Tributes have been paid to former social worker and MP Paul Goggins, who died last night aged 60, just over a week after collapsing when out running.
Goggins, the Labour MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East, Greater Manchester, since 1997, worked as a residential child care worker in the 1970s before gaining the Certificate of Qualification in Social Work. He worked for the charities NCH (now Action for Children) and Church Action on Poverty before his election to Parliament.
He was minister for prisons and probation from 2003-5 and was then appointed as a Northern Ireland minister in 2006, in which capacity he oversaw reforms to adoption, fostering and mental health and learning disability services.
Within Parliament he has been a longstanding champion of looked-after children and campaigned with the Fostering Network for young people to be allowed to remain in foster care until the age of 21.
Last month, the campaign proved successful as the government announced the would place a duty on councils to support all young people who want to remain in foster care to do so, from April 2014.
His colleague, the Labour MP Lisa Nandy, said Goggins had “won this last, important battle for children” before his death, while the Fostering Network described him as an “amazing champion for young people”.
He was also a member of the all-party parliamentary group on social work, which is administered by the British Association of Social Workers.
“We would like to extend our condolences to Paul’s family and thank him for being such a friend to social workers,” said BASW chief executive Bridget Robb. “Paul was a dedicated member of the all-party parliamentary group on social work and took a lead role during a recent inquiry into the state of social work.
“Paul stayed true to his roots and principles and showed a genuine and deep understanding of the concerns raised by social workers. He had a real desire to change people’s lives for the better.”
Tributes to Paul Goggins
Just before he died my friend Paul Goggins won this last, important battle for children http://t.co/nWr2kooQNg. He will always inspire me.
— Lisa Nandy (@lisanandy) January 8, 2014
Desperately sad to hear that Paul Goggins MP has died. We worked together for 3 years when he was Prisons Minister and it was a privilege.
— Sir Martin Narey (@martinnarey) January 8, 2014
The Trust would like to extend its sympathy to the family and friends of the late Paul Goggins MP – a true advocate of disability rights.
— Disabilities Trust (@theDTgroup) January 8, 2014
Paul Goggins, a truly great champion for our cause, worked tirelessly achieving great strides for vulnerable children http://t.co/D12mafX0N7
— Action for Children (@aslongasittakes) January 8, 2014
Paul Goggins was one of the good guys-he achieved much for kids in care he especially championed & 4 whom it was a pleasure to work with him
— Tim Loughton MP (@timloughton) January 8, 2014
— David N Jones (@JonesDavidN) January 8, 2014