Two NQSWs elected to College professional leadership body

Ten social workers to take seats on College of Social Work's governing board and professional assembly following inaugural elections.

Two newly-qualified social workers are among 10 practitioners who will join the College of Social Work’s governing board or professional assembly following its first elections.

NQSWs Rebecca Joy Novell, who works for a Sheffield homelessness charity, and Nikki Burton, who worked in adult social care before qualifying, are to take their seats on the College’s professional assembly this month. The assembly oversees the College’s professional and practice support to practitioners.

Reacting to the news on Twitter, Burton (@NikkiBeeSW) said: “Proud to be elected member of prof assembly of @CollegeofSW. Can’t wait to get started.”

Burton and Novell will join four experienced managers as newly-elected members of the board:

  • Jenny Robb, director of social care at Mersey Care NHS Trust;
  • Lucie Heyes, social work reform programme manager at Islington council in London;
  • Claire Barcham, the manager of Islington’s emergency duty team;
  • Jacky Tiotto, divisional manager for social care inspection at Ofsted.

Four experienced social work figures have been elected to the College’s board, which is responsible for setting the strategic direction and overseeing the delivery of its business plan and budget. They are:

  • Jennifer Bernard, who has held roles including chief executive of former regulator the Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work during a 35-year career;
  • Hilary Tompsett, head of social work at Kingston University and a former deputy chair of the General Social Care Council;
  • Ken Terry, a former local authority assistant director; who has been active in the Britsh Association of Social Workers; 
  • Gillian Leake, an independent social worker with 30 years’ experience.

The elections are controversial because they only cover a minority of posts on the 12-strong board and 28-strong assembly, with the rest being appointed, including the chairs of both bodies. The College had previously promised to have a “fully elected board and professional by early 2013.

By 2016, both bodies will be mostly elected as appointed members are replaced by elected ones. The College has justified its “transitional” approach because of a need to provide “continuity and stability”, including by retaining the services of people currently serving on its transition board and professional assembly as appointee members.

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