Social worker recruitment

Jobs and training

We want Waltham Forest’s Social Services to be a career destination.

As part of a supportive, challenging and inspirational team, existing practitioners and new joiners can:

  • Make their mark
  • Develop their career
  • Improve the lives of adults, children and their families in the borough

View all social worker vacancies 

Heather Flinders, Divisional Director for Children and Families, talking about working as a social worker at Waltham Forest Council.

Hear more from our social workers

June 2018 Blog. Do relationships make a difference? by Kobus Grobbelaar, Deputy Head of Service, Corporate Parenting.

We all accept that negative life experiences and/or events can leave people feeling unhappy, mistrustful, upset, depressed, powerless and in despair. These experiences of hardship, being let down, abused and feeling ignored relates to our relationships with others around us. All human beings want to feel better about themselves, others and the world around them. We have to acknowledge that our young people do not always know how to bring about these changes or realise they have a choice within this.

People’s resilience was so clearly illustrated to me when I was watching the Chelsea Flower show, where Lemon Tree Trust sponsored a garden at the Chelsea Flower Show, created by British designer Tom Massey and inspired by the gardens at Domiz refugee camp in northern Iraq. Syrian’s refugees have developed small little gardens within the refugee camps where they were living under very challenging circumstances, enabling them to experience some sense of normality and solace.

I was wondering how we translate this into the work that we do, creating a small space for contemplation and/or positive experiences for our young people we care for. The fact remains that there are a lot of young people who rely on our support and our own resilience to support them with making things “feel” better, creating a sanctuary away from despair (our relationships with them). We know how it feels to have a positive experience which makes us feel good and I was reflecting on how we do or do not create opportunity for our young people to have a positive sense of themselves within the context of “relationships making a difference”. 

Positive life experiences and events can leave people feeling optimistic, confident, energised, empowered, hopeful, fulfilled, determined and motivated. Do we create these opportunities for our children and young people? Positive experiences can give rise to a sense of hope and aspiration for us, others and the world around us. This openness and sense of confidence can lead to other positive experiences. Do we create this for our children?

It is my view that we quite often get so entrenched in the desperation and anxieties of the day to day challenges that we face, that we do not always allow ourselves to reposition in such a way that we are able to think about alternative/ positive outcomes for our young people, despite these adverse issues.  These then become the focus on which our relationships are built with our children and young people. We might want to remind ourselves again what good relationships look like when we support our children and young people. Good relationships are built on trust, honesty, respect, communication, loyalty, happiness, compromise and safety. Only when we have this in place will relationships make a difference in our day to day work.

What we can offer you Click to get info

Retention bonus

Social Worker: Safeguarding and Corporate Parenting who case hold children’s cases;
An annual Retention bonus of £3,000.00 will be made to those Social Workers working within these specialisms once they have completed their probationary period with the London Borough of Waltham Forest.

All other qualified Social Workers;
An annual Retention bonus of £2,000.00 will be made for these employees, once they have completed their probationary period with the London Borough of Waltham Forest.

Newly qualified Social Worker (ASYE: Assessed and Supported Year in Employment);
Newly qualified Social Workers joining the Council will receive £1,000 upon joining the Council and will then receive £1,000 upon completion of the initial period of 12 months. Thereafter, an annual Retention bonus of £2,000.00.

Career Progression

A clear structured career pathway with a comprehensive learning and development plan for every social worker. You will be fully supported by us to progress in your career at a pace that is right for you, with a dedicated learning and development team providing support all the way.

Please note employees will be required to meet eligible criteria to receive the retention bonus. Bonus amounts will be divided by two and paid in June and December of each year.


We have a comprehensive training programme available with a minimum 5 dedicated CPD days per year. Based in large part on our strengthening practice model, our training offer on the Children’s Services side draws on the latest research and direct practice tools to ensure safe and meaningful interventions with service users.

Local Government continuous service

If you become a permanent employee you will start to accrue continuous service which will count towards many entitlements including redundancy entitlement. This will also continue to be applicable if you join another LG authority as defined within the Modification Order.

Occupational sickness pay

Continuous LG service

Up to four months:
Full Pay: 1 month  ½ pay: NIL

In the fifth to twelfth month:
Full Pay: 1 month  ½ pay: 2 months

In the second year:
Full Pay: 2 months  ½ pay: 2 months

In the third year:
Full Pay: 4 months  ½ pay: 4 months

In the fourth and fifth year:
Full Pay: 5 months  ½ pay: 5 months

Full Pay: 6 months  ½ pay: 6 months

Maternity Support Leave

Five days paid leave.

This is applicable when a partner has baby

Maternity Pay

Occupational Maternity Pay. This entitlement is based on 9 week’s pay at 100% of the employee’s average earnings.

Nine weeks’ pay %

Eligible criteria must be met. Employees must return to work for three months after maternity leave to receive this.

Pension Scheme

12.5 % employers contribution

Attractive pension scheme administered by Wandsworth Pension service

Pension Scheme – Death in service

3x annual salary

In the unfortunate event of death in service

Car Parking

Waltham Forest major sites have car parking facilities, minimal parking fees apply

The following benefits are provided by an external provider

Childcare vouchers

Childcare vouchers save you money on registered care for younger and older children as you won’t pay tax or national insurance on your selected voucher value

£243 per month {Statutory Maximum}

Employee pays £165.24 per month

Salary sacrifice saving of £77.76 per month

Annual saving of £933.12

For those with children at the eligible ages

Cycle to work vouchers

Cycle plus will help make huge Tax and National Insurance savings and get fit at the same time! Freedom, flexibility, affordability.  Increased health and fitness. Cleaner, greener and much more cost effective.

Based on a maximum spending of £1,000 (£83.33 per month)

Employee pays £56.67 per month

Overall saving of £320 per annum

P&MM Scheme

Entitles employees to great discounts with major retailers, various attractions as well as cinemas, theatres, restaurants and leisure centre

Based on P&MM data the average saving are 8% per transaction

If an employee spends £500 on reloadable vouchers, they would save £40

Fitness centres

Employees are eligible for discounted membership within the Borough

Benefits scheme

All employees are eligible to save money on shopping at major retailers, holidays in the UK and abroad, trips to the cinema plus so much more

Employee credit union

Forest Savers’ credit union offers easy ways to save via payroll deduction and gives borrowing facilities at interest rates below commercial banks

Find out more Click to get info

Learn more about children and young people's social work, and see video messages from our social work staff