Hull took part in the Bright Spots programme in 2021-22. Just over a quarter of young people in care aged 11-18 (28%) answered that they had had three or more social workers in the previous year. Some wrote about the impact of this sharing how it was unsettling and confusing. Some felt it was their fault when a social worker left, others felt they had not had an explanation or a proper good-bye – there was frustration at having to tell their story again to new workers.


Hull have worked alongside their children in care council to develop a powerful podcast of views and experiences to share how it can feel when you have a change of worker and you don’t know that this is happening.

The podcast has been shared extensively across the local authority. It is now part of every new social workers’ induction – so it is reaching new people every month. It was part of their winning entry to the A National Voice awards.

To further embed the work Hull have incorporated change of worker into their monthly audit processes to check whether practice is changing and improving in this area. They will dip-sample the records of children who experienced a change of social worker to check how the change was managed.

New practice standards in Hull (linked to the Bright Spots well-being domains) are clear about the expectations of what should happen when there is a change of social worker (see page 43 to 45)

Posters have been created to tell everyone about the changes in relation to fully informing children about change of worker – the posters are displayed in offices (next to tea & coffee area). The A3 posters focus on ‘you said’ and ‘we will do’ to make sure children are always told the reason for a change of worker and reassured that this change is never their fault.


The podcast is now a standard part of induction for student social workers and new starters. Hull are committed to disseminating the findings – so far 450 practitioners have attended events. They have also created a ‘words and pictures film’ which includes messages from social workers about what they are going to do in response to Bright spots findings.

Hull’s work in this area (the podcast) and their ‘Dream on’ film based on children’s feelings following the Bright  Spots survey) has won the 2022 Social Work Award for ‘Digital Transformation’ in recognition of the focus on listening and responding to children in care’s voices and priorities creatively using digital technology.

The annual Social Work Awards stated: “The digital transformation delivered by Hull is moving, uplifting, and most importantly, it has the voices of children front and centre.”