Lack of support for top Dumfries officer

Dumfries and Galloway social services staff are confused over the role and authority of the council’s chief social work officer (CSWO), inspectors have found.

The Social Work Inspection Agency found a widely held belief, particularly among managers, that the council had not given enough status to the professional leadership and identity vested in the CSWO role, held by Beth Smith.

The inspection agency said the CSWO’s responsibilities towards adult services, particularly mental health, had caused tension among three senior managers that headed the council’s education and community services directorate, which was formed by a reorganisation in 2003.

But council chief executive Philip Jones told inspectors that the council was committed to the responsibilities and role of the CSWO.

He said the full council would consider any changes to the senior management structure in social work next month.

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