Top 20 most influential people in social care

    Jo Williams has been named the most influential person in social
    care, writes Clare Jerrom.

    New Asset  
    Jo Williams – overall

    The chief executive of Mencap, who was formerly director of
    social services at Cheshire Council and a past president of the
    Association of Director of Social Services, gained the most votes
    from our shortlist of more than 60 people in an exclusive
    Community Care poll.

    Speaking exclusively to Community Care from Cuba, where
    she is currently on holiday, Williams
    said: “I am extremely surprised and very thrilled to be 
    honoured in this way. I use any influence I have in the field of
    social care to raise the profile of people with a learning

    More than 2,200 people voted in our survey to find the Top 20
    most influential people in the social care sector.

    A short list of around 60 people was drawn up from the original
    nominations and this group were split into adult social care,
    general/policy and children and young people categories.
    Community Care’s readers and visitors to
    then voted for their champion.

    Social Care for Adults category

    1) Jo Williams, chief executive of Mencap

    2) Peter Beresford, chair Shaping our Lives and Professor of Social
    Policy at Brunel University

    3) Jayne Zito, founder and director of The Zito Trust

    Williams was voted the overall most influential person, and also
    topped the social care for adults category. Peter Beresford, chair
    of Shaping Our Lives and professor of social policy at Brunel
    University, was the runner-up in this category.

    One voter nominated Beresford “for his inspirational
    contribution to social care, in particular, promoting the
    involvement of service users.”

    The voter continued: “Peter has used his own experience of
    mental distress to influence understandings of user involvement in
    social care. His work encourages people to feel valued and

    Jayne Zito, founder and director of The Zito Trust was voted the
    third most influential person in the social care for adults

    General/Policy category

    thumbnail size  
    Denise Platt

    1) Denise Platt, chair of the Commission for Social Care Inspection


    2) Bob Holman, writer and campaigner

    3) David Behan, chief executive Commission for Social Care

    The second general/policy category was topped by Dame Denise
    Platt, chair of the Commission for Social Care Inspection. Platt
    was described by one voter as “one of the most observant,
    articulate and informed strategic managers and policy makers in the

    Platt’s colleague David Behan – the chief executive at
    CSCI – came third within this category while Bob Holman, writer and
    campaigner, was the runner-up in the general/policy category.

    Children and Young People

    New Asset  
    Felicity Collier


    1) Felicity Collier, chief executive Baaf Adoption and

    2) Naomi Eisenstadt, national director Sure Start, DfES

    3) Mary Marsh, chief executive NSPCC

    The final category for people working with children and young
    people was topped by the chief executive of Baaf Adoption and
    Fostering Felicity Collier.

    Collier said: “I feel very honoured to have the confidence of
    Community Care readers but also recognise the
    responsibility I and BAAF have for influencing decisions about
    children – we aim to win the hearts and minds of the public, policy
    makers and politicians to make a difference for children separated
    from their birth parents.

    “It is not easy and I have sometimes felt it would be easier not to
    challenge – of course discussions about policies do not always take
    place publicly but sometimes the publicity is an important key in
    achieving a result.  I do think it is fair to say we have had
    significant influence.”

    Naomi Eisenstadt, the national director of Sure Start in the
    Department for Education and Skills was named the second most
    influential in this category. One voter said: “She took a new
    idea and convinced everyone – it worked brilliantly”.

    The person who received the third highest votes in the children
    and young people category was Mary Marsh, chief executive of
    children’s charity NSPCC.

    For a full list of the overall Top 20 click here

    For a full list of the Top 20 in the adult social care category
    click here

    For a full list of the Top 20 in the general/policy category click

    For a full list of the Top 20 in the children and young people
    click here




    More from Community Care

    Comments are closed.