The Big Listen: Valuing Children’s Social Workers

The Big Listen: Valuing Children’s Social Workers is the workforce research that LIIA (London Innovation and Improvement Alliance) is undertaking to support ALDCS (Association of Directors of Children’s Services) commitment to an ambitious workforce programme.

This is a chance for all Social Workers to be heard in order to help London’s regional response to improving the working environment. This research is being led in collaboration with the South East regional partnership building on research conducted in partnership earlier in the year.

Focus Group Options



Register here

Permanent Children’s Social Work Operational Managers working in London Boroughs Thursday 24th November 11am – 12pm Book your Place
Permanent Children’s Social Workers working in London Boroughs Tuesday 29th November 2pm – 3pm Book your place
Agency Children’s Social Workers working in London Boroughs Wednesday 30th November 2pm – 3pm Book your place
AYSE Social Workers working in London Boroughs Thursday 1st December 9:30am – 10:30am Book your place
Student Social Workers Thursday 1st December 2pm – 3pm Book your place

What is #thebiglisten?

Local Authorities across the London region have supported a piece of research, led by LIIA, to improve their understanding of how they can better support children’s social workers working in the region. They recognise that they need to do more to help social workers do their jobs.

Who are we listening to?

They are interested in all aspects of the role and are holding focus groups for a wide range of staff including social work students, AYSE social workers, experienced local authority social workers, agency social workers and social work managers.

What will happen at the focus groups?

The sessions will be an hour long and held on Microsoft Teams. Each of the sessions is likely to be attended by 15-45 social workers. Topics for discussion will include:

They will be interactive workshops groups enabled by an independent facilitator. Each of the meetings will be recorded to help analyse the information shared.

What do we plan to do with the information collected?

The information collected at the focus groups will be used by the 33 London Local Authorities and the 19 Authorities in the SE in partnership to develop a deeper understanding of how they can improve the workplace for children’s social workers. The information collated will be anonymised and not attributed to any individual. We may also share some the high level data collected with the Department for Education. The research will also include surveys of social work professionals and research to identify best practice that they can learn from.

We aim to complete the research and report back in Spring 2024.

Who is doing the research?

The research is being conducted by London Innovation and Improvement Alliance (LIIA) in partnership with the South Sector Led Improvement Programme (SESLIP). Both are not for profit organisations funded by local authority partners who work to support and improve children’s services.