Hilton Dawson has been named as the new chief executive of the British Association of Social Workers.
The former MP and qualified social worker will start work at the professional body’s headquarters in Birmingham in April.
Dawson, who works as a consultant in children's services, takes over leadership of the 11,500-member organisation from Ian Johnston, who is retiring after 10 years in the post.
Politics and social care
Dawson’s social care career began in 1982 at Lancashire Council’s children’s department, where he worked for 15 years before entering politics.
He served Lancashire's Lancaster and Wyre constituency as a Labour MP from 1997 to 2005, when he stood down. In an interview with Community Care in 2007 he said he "needed to leave [parliament] to try to do things as well as talk about them".
A well-known figure in the public and voluntary sectors, Dawson has been chair of the National Academy for Parenting Practitioners since its launch in 2007. He is also an honorary fellow at Unicef, a professional adviser to A National Voice, and was chief executive of the charity Shaftesbury Young People from 2005 to 2008.
Dawson said he was "delighted" to be appointed chief executive at such a crucial time for the profession. He promised to work hard to ensure the achievements of members were recognised and understood.
Dawson will be formally presented to BASW members at the association’s annual meeting at Birmingham Council House on 30 April. Tim Chittleburgh, a social work consultant from Brighton, will take over as BASW chair from Ronnie Barnes after an election.
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