Government renews drive to recruit chief social workers at £120k per post

Despite concerns in some quarters that it might lead to a split in the profession, the government is forging ahead with efforts to find two chief social workers by April.

The government has launched its recruitment campaign for two chief social workers to represent the profession at national level in England, offering up to £120,000 for each post.

Previous attempts to find a single chief social worker – offering a £110,000 salary – ground to a halt last year and the government announced in November that it planned to divide the position into two, one in adult services and one in children’s.

The move was criticised at the time by British Association of Social Workers acting chief executive Bridget Robb, who expressed concern that it would split the profession

But Professor Eileen Munro said it would be better to have two successful post-holders than one who would “drown” under the pressure of the combined role.

Advertising the two separate posts this week, the government said it was seeking “skilled qualified social work practitioners with experience of delivering significant practice improvement and with a track record of reform and change, involving social workers, other professionals and of significance beyond their local context”.

The children’s chief social worker will report to the Director General for Children’s Services and Departmental Strategy at the Department for Education, while their counterpart in adult services will report to the Director General for Social Care, Local Government and Care Partnerships at the DH.

Both are full-time civil service positions at director level.

Applications are being accepted until 5 March, preliminary interviews are due to take place at the end of March and a final panel will sit on 23 April.

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