[Skip to Content]
Frontline Worker Survey 2018 - Key Findings and Impact

Frontline Worker Survey 2018 - Key Findings and Impact

Frontline Worker Survey 2018 - Key Findings and Impact

Friday, October 25, 2019


The Frontline Worker 2018 survey  was the most extensive of its kind, receiving feedback from 833 frontline staff working with those experiencing homelessness across the United Kingdom.

In providing a snapshot of the working life of frontline workers today, our most recent report highlighted the importance of listening to the frontline when considering policy responses to homelessness.

Here is a summary of the report's key findings and impact.

Key Findings:

  • In the Frontline Worker survey, 82% of frontline workers found it overwhelmingly difficult to prevent homelessness.

  • 80% of all frontline workers found it difficult or very difficult to access accommodation within the Local Housing Allowance rate.

  • The survey also found that access to ‘mental health support and benefits support’ has got harder for frontline workers across every region in the UK.

  • While 98% of frontline workers felt ‘having enough time to do my job effectively’ was extremely or very important; only 42% of frontline workers felt they had enough time to do their job effectively.


Who we asked:

We defined ‘frontline worker’ as a paid worker, who directly supports people who are experiencing homelessness. Spanning multiple sectors across the UK, views from the homelessness, criminal justice, health, welfare & benefits, and substance-use sectors were all represented.

The 2018 survey succeeded in amplifying the collective voice of frontline workers supporting people experiencing homelessness across the UK.

Impact of the Frontline Worker Survey 2018

  •   “My Policy Officials will make sure to feed the findings of this survey into our policy development, particularly on workforce capability” (Minister for Local Government and Homelessness, 2019)

  •   “We are grateful for your continued support and investment that ensures frontline workers are able to influence and shape national policy based on their expertise.” (Directorate for Housing and Social Justice: Scottish Government, 2019)

  • The frontline worker difficulties expressed in finding accommodation within the LHA rate were highlighted within Crisis’ report: “Cover the Cost: Restoring Local Housing Allowance rates to prevent homelessness”.

  • We also presented the survey’s findings at the Homeless Link Policy Forum on the impact of the Homelessness Reduction Act on Single Homelessness in London. You can find our guest briefing for Homeless Link’s London Plus Project Newsletter here.

  • Homeless Link recently developed a webinar on Universal Credit, which was informed by feedback from this survey – addressing some of the key concerns raised by frontline workers.

  • We used the findings in this survey to support our recent evidence submission to the Government's consultation on repealing Section 21: the no-fault eviction notice. Our findings confirmed that frontline workers strongly believe landlords should no longer be able to evict tenants at short notice, and without good reason.

What We've Done So Far

Training Fund

In our 2018 survey, over 80% of frontline workers felt it would be useful for the Frontline Network to provide funding for training. We are now pleased to launch our 'Training Fund'.

Any frontline worker who has registered with the Frontline Network can apply. This enables any frontline worker to apply for funding to attend either existing training, or to commission bespoke training where there is a high enough need in their area.

Vicar’s Relief Fund grant

In 2017/18 the Vicar’s Relief Fund awarded 3981 grants to help people access accommodation, and 1646 grants to help prevent eviction. We will review how the VRF can best encourage further access to accommodation and support frontline workers in dealing with the challenges arising from new legislation.

Ideas Fund

We will continue to support innovation on the frontline through the Ideas Fund. The Ideas Fund can help you access funding to turn an idea that will improve the situation for people experiencing homelessness into reality. The funding ranges from £200 to £10,000, for ideas big and small. You can use it to develop creative solutions and new ways of working.

Frontline Worker Survey 2019

At the Frontline Network, it’s not about us. It’s about you as a frontline worker. We work with your ideas and expertise, finding ways to help you and your work. 

On 4th November 2019, we are launching the Frontline Worker Survey 2019 to amplify the voice of frontline workers. The survey is anonymous and will be open until 26th November 2019.

We believe the feedback in our annual survey shows the need for decision makers to sit up and listen to frontline workers when developing strategies to reduce homelessness.

This survey will help identify the best ways of supporting frontline workers in their work. It will take the temperature of frontline workers working with those experiencing homelessness.

Please look out for our Frontline Worker Survey 2019, which will be released soon.

News and Views

  • End Furniture Poverty Survey

    End Furniture Poverty Survey

    End Furniture Poverty have recently spoken with the Frontline Network to discuss their important ongoing survey, seek...
  • Cover the Cost Campaign

    Cover the Cost Campaign

    Jasmine Basran, Senior Policy Officer at Crisis, talks to us about the Cover the Cost Campaign, asking the Government...
  • VRF Impact Report 2018/19

    VRF Impact Report 2018/19

    Over the past year we have given out 3827 grants totaling £1,156,805 through the VRF. Read the latest Impact Report t...
  • Influence from the Frontline

    Influence from the Frontline

    Frontline workers are crucial at giving insight into the viewpoints of the people they work with as well as the chall...
  • The Vagrancy Act

    The Vagrancy Act

    Crisis, along with others including Homeless Link, Cymorth Cymru, Centrepoint, St Mungo’s, Shelter Cymru and the Wall...
  • Influencing local decisions

    Influencing local decisions

    Zoe, Frontline Network Coordinator at Coventry Citizens Advice, talks to us about the Coventry Frontline Network and...
  • The Litigant in Person Network

    The Litigant in Person Network

    Martha de la Roche, Network Development Manager at Litigant in Person Network (LiP Network), tells us about The LiP N...
  • VRF Impact Report

    VRF Impact Report

    Find out what impact VRF had last year and how to get involved in shaping its direction in the coming year.
  • Housing First Scotland

    Housing First Scotland

    Please see here for the first issue of Housing First Connect - a twice-yearly newsletter for Scotland’s new Housing F...
  • Slaying the Dragon

    Slaying the Dragon

    Will Golding, Edinburgh Tutor at Crisis, talks to us about 'Slaying the Dragon'.
  • CPAG - Early Warning System

    CPAG - Early Warning System

    Dan Norris, from CPAG, talks to us about a new Early Warning System to record the impact of benefit changes implement...
  • The Hostile Environment

    The Hostile Environment

    Bethan Lant, a Project lead from Praxis, writes about the creation of a hostile environment for migrants and refugees.
  • Wrexham’s Crisis Cafe

    Wrexham’s Crisis Cafe

    Sinead Kelleher writes about Wrexham's Crisis Cafe, a multi-agency response to Universal Credit.
  • Frontline Worker Survey

    Frontline Worker Survey

    We are asking frontline workers to participate in a survey, aimed at those working with clients who are experiencing...
  • A map through conflict

    A map through conflict

    A Cyrenians Mediator writes about their innovative Amber Mediation and Support Project, a model of mediation and supp...
  •  “A place to call home"

    “A place to call home"

    Hannah Gousy was seconded from Crisis to the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) to help design policy recommendations to...
  • A London Nightshelter

    A London Nightshelter

    On 7 November we opened our church-based shelters for the winter with more churches signed on then ever before. Glass...
  • 'Step Up' at The Connection

    'Step Up' at The Connection

    Wyn Newman introduces the volunteer programme 'Step Up' that has been developed at The Connection for service users.