Top 20 most influential people in social care

Top 20 most influential people in social

We have compiled a list of the 20 most influential people in the
social care sector as voted for by readers of Community
and visitors to


Overall list

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Jo Williams

1) Jo Williams, chief executive, Mencap


Williams was described by one voter as “well-respected at all
levels within social services as a highly competent manager and
leader and also as a passionate advocate of social care values”.


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Denise Platt

2) Denise Platt, chair Commission for Social
Care Inspection


One voter said: “Denise is one of the most observant, articulate
and informed strategic managers and policy makers in the business. 
This is matched by a razor sharp focus on getting things done.  She
combines these strengths with a very ‘down to earth’
mind set.”


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Bob Holman

3)  Bob Holman, writer and campaigner

Holman “better than almost anyone, embodies the profession’s
values,” said one person who nominated him.  “He gave up his social
work professorship to work among poor and disadvantaged families,
first in Bath, then on the Easterhouse estate in Glasgow.  His
whole approach has been to empower local people and support them in
realising their own potential.”



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Felicity Collier

4) Felicity Collier, chief executive, Baaf
Adoption and Fostering                                 

One voter said of Collier:  “She’s demonstrated her passion
for children over nearly thirty years in social care and
doesn’t pull her punches when it comes to adoption


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Naomi Eisenstadt

5) Naomi Eisenstadt, national director, Sure
Start, DfES


One voter said: “She took a new idea and convinced everyone – it
worked brilliantly.”

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Mary Marsh

6) Mary Marsh, chief executive, NSPCC


One person said of Marsh “She has led the charity through a
period of considerable change and consolidated its position as a
standard-bearer for children.”

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Paul Ennals

7) Paul Ennals, chief executive, NCB

Paul was nominated for “his influence across the whole gamut of
children’s issues”. The voter added: “He is respected for his
skills of consensus buiding and not  tub-thumping for any
particular lobby.”

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June Thoburn

8) Professor June Thoburn, University of East


One voter nominated Thoburn for “her impact in the field of
child and family social work over the last.40 years”.


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Peter Beresford

9) Peter Beresford, chair Shaping Our Lives and
professor of social policy at Brunel University

Beresford’s work was described by one voter as “extremely useful
and inspirational”.


David Behan

10) David Behan, chief executive, Commission for
Social Care Inspection

One voter said: “David Behan is already in arguably the most
influential post in social care, as chief inspector. But he usually
manages to combine this heavyweight authority with a certain amount
of charm and deftness of touch.”

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Jayne Zito

11) Jayne Zito, founder and director of The Zito


One voter said of Jayne: “Since the death of her husband, she
has tirelessly campaigned for improved recognition of the needs of
people with mental health problems and for more complete and
efficient services in mental health support.”

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Lord Victor

12) Lord Victor Adebowale, chief executive Turning


One voter said: “Victor is one of the social care voluntary
sector’s most high profile figures and is listened to by
government and opinion formers such as think tanks.”


13) Roger Singleton, chief executive,

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Roger Singleton

One person said: “During his long spell at the helm of
Barnardo’s, Roger Singleton has been among the most consistent
champions of children’s interests.”

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Bert Massie

14) Bert Massie, chair, Disability Rights


One voter said: “I nominate Bert Massie because he’s an
influential role model for the very many disabled people who feel
excluded from mainstream politics.”

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Anne Owers

15) Anne Owers, chief inspector, HM Prisons

Owers was nominated by one voter for “for shining light in dark
corners – drawing attention to the inhumane conditions of chldren
in prison”.


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Anthony Douglas


Joint 16) Anthony Douglas, chief executive,


Douglas was described by one voter as “one of the most important
voices speaking for vulnerable children in his new role as chief
executive of Cafcass”.


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Ratna Dutt

Joint 16) Ratna Dutt, former director, Race
Equality Unit

One voter said: “Ratna has been the most high profile and
tireless campaigner for race equality in social care for many

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Jane Campbell

18) Jane Campbell, chair, Social Care Institute of


Campbell was nominated by one voter for “her great contribution
to disabled rights”.

Prof Rod Morgan

Joint 19) Professor Rod Morgan, chair, Youth
Justice Board

Morgan was described by one voter as “a down-to-earth man, who
speaks openly and honestly about the youth justice system”.


Joint 19) Marjorie Wallace, founder and chief
executive, SANE

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Marjorie Wallace

One voter said: “She led the move that turned round the Sun’s
reporting of Frank Bruno’s illness, from thoughtless sensationalism
to realistic, even sympathetic, coverage.”

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