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Opportunities for experienced social workers

Become a Consultant Social Worker

Progress your social work career:

  • Join a movement of leaders promoting and strengthening mental health social work.
  • Lead a unit of talented Think Ahead participants.
  • Develop your skills in practice, supervision, and education.
  • Get fully funded training, including a Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Social Work from the University of York.
  • Enhance your salary.

Ask us about opportunities in your area


Consultant Social Workers are employed by our host organisations to lead and develop first-year participants on the Think Ahead programme. It’s a full-time position, managing a unit of four participants placed in a community mental health team. You retain a frontline role, sharing a mixed caseload across the unit, acting as their leader and role model.

You will work intensively with participants to provide practice education of outstanding quality, enabling them to take increasing responsibility for the unit caseload as they progress. Working with an academic tutor, you will assess their ability to put social work theories, interventions, and legislation into practice.

To find out more about participant units, and the programme generally, see How the programme works.


Becoming a Consultant Social Worker is an opportunity to progress your social work career. You will join a group of expert leaders delivering a prestigious, high-profile initiative, and you will lead and work with exceptionally talented individuals.

To equip you for the role, we will provide a unique, fully funded training course. This will consolidate and develop your expertise in evidence-based interventions, advanced supervision, and practice education. The training is accredited, includes Practice Educator Stages 1 and 2, and will result in you being awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Social Work from the University of York.

Most employers will also offer a salary enhancement, although this varies from organisation to organisation.


You need to be a registered social worker with significant experience of promoting recovery in community mental health teams. You will also need the enthusiasm, confidence, and authority to inspire others.

You do not need previous experience as a Practice Educator (training is provided).

To find out more:

Ask us about opportunities in your area

Consultant Social Worker vacancies are advertised by the NHS Trusts and Local Authorities that host Think Ahead participants, as one-year secondments. You usually need to be an existing employee of a host organisation to apply. We’re talking all the time to organisations that may become hosts, so if your employer isn’t currently working with us (or if you’re not sure whether they are) it’s still worth contacting us.

Join our Professionals Network

Our Professionals Network is an informal group of social workers from all over England. Members help us keep in touch with the profession, and provide expert input to shape our work.

The group communicates by email, with occasional meetings in London. It’s always optional whether to come to a particular meeting or respond to a particular email.

We are always happy to welcome new members into the group.

Ask us about the Professionals Network

Become a Practice Specialist

Think Ahead employs Practice Specialists – experienced social workers who work with our host organisations to ensure effective local delivery of our programme. We are not currently recruiting for the Practice Specialist role, but future job opportunities will appear here.