Guidance for applying

It’s great that you’re interested in working for Action for Children, we’re an organisation full of doers and grafters plus we know how to make a great cup of tea!

We’re determined that any child who needs our help gets help and we’ll achieve this with everyone that works for us - from IT to children’s services, to our welcoming committee and fundraisers (and so many more teams – you’ll be reading this forever!) - we all do what’s right, what’s needed and what works for children.

We work in all communities across the UK (as you read this, you’ll be within 10 miles away from one of services).


What we offer

By employing the very best staff we can provide the very best support to children, young people and their families. And if you join our team, you’ll get:

  • training and support
  • flexible working hours
  • in-depth development plans
  • a competitive benefits package
  • treated fairly - we're an equal opportunities employer

We’ve included information about Action for Children, our recruitment process, our employment practices including some top tips, which you may find useful when completing your application to join our team. If you have any questions just get in touch and we’ll talk you through it.

Thanks for looking and we hope to meet you soon.

About Action for Children

From before they are born until they are into their twenties, we help disadvantaged children across the UK. We do it through practical services and programmes that are proven to work. We help children through fostering or adoption. We intervene early to stop neglect and abuse.

We make life better for children with disabilities. We influence policy and advocate for change. Nearly 7,000 staff and volunteers run over 600 services, from family centres to intensive support services, youth work to residential care homes. Together, we make a difference to the lives of 390,000 children, young people and families every year.

From our origins running children’s homes, we have spent over a century working on the
front line, developing services that set a lead for others to follow. We work in partnership with other charities, local authorities and health services, and are supported by a broad range of donors, campaigners, experts and specialists. Our work depends on public support. We earn it by showing how every single thing we do makes a difference. We will succeed by doing what’s right, doing what’s needed, and doing what works for children.

Our ambition

Any child that needs help gets help.

How we deliver our ambition

Do what’s right for children. Do what’s needed. Do what works.

Our values

We’re straightforward, honest and analytical.
We partner, we collaborate and we share.
We value evidence and expertise.
We find strengths, we build on positives.
We don’t judge, we don’t belittle, we get on with it.
We think hard, then do, what’s right for children.

How Action for Children works

By helping children in the UK from before they are born until they are young adults.
By finding loving fostering and adoptive homes.
By making life better for children with disabilities.
By acting early to stop children being neglected or abused.
By providing short breaks and care for children and families.
By supporting parents and keeping families together.
By supporting young carers.
By running nurseries, family centres, and residential care.
By helping young people out of trouble and into education and jobs.
By training and equipping the professionals who help children.
By refusing to accept that 1.5 million neglected children in the UK is OK.
By opening closed minds and fixing flawed policies.
By running over 600 services with 5,000 staff and 2,000 volunteers.
By asking for – and earning – the public’s support.
By showing how every single thing we do makes a difference.
By doing what’s right, doing what’s needed, and doing what works for children.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

We’re here to make sure every child who needs our help, gets our help. To do that, we need to help each other.

How? By creating a culture of mutual trust and respect. By putting our belief in diversity and equality into practice, every day. And by ensuring everyone gets the chance to progress and achieve great things.

When our people succeed, we succeed.

When we succeed, thousands of children’s lives change for the better.

The recruitment process


We will match your application against our job description and the person specification. Those who meet the job’s specifications will be invited to the next stage. We’ll always let you know if it doesn’t work out.

Interview dates

Shortlisted applicants will be told of the interview date usually with a phone call and then an email to confirm all the interview details. 


If you are invited for interview are asked to confirm that they will attend to the named local contact in your letter. If you have any special requirements in relation to your interview, please inform us before attending.

Tests and practical assessments

A test, presentation or another assessment techniques might be used as a way for us to assess your suitability for the role. You’ll be told in advance if this is part of the assessment process in your invite to interview confirmation.


Employment references are requested for all applicants. These should be your two most recent employers, including your present employer where applicable. For posts in our residential services we will require three referee’s. Any offer of employment is subject to satisfactory references. References are normally verified once an offer of employment has been made. Personal (character) references should only be given when there is no employer or educational establishment to which reference can be made. Action for Children reserves the right to contact any other past employers where it seems necessary. Internal candidates should give their current manager as a referee.


Applicants must detail any criminal conviction information relevant to this role in this section.
In accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, the information provided in this form will be used for the recruitment and selection process and may be disclosed to all those who need to see it. It will also form the basis of the confidential personnel record of the successful candidate.

Equality and diversity monitoring

Action for Children are committed to promoting equality, valuing diversity and working inclusively in all that we do. To help our HR colleagues track and measure our diversity we ask that you complete the Equality and Diversity Monitoring Form. This information will be treated as confidential and not affect your application in any way.


Once you have reviewed all the information in your application make sure you submit it. You will receive an email from our Recruitment System to confirm we have. Please note late applications will not be allowed.

Pre-employment checks

All conditional offers of employment to successful candidates are subject to:

  • Satisfactory medical clearance.
  • Satisfactory references.
  • Proof of qualifications - we will ask to see proof of qualifications and copies will be kept on file for the successful candidate.
  • Proof of eligibility of right to work in the UK- please note Action for Children are unable to support any sponsorship requests.
  • Satisfactory Disclosure and International Police Checks (where applicable)
  • Satisfactory Credit Check/Probity Check (where applicable)

Rehabilitation of offenders

Because of the sensitive nature of our work, some posts are exempt from the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, by virtue of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exemptions) Order 1975. Because of this applicants are not entitled to withhold information about convictions, which for other purposes are “spent” under the provisions of the Act.

If you have a conviction which is not classed as spent, you must declare this to us in writing at the point at which you apply for any job in the appropriate section of the online application process.

If you are applying for any post which involves working directly with children/vulnerable adults you are also obliged to declare all convictions regardless of whether they are spent or not.

Any information provided in this section of the application form will be completely confidential and will be considered only in relation to an application for positions to which the order applies.

The successful applicant will also be subject to a disclosure check from the relevant disclosure body (Disclosure and Baring Service, Access Northern Ireland or Disclosure Scotland) before a formal offer of appointment is made.

The successful applicant will also be subject to a disclosure check from the relevant disclosure body (Disclosure and Baring Service, Access Northern Ireland or Disclosure Scotland) before a formal offer of appointment is made.