
A message from Sara Taylor, principal social worker

We're delighted that you are interested in working in Lewisham. Our children’s social care service is a great place to work and to develop your career.

Social work in Lewisham is changing and we have set out our vision and values for how we practice where families tell us they understand why we are involved and children tell us their social worker has made a difference to their lives.

We've adopted Signs of Safety as our practice framework and we're focusing on the quality of our relationships with families and children to help and support them. 

Our staff tell us they feel valued and enjoy working in Lewisham and are well supported by their managers with regular reflective supervision and good access to training.

If you join us, you will be supported to develop your career through our comprehensive learning and development offer, including the opportunity to become a Signs of Safety practice leader.

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

Other routes into children’s social work


If you've got a degree and are interested in a career change, then Frontline could be for you.

It's an intensive social work qualifying programme where you'll learn on the job while earning a salary and work towards a fully funded Master’s degree in social work. 

Best of all, you can complete the programme with us here at Lewisham Council.

Step up to Social Work

Want to become a social worker, but don't have a degree? Train through the Step up to Social Work intensive 14 month full time programme. Applications for the 2024 programme have closed, but the UK Government website will be updated with more details about the next Step up to Social Work programme when it’s available.