The teams that make up Salford’s Children’s Social Care


Here at the Bridge Partnership you will be one of the first points of contact for all new referrals about children, young people and their families. Our Bridge team consists of one Service Manager, two practice managers, two advanced social workers, seven social workers, three screeners and business support.

Our Bridge Partnership makes assessments and decisions depending on statutory need, child protection or early help. Our social workers only screen safeguarding referrals which means that our practitioners have manageable workloads and don’t case hold beyond 1 working day. Our strong partnership with Early Help means that all other screening and contacts to families are made by Early Help. We are also supported from colleagues from health, police, education, housing and other agencies. This helps to gather the right information in a timely way.

We aim to develop all of our social workers to be level 3 social workers and we continue to offer new opportunities for all of our workers. Our team is diverse with lots of skills and knowledge which we share across all of our teams from delivering training, attending relevant panels and supporting partner agencies.

We continue to provide opportunities for development, to expand your skills and knowledge beyond your team. Any new workers will be encouraged to look outside of their team or utilise own interests or experience to support other teams, work strands or partner agencies. Examples of this include our workers being domestic abuse champions supporting teams in training and development or even our recent links by sitting on panels such as fostering and adoption panel. 

In January 2024, Ofsted told us that our ‘Bridge Partnership is a strong service where co-located partners work together effectively to determine appropriate responses for children. The Bridge Partnership is a strong service where co-located partners continue to work together effectively to determine appropriate responses for children. Multi-agency screening in the Bridge Partnership is proportionate and timely, historical concerns are well considered, and parental consent to screening is clearly sought, or dispensed with, when needed. Thorough and regular management oversight in the Bridge Partnership ensures that thresholds are correctly applied. Prompt transfer of cases to the duty team ensures that children receive the help and protection they need in timescales that meet their needs”.

Duty and Assessment (DAT)

The service is currently made up of six sub teams, each with their own Practice Manager, an Advanced Social Worker and six Social Workers. Salford has a unique service structure whereby there is consistent Service Manager oversight of cases from the front door to permanence. There are two Service managers across the DAT service each overseeing half of the service alongside half of the Child Protection and Child in Need service.

Here at the DAT team each team is on duty for one week, where you will be allocated new cases, and then off duty for five weeks to complete assessments and work with children and families. We’ve expanded to six teams recently which has meant that there has been more time for social workers to see their children and families and undertake assessments.

All DAT services work slightly different, our social workers work Child in Need cases until three meetings have occurred. This means that longer interventions with families are supported by our social workers from the Child in Need and Child Protection Team.

We are fortunate that Salford is a resource rich authority and prides itself on positive multi-agency working and approaches, via our Young Person’s plans for older children at risk of contextualised safeguarding, through use of the Family Partnership model and tools to engage families and understand their agendas, or through more formal processes via the Legal Gateway mechanism. 

Our social work teams are supported by a bespoke team of family practitioners co-located with the social work teams, dedicated administration support alongside minute taking pools to help to reduce the time spent on administrative tasks and close working relationships with our integrated family time service. The service also consists of champions and specialists to include No Recourse to Public Funds, Domestic Abuse, Homelessness, Neglect, Pre-births and Harmful Sexual Behaviour with opportunities for all staff to train and develop to become a Champion in an area of particular interest to them.

With reference to this part of the service in particular Ofsted recently said; “When children are thought to be at risk of significant harm, strategy discussions and child protection enquiries are thorough and prompt. Partner agencies make meaningful contributions to decision-making and agreed actions reduce the risk of harm to children. Children are seen and spoken to promptly during enquiries. Safety planning is usually agreed with families and plans address identified risks appropriately… Assessments are detailed and timely and consider the impact of family history on children. Children’s individual needs are carefully considered and inform child-in-need or child protection plans, which are focused on actions to improve children’s experiences.”

Child in Need and Child Protection Team

Our service is currently made up of six sub teams, each with their own Practice Manager, two Advanced Social Worker and seven Social Workers. Our social workers here provide support to a variety of needs including holding statutory work including working with children subject to Child in Need planning, Child Protection planning, Public Law Outline and Court proceedings. If the plan following court proceedings is to remain in our care, all of our children and young people will transfer to the cared for team or Next Steps service (aged 16 plus).

We are fortunate that Salford is a resource rich authority and prides itself on positive multi-agency working and approaches. We recognise that the role can be challenging but we have a number of resources that our social workers value in support our children and families.

We have a specialist court team with a number of social workers and advanced social workers and team manager. Our social workers on this team will then support families and undertake all responsibilities from the previous allocated social worker once the family are in court proceedings. 

Our social work teams are supported by a bespoke team of family practitioners co-located with the social work teams, dedicated administration support alongside minute taking pools to help to reduce the time spent on administrative tasks and close working relationships with our integrated family time service. The service also consists of champions and specialists to include no recourse to public funds, Domestic Abuse, Homelessness, Neglect, Pre-births and Harmful Sexual Behaviour with opportunities for all staff to train and develop to become a Champion in an area of particular interest to them.

We are proud to have created an environment where our employees are nurtured, caseloads are manageable and continuous professional development is encouraged. With a culture of collaborative working and the child at the heart of everything we do, there’s never been a more exciting time to join our child in need and child protection teams.

Children with Disabilities Team

The Children with Disabilities Team (CWD) is made up of a Service Manager; a Practice Manager; two Advanced Practitioners and a team of eight Social Workers (one of which is a Short Break Reviewing Officer); three Family Practitioners; a Parent / Carer Assessor and a Direct Payments officer.

We also work collaboratively  with our colleagues and partner agencies in order to provide our children and their parents and carers with a service that matches their needs in line with their best interests, wishes and feelings (e.g Health, Education, the Commissioning Service; SEND colleagues; the Transition Team)  and we also sign post parents and carers to the Local Offer Development Officer and the Early Help Service as and when needed).

Salford’s Parent Carer forum and Salford Information, Advice and Support Service (SIAS) are our valued allies and they are very much involved in the work that we do and help us to make sure that children, young people along with their parents and carers voices are heard and shape our practice.

Our social workers provide support to a variety of needs within statutory pathways including working with children who are in need of Short Breaks and Direct Payments; who are subject to Child in Need planning; Child Protection planning; Public Law Outline and Court proceedings and Deprivation of Liberty (DoL’s) applications. The practice manager and some of our social workers are best interest trained and are also skilled in DoL’s applications.

We are fortunate that Salford is a resource rich authority and prides itself on positive multi-agency working and approaches in line with our Family Partnership Model.

We are also fortunate to be supported by our dedicated Administration Support Service who help us to reduce the time we spend on administrative tasks so we can spend more time working with our children, young people and their parents or carers.

Finally, we are a passionate, compassionate and dedicated service… but don’t take our word for it! We were proud to share what the recent Ofsted Inspectors said about us which is as follows:

Disabled children’s needs are well understood and met by skilled and tenacious workers who are able to communicate with them effectively. Workers are knowledgeable about local resources and use this knowledge to develop bespoke and detailed plans for disabled children.

Stepping Stones Cared for Team

Our service is currently made up of three teams of eight social workers, three practice managers and four advanced social workers, one service manager and head of service. There are opportunities to work with our cared for children in various settings such as residential, foster care, with connected persons and at home with parents. Children’s care plans can vary from adoption, Special Guardianship, long term fostering, to name a few. You will be responsible for managing the care plans for our children and young people, in partnership with families and partner agencies to achieve better outcomes. Our service is unique in that we have a dedicated team of two social workers and one advanced social worker who assist our social workers in discharge reports, relevant court documents and work required before transferring to a new team.

In the cared for team, we have a longstanding management team who support us with understanding and compiling paperwork as well as regular supervisions and appraisals to support our learning and development. We have strong links with the adoption team who also not only support us in completing paperwork but also support us to find the right placements for children for them to find their forever home. We are based in the same office as our fostering, adoption and STARLAC teams (CAMHs for cared for children) which contributes to developing relationships within the teams, individuals and supports joined up working. 

STARLAC are our specialist CAMHS team specifically for our Cared for children. There offers means that  professionals support both our young people and staff members through trauma informed practice and support to improve outcomes for your children. We have licenced training available to support our children using trauma informed practice and regular training is available for our team to understand the impact of trauma in a way to support children and families within this.

We have strong links with our residential homes in Salford and happy that we have five to choose from. We have regular weekly meetings with them during tracking panel which helps us to understand where our vacancies are and impact risk assessments for our cared for children.

In Salford we have a dedicated virtual school who we encourage to attend team meetings and provide training for us. This helps us to have a good understanding of the educational provision in the city and ways we can support our children to reach their best outcomes through mainstream and bespoke packages.

Our social work teams are supported by a small team of social work support officers co-located with the social work teams. Their role varies but can include parenting work, life story work, supporting facilitating family time and completing life story books. We also have dedicated administration support alongside minute taking pools to help to reduce the time spent on administrative tasks and close working relationships with our integrated family time service. The service also consists of champions and specialists to include Domestic Abuse, adoption, missing from home, with opportunities for all social workers to train and develop to become a Champion in an area of particular interest to them.

Next Step Team

At Next Step you will work with young people in care and care leavers aged 16 to 25 years and provide a duty service. The Next Step has been rated by OFSTED as ‘Outstanding’ and prides itself upon favourable outcomes for care leavers in education, employment and training (71% December 2023) and contact with all our service users under 21 years of age (100% December 2023). You will help to contribute to group and individual reflective supervision. You will formulate young people’s pathway plans which will help them meet their full potential.

You will be part of a larger team and will work alongside young people, particularly in the areas of budgeting, accommodation, education and employment. Our practitioners work with young people aged 16 plus and will include supporting young people towards their independence, this will entail moving young people within placements towards their independence. We want practitioners who will contribute to both group and individual reflective supervision and bring new ideas to our ways of working.

The leaving care service is supported by good accommodation options as reflected in the 2023 OFSTED report “There is a wide range of good-quality accommodation available for care leavers. The joint protocol with Housing Options is rigorously managed to ensure that care leavers’ accommodation needs are met. A dedicated tenancy support worker helps care leavers with the practicalities of setting up home and supports them to manage their tenancies.

We have our own building with free parking for all practitioners which we open from 8.30am until 4.30pm Monday to Friday. Our building provides access in which our young people regularly use and participate in group or individual sessions. Last year they helped us design some of our office space to make it more bespoke and service friendly. In our office we can provide spaces for meetings, one to one discussions, independence support for young people including our favourite cooking classes.

Structurally all pathway advisors are supported by a Practice Manager. There are two advanced practitioners who hold a small caseload and provide additional direction and support to staff. We are supported by one service manager, business support team, three relevant and former relevant reviewing officers, a finance officer and our community parenting officer.

To help you with your practice and service delivery we have strong links with partner agencies who are integrated within the service area, these include Connexions, Department Work and Pensions, Greater Manchester Youth Network, The Growth Company, a Cared for nurse, access to a Speech and Language Nurse and Domestic Abuse Worker and Pure insight who offer care leavers emotional support. 

Emergency Duty Team

We have four emergency duty social workers, experienced Social Workers who all have existing AMPH status.

The team are supported by an on-call service manager every night and access to sessional pool of staff as agreed by the service manager when the situation arises.

Our team all have experience of working with Adults/children and/ or complex safeguarding with associated risk factors and deliver immediate solutions sometimes under pressure.

The team operate on a duty rota system which covers out of working hours. Working pattern starts at 4:30pm until 9am 7 days per week and Saturday and Sunday work pattern is 8:30am until 5 pm. 

We offer a supportive and nurturing environment which enables individuals to grow as autonomous practitioners. We have adapted our ways of working through the use of technology and provide a blended approach to working with access to a range of office spaces across the city as well a home working.


The fostering service works to recruit and retain foster carers, identify foster families who can care for children, these may be emergency placements, Short Break, Respite, short terms, long term, and enhanced placement for children in need of full-time carers be this within a family or solo placemen. We work to identify a range of placement for children on a range of orders.

We provide training for foster carers, support groups, family days, one to one support, on call service for carers and links with other carers. We assess both mainstream carers and friend and family (also known as kinship carers) each team works in different ways. We work to identify a range of placement for children on a range of orders S20, ICO, CO and placement orders.

Our Fostering service is made up of two mainstream teams, one Friends and Family, one specialist focus fostering and SGO, Adoption and Special Guardianship Support Fund, a panel advisor, a fostering recruitment officer and two therapeutic social workers that sit within the STARLAC team.

Each mainstream team has a manager and ASW, 1 has responsibility for providing training for foster carer in line with Fostering Regulations and Staying Put carer reviews. One has responsibility for R29 carers, Mockingbird implementation. Both teams provide support and supervision of foster carers, both mainstream and friends and family following the first annual review and support around Therapeutic care giving.

The friends and family team has a manager and two ASWs who undertake viability assessments, reg 24 assessments and support to family and friend carers, a busy team who work to support the placement needs for children to be this Immediate or preplanned.

The SGO team undertake annual reviews of all SGOs, they refer people to appropriate services, deliver support sessions, training/information sessions, undertake assessments directed through the court following a private application, support applications to Adoption and Special guardianship fund.

In terms of support there are six support workers across the service, two in friends and family, two in focus and two in mainstream, who work to provide streamlined support. There are two therapeutic social workers that sit within the STARLAC team.

All staff on the team have training in therapeutic care giving which is to be rolled out to all our carers enhancing training for all those supporting children in Salford foster families.  As we transition to the mockingbird model this will further support stable placements and builds resilient networks.

Our Independent Chairs and LADO

Our safeguarding unit comprises of eight Child protection co-ordinators and eight Independent Reviewing Officers. As well as a team of Young Person Coordinators and Local Authority Designated Officers. With one service manager overseeing the unit there are three practice managers who sit with co-ordinators in order to effectively support the team.

Our safeguarding team is located in the same building as social workers, fostering an environment where close working is not only supported but actively encouraged. We’re proud in our revamped conference rooms for our families which were codesigned with families. Our meeting areas are located across our city to make our meetings accessible to all.

All of our chairs regularly visit our children at home regardless of plan and remain committed to keeping in contact with them throughout reviews. Our partnerships with teams in Salford and our external agencies are strong which help make our effective plans. We actively encourage our chairs to have specialisms or utilise their areas of interest to support other teams.

Our LADO service is robust and is understood by services through delivering regular training and providing advice and guidance. Ofsted in their report stated that “Allegations against professionals are managed swiftly and robustly. There is a determined focus on the safety and well-being of children, including understanding the views of the child through well-managed, multi-agency allegation meetings. This protects children from potential harm”.

We’re fortunate to have a longstanding and stable business support team that support from sending our letters, minuting meetings to arranging our meetings. We’re proud of the environment that we have created for children, families, carers and practitioners to utilise the skills, knowledge and experience in our team.

Workforce Learning and Development Team

Our team is dedicated to the continuous recruitment, growth and professional development of our practitioners. We work closely with all practitioners to develop tailored training and support across all levels of experience. Our aim is to provide an environment to think, learn, share and be a in a positive working environment.

Each year we have a training calendar that involves a range of training courses relevant to all social workers. In addition to this there is training relevant to each level of experience to develop your skills. There are also regular learning lunches on useful topics and briefings about new services and processes. We also have Good Practice Months which is focused practical training workshops to help you think, reflect and improve practice. 

The team are always seeking new ideas on what helps practitioners in practice and want to hear from you! We regularly celebrate good practice and have larger events to offer new and creative experiences to staff who want to participate. 

The team is made up of one service manager who oversees three practice managers, three advanced social workers, business support officers, E-Safety Specialist and our Child Employment and Licensing Officer.

The team also support in delivering our robust Quality Assurance Framework, Student, Apprenticeships and Newly Qualified Social Workers programme.

What helps our social workers

In Salford, we are rich in resources to help families. This helps us to make individual plans and make sure the right people are supporting our families and carers at the right time with the right people under the right plan:

Business Support

We appreciate that there are lots of things involved with keeping children safe. Where we can, our business support officers help in minuting meetings ranging from Strategy Meetings to Careplanning meetings. Need a letter storing or posting – they’ve got you covered.


Our Connect team support children and young people at risk of Child Sexual Exploitation, Child Criminal Exploitation, Human Trafficking, Modern Slavery and Cuckooing. It is now resourced with police detectives, children’s social workers, a youth worker, a Barnardo’s worker, a parenting worker, a children’s psychotherapist, threats to life social worker and health practitioners.

Family Practitioner’s team

Our family practitioners team have a wide and varied role which supports workers from helping families in day-to-day task, completing interventions, and assessments in court.

Domestic Abuse

Our domestic abuse offer is extensive which includes direct support for children, victims, and work for perpetrators. Our offer means that for most families we have the right service to support them.

Early Help

We have dedicated hubs to provide Early Help support and interventions. Our Early Help practitioners support social workers including working with families while subject to child in need planning.


Salford CAMHS for Cared for Children (Starlac) provides an accessible and responsive service to Cared for Children and young people, their families, carers, and significant adults in their lives. Examples of work include undertaking assessments, direct work with children, support with parents or carers and group activities.

Residential Services

Our aim for our young people is for them to remain in Salford where safe to do so. We want to support them and practitioners within the five in-house residential homes.

Route 29

This service is redefining support for young people aged 12 to 17 years in care or on the edge of care. Recognising the challenges of children being placed outside the city and the subsequent disruptions to their lives, Route 29 offers an integrated service through a re-purposed children's home acting as a hub. This hub assembles a dedicated team of specialists, including clinical and educational psychologists, police, speech and language therapists, a specialist nurse, and 'stickable' key workers, collaborating through a shared practice framework. Instead of traditional residential care, the hub provides instant access to professional support, allowing young people to stay at home while receiving assistance during the day for as long as needed.

Strengthening Families

The strengthening families team support families who have had at least one child removed from the family home, they provide support through early intervention and prevention following court outcomes, future sibling pre-birth support and post birth support of future siblings and will remain with the child and family until school readiness.


Our in-house family time centre provides a hub for families to meet and have quality time together. Specialist supervisors observe our family time and develop meaningful relationships with the families they support.

Youth Justice

Salford Youth Justice (YJS) aims to reduce offending or re-offending of young people aged up to 17. It offers support from the Police, Probation Service, Health, Education, and a range of voluntary and third sector partners such as Early Break Substance Misuse service.

Youth Services

Our youth service provides support to young people aged ten to 25 years old from direct interventions around their health, wellbeing, education, or risks in their lives. Work is provided either one to one, in youth centres, specialist projects, in schools or with partners.

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