Practitioners and service user leaders join Social Work Taskforce

The Department for Children, Schools and Families today announced the full membership of the Social Work Taskforce.

The DCSF and Department of Health have appointed directors of children’s and adult services, along with service user leaders, practitioners, academics and staff representatives. There is even a place for The Sun’s agony aunt, Deidre Saunders.

The taskforce has been set up to examine how the quality of the profession, recruitment and retention can be improved, and is due to the report this summer.

As previously announced, it will be chaired by Camden Council chief executive Moira Gibb, with Andrew Webb, director of children’s services at Stockport Council, and Children’s Society chief executive Bob Reitemeier as vice-chairs.

Frontline representation

Representing frontline practitioners on the taskforce are Diane Mallett, senior social work practitioner for Barnsley Council’s adult services, and British Association of Social Workers professional officer for England Bridget Robb.

From the service user movement, the DCSF and DH have appointed Anne Beales, director of service user involvement at mental health charity Together – Working for Wellbeing, and Maxine Wrigley, national co-ordinator at Voice, the charity run by people who have been in care.

Among children’s services leaders, Webb and Reitemeier are joined by Kim Bromley-Derry, vice-president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, and Sue Butcher, head of children and young people’s services at Gloucestershire Council.

Adult directors represented

The adult social services sector is represented by Richard Jones, director of adult services at Lancashire Council and the next vice-president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, and James Reilly, the director at Hammersmith and Fulham Council in London.

From the research and academic community, the DCSF and DH have appointed Celia Atherton, founder and chief executive of Research in Practice, and Sue White, Professor of Social Work at Lancaster University. 

The taskforce’s membership is completed by Neil Wragg, Chief Executive Officer, Youth at Risk, a charity which works with young people at risk of poor outcomes, and Helga Pile, national officer for social care at Unison.

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