South Gloucestershire Council

At South Gloucestershire Council, we’re focused on providing an excellent service. We keep workloads manageable, we welcome flexible working and we’re recognised for the opportunities we provide for career development, training and secondment.

Following over £15m of new investment in our service, we are currently recruiting to roles across our frontline children’s services team. Below we’ve asked some of our colleagues to share their perspectives about why South Glos is the place for you if you want to make a real difference to vulnerable young people’s lives.

Check out our latest vacancies.

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What our staff say

Sue talks about her 20-year career with South Glos 

I’ve been a frontline social worker with South Glos for 20 years. I’ve worked in the front door, in localities and in the looked-after team, and my current role is with the exploitation team.  I’m passionate about how, through my work, I can make a difference for some of the hardest to reach young people. The reason I’ve stayed here is because management – from my line manager right up – support us to give proper time to young people.


Take my current manager. Her roots are firmly in social work; she still talks to young people; she understands the job and what support we need to do it to our best. I’m about to start as a practice educator and Signs of Safety lead, so I have a protected caseload. I can be there for my young people when they need me, which allows me to build proper trusting relationships with them. Late callouts are part and parcel of the job, but I know that when I come in next day, managers and colleagues will check in to ensure everything is ok and thank me for working late.


I probably spend more of my time working from home than others, but we’re trusted to work in the ways which best support young people. If I need to write case reviews, I can do them from home; if I know a young person will relate better to face-to-face contact, I’ll be there for them; but equally, we’ve found some young people feel more comfortable and open up more if we speak over Teams.

Managers trust us to do what’s right for families.

Find out more about South Gloucestershire’s approach to flexible working.

Jean-Paul Charnaud, South GloucestershireJP talks about his progression with the council

I’m service manager for our localities teams, but I joined South Glos as a student on placement 10 years ago. It’s quite rare to progress this far with the same authority, but right from my first days, I knew this was somewhere I could build my career.


There’s a can-do approach, and ideas and ambition are backed. We’re recognised for the skills and experience we bring to our roles, and we’re given opportunities to demonstrate what we can do.


We’ve introduced a ‘fluid career progression structure’, which has meant I’ve been able to progress when I can demonstrate that I’m ready for the next step up – even when there haven’t been open vacancies to apply for.


Though I’ve pursued the management route, this isn’t the only option for progression. Colleagues have taken up roles as subject matter experts or practice educators and there are plenty of other opportunities to build our wider skills and knowledge.

Read more on how South Gloucestershire promotes career progression.

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Service director Jo outlines her commitment to developing staff

We do a tough job. Every day we work with young people and families faced with complex and challenging situations, some of which we may not have come across before. Providing them with the right support at the right time in the right way takes skill, understanding, empathy and confidence.


We’ve invested in comprehensive support and guidance to help our teams navigate the challenges and build long-term positive relationships with families to help them achieve what they want from life.


But more than this, we’ve invested in training to help our staff grow and build their careers. I want everyone who joins us to achieve their ambitions with South Gloucestershire Council, whatever they may be. If you want to develop a specialist area of expertise, there are courses which will help you. If you see yourself doing my job some time, there is support and guidance available to you which I wish I’d had access to when I was working my way up through the ranks!

How innovation is improving outcomes for children

South Gloucestershire is also a council in which innovative practice is promoted.

One example of this is the Waypoint team, which supports children to move out of residential care or stay with their foster carers or families.

Read about how social workers are seeing the benefits – for children and themselves.


We’re a positive, proactive team, with supportive management who listen to ideas, and act on them – fast.


As well as the usual competitive salary, generous holiday entitlement and access to our contributory pension and staff benefits scheme, we can also offer:


  • Professional development: protected time and budget to support social workers develop themselves and their careers.
  • Career advancement: progress to senior social worker level, without having to wait for vacancies to open.
  • Relocation packages: relocation support of up to £8,000.
  • £3,000 recruitment payment: for experienced social workers joining our children’s teams.
  • Market rate supplement: an annual £3,000 ‘retention payment’, payable to those with two years’ service in eligible roles.
  • Flexible working: flexi-time, job-share, part-time hours and, in some instances, home working.
  • Car parking: office parking prioritised for social workers.
  • Social Work England registration fees paid.

Living in South Gloucestershire

We love our area. With Bristol and Bath on our doorstep, we can easily get our fix of urban culture and facilities, but we’re also lucky to be able to enjoy stunning scenery and countryside. We have excellent road and rail links, and our offices are easily accessible from Bristol, Bath, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, North Somerset and Wales.


We have the Bristol suburbs as part of our patch so many of our staff choose to live in the city and travel to work against the flow of commuting traffic. We’ve embraced hybrid working and our long-term social care teams are split geographically, bringing individual teams closer to the children and families they work with.

Our Workforce Insights Articles

South Gloucestershire Council has been able to grow its permanent workforce, which now stands at 106.7 full-time equivalent permanent caseholding social workers this year, compared to 75.3 at the same point last year – the most that have ever been employed within children’s services.


Read how they achieved it and the experiences of social workers at South Gloucestershire in this article and others from their archive here.

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