Applicants must be qualified social workers – though need not be currently registered – and be able to provide a “frontline perspective on policymaking” – though most of the essential criteria for the role concern leadership and policy experience and expertise (see box).
A salary of £100,000 is on offer for a successful external candidate, with a civil servant who obtains the role being paid in line with internal rules.
Essential criteria for next chief social worker for adults
- The ability to communicate and influence at very senior levels on a range of adult social work and care issues through the power of expertise,
relationships, and personal credibility.
- Being proactive in identifying opportunities to add value to policymaking, creative in generating ideas and cognisant of the political and fiscal
- A proven track record of operating successfully in a senior leadership role within social work, adult social care, or local government.
- Significant knowledge and experience of national policy development and implementation.
- Experience of working in or with central government.
- Qualifications that meet the requirements to register as a social worker with Social Work England.
‘Public face of social work with adults’
The Department of Health and Social Care said Romeo’s successor would be the “public face of adult social work in England”, and its job advertisement outlines two core elements for the role.
The first is providing advice on social work practice, recruitment and retention and wider adult social care services to ministers, bringing “a frontline perspective on issues to inform policymaking”.
This would also encompass working with the Department for Education – which has its own chief social worker for children and families, Isabelle Trowler – on improving training for practitioners.
‘Raising profile and reputation of social workers’
The second element is providing “visible, professional leadership to the social work workforce”, which would involve leading on “raising the profile and reputation of social workers with key stakeholders, to attract more people to work in the sector”.
As Romeo did, the new chief social worker would be expected to forge strong links with the Adult Principal Social Worker Network, whose support is funded by government.
Through this relationship, the new chief social worker would “stay informed of current issues in the profession and ensure the needs and views of the workforce are understood to inform future policy”.