FLiP Children’s Social Work Recruitment

The creation of a regional framework for specialist agencies, dedicated to supporting the permanent recruitment of children’s social workers into London’s professional sector.

The implementation of the London Pledge and subsequent evaluations have provided the basis for accelerated learning through consistent engagement with the agency market and London Authorities directly to better understand the opportunities of regional framework could bring. 

FLiP (Framework for London in Permanent) Children’s Social Work Recruitment. This aims to brings inconsistency across the region and impact on the engagement with our specialist agency providers, and with candidates seeking permanent employment.

Our research and evaluations highlighted that Local Authorities are not able to access social work agencies consistently through existing frameworks, which are not specialist to social work in nature. Negotiations are therefore frequently conducted on an agency-by-agency or case-by-case placement basis with a small selection of agencies, the arrangement of which are often heavily reliant on existing relationships with current hiring managers. Agencies have also told us that they are unable to consistently engage with all London Authorities through existing frameworks and therefore prioritise those Boroughs that they are able to agree the best fee with and/or have the best relationship/engagement with.

Project Goals

The creation of a framework for the permanent recruitment of children’s social workers is rooted in several core objectives:

  • Produce a supplier list for London which provides easy engagement with agencies
  • Provide a route to market which is supported by agencies able to deliver effectively
  • Reduce reliance on agency social workers
  • Introduce consistency in pricing
  • Provide consistent reporting in respect of engagement levels
  • Increase engagement of relevant agencies which can support London
  • To create a level playing field for both agencies and Local Authorities

Project Milestones

  • Held an agency engagement event with the provider market in August 2022 where, through polling, 89% of agencies confirmed that they would be very or somewhat likely to bid on a regional specialist permanent social work recruitment framework, and 100% of agencies confirmed that they would be very likely to bid on an international social work recruitment framework.
  • Held an event for London Boroughs in September 2022, where though polling, 88% gave a rating of 2/5 stars for the effectiveness of existing engagement with agencies for the permanent recruitment of children’s social workers, with 94% confirming they would be very or somewhat likely to use a regional permanent recruitment framework. These statistics showed an appetite for a suitable route to market and an opportunity to bring change and efficiencies to the region.
  • A joint engagement session hosted by London Councils and YPO in November 2022 drew 89 attendees, though some suppliers did bring multiple attendees. Throughout this session an overview of our intentions for the framework was outlined and several polls conducted to gauge the attitude towards the framework from the supply base. It is clear from all engagement conducted that there is an appetite from the supply base for a framework of this nature and that a tendering process is likely to draw high levels of interest. The polls conducted established that:
    • 65% of the supply base are completely familiar with framework tendering and 0% are not at all familiar
    • 58% of the supply base would find a supplier tendering conference helpful 
    • 74% of the supply base are very likely to bid to join the framework and
    • 0% are not likely at all