Providing a statutory social work service on behalf of the Ministry of Defence for the military community based overseas.

A brief introduction to the services we provide and the people we help.

The British Forces Social Work Service (BFSWS), delivered by Core Assets, provides a service in accordance with the Children Act 1989, specifically Section 17 (children and families in need), Section 47 (protection of children), Section 20 (voluntary accommodation of children), and the Children Act 2004.

As such our practice is underpinned by UK legislation. It is our statutory duty, as lead agency in safeguarding children, to investigate child protection referrals and to provide services for children and families in need.

The bulk of BFSWS responsibilities lie in North West-Europe, where a large number of UK military personnel and their families are based. However, the service could also be called upon to provide a social worker for statutory issues to military personnel in isolated detachments around the world.

BFSWS provides services for adults with ill health and disabilities, carries out assessments where required and provides services for vulnerable adults as part of a multi agency response.

Referrals to our service come from a variety of sources, such as health workers, Unit Welfare Officers, the Army Welfare Service, teachers, police and self-referrals. We also receive referrals from children and adult services in the UK and are often asked to do pieces of work on their behalf.


To make a referral to BFSWS

Civ: 0044 808 168 3111

Out of Hours Service for emergencies also available on these numbers.


By calling Civilian: 0044 808 168 3111 you will be connected to the BFSWS’s Central Referral Team (CRT). Trained administrative staff, overseen by the CRT Team Manager, take the referral details.

Agencies or members of the military community may want advice or information without making a referral - this can be dealt with in CRT as a general enquiry.

Outside of normal working hours, in cases of  emergency,  a Duty Senior Social  Work Practitioner supported by a duty Team Manager can be contacted on the same numbers as those for the office hours.



BFSWS is staffed by professionally qualified and UK registered social workers employed as Senior Social Work Practitioners (SSWP). We are supported by administrative staff and are located cover all of BFG, EJSU area and BATUS and BATUK.

Although the number of cases requiring social work input is no higher in the military community than in the civilian world, military families are under different pressures. Many families with young children are away from home for the first time, living in a foreign country, away from close friends and family. For extended periods of time, they may become single parent families while their partner is posted away on deployment.

BFSWS is keen to offer a preventative service to prevent problems from escalating and ensure the family is helped or signposted to the relevant agencies at an early point. BFSWS works in partnership with those who seek its assistance.