Colum Conway has been named as the chief executive of the new regulator for social workers in England.
Conway will lead Social Work England, which today had draft regulations for its legislative framework published. The government has also responded to the consultation on the new regulator’s framework.
Conway qualified as a social worker in 1995 and is currently chief executive of the Northern Ireland Social Care Council, the regulator for social workers in Northern Ireland, where he has worked for five years.
He previously worked in social care, became a senior social worker, and has worked as the director of services at The Early Years Organisation, and chief executive of Extra Care.
Conway joins Lord Patel, Social Work England’s Chair, as the announced leadership of the regulator, one of the government’s flagship social work reforms announced in 2016.
‘Raising professional status’
The announcement was made by the minister for children and families, Nadhim Zahawi, and minister for health and social care, Caroline Dinenage, in a written statement to parliament.
In a statement on Conway’s announcement, Zahawi said: “We want to carry on raising the professional status of social workers, which is why I am pleased to announce Colum Conway as the Chief Executive of Social Work England, the new dedicated social work regulator. Colum has a background in social work and will bring a breadth of experience from his leadership role at Northern Ireland’s regulator, and will make sure Social Work England works in the best interests of the profession, as well as the vulnerable adults, children and families who need them.”
Conway said he was delighted to take on the role, and said he knew “first-hand” the complexity and challenge in social work.
“I am determined that Social Work England will make a unique and lasting contribution to the profession of social work and to the role of professional regulation in how it supports improvement and raises standards in practice and care.”
He added: “It will be a benefit to the profession to have a regulator that is adaptable and agile, responsive and efficient, and works establish and maintain constructive relationships with the diverse range of people who have an interest in social work.”