Government readvertises chief social worker post at higher salary

DHSC increases pay for chief social worker for adults post from £100,000 to up to £130,000, six months on from initial bid to recruit Lyn Romeo's successor

Man holding up a sign which reads 'salary increase'
Photo: gustavofrazao/Adobe Stock

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The government has readvertised the chief social worker for adults position at a higher salary, six months after it started recruiting for a successor to Lyn Romeo.

The Department for Health and Social Care initially went out to recruit for the role in October 2023, offering external candidates £100,000 for taking up the position, with civil servants being appointed in line with internal pay rules.

However, it has not yet managed to appoint a successor to Romeo, who left her post at the end of January.

It has now readvertised the role with an offer of £120,000-£130,000 to external candidates. This is more in line with the pay of chief social worker for children and families, Isabelle Trowler, whom the Department for Education lists as being on a salary of between £145,000 and £149,999.

Roles and requirements

The chief’s responsibilities include advising ministers and civil servants on social work practice and workforce issues; providing leadership to adult social work, including to the Adult Principal Social Worker Network, and advising on the national escalation of safeguarding issues from local safeguarding adults boards.

The essential requirements for the role are:

  • An 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 policy making, creative in generating ideas and cognisant of the political and fiscal context.
  • Having a proven track record of operating successfully in a senior leadership role within social work, adult social care or local government.
  • Having significant knowledge and experience of national policy development and implementation and, ideally, working in or with central government.
  • Having qualifications that meet the requirements to register as a social worker with Social Work England.

‘A fabulous job’

In posts on X (formerly Twitter) and LinkedIn, Romeo encouraged people to apply for what she described as a “fabulous job”.

The panel that will determine the appointment consists of former Association of Directors of Adult Social Services president Beverley Tarka, DHSC director general for adult social care Michelle Dyson and Martin Spencer from the Civil Service Commission, whose role is to ensure the process is fair and merit-based.

A DHSC spokesperson said: “Our chief social worker recruitment campaign remains open until 20 May, and we will be announcing an appointment to this role in due course.”

The appointment is for a minimum three-year period. Though Romeo served for almost 11 years as chief social worker, her appointment, in 2013, was initially for a two-year secondment.

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13 Responses to Government readvertises chief social worker post at higher salary

  1. Sarah April 26, 2024 at 7:41 pm #

    They could double the salary and I still wouldn’t touch it with a bargepole!

  2. Jake April 27, 2024 at 5:46 pm #

    What does Trowler actually DO to command that level of pay? In fact, maybe we don’t want to know.

    The CSW’s should be appointed by the profession – not corrupt government.

  3. GillB April 28, 2024 at 11:08 am #

    Could this perhaps reflect in part the priority given to social care in the civil service & government ?

  4. Jermaine April 28, 2024 at 6:24 pm #

    No person of colour would ever get that job for sure. Same for all the senior positions across social work.

    This profession of social work is oppressive and racist to the core. Most senior managers are white, middle age and middle class snobs.

    A senior black manager around the table is still anomaly.

    • VH April 28, 2024 at 9:34 pm #

      So true. I’d love to see Wayne Reid in the role – he’s exactly what social work needs at that level.

      • Bernadette L April 29, 2024 at 9:54 pm #

        Wishful thinking. From what I’ve seen and heard, he’s far too decent to swim with those sharks.

        • Peter April 30, 2024 at 11:46 pm #

          Anyone can see that Wayne Reid has done more for social work in the last few years than Romeo and Trowler have done in 10+ years. He is already an unofficial Chief Social Worker and doesn’t need £140k a year or a Social Worker of the Year gong to confirm it. I pray he never bites from the rotten apple.

      • Ryan Webb May 1, 2024 at 5:55 pm #

        Given that social work is a profession which is 85% female, shouldn’t the CSW be a woman?

        • Shazza May 1, 2024 at 11:01 pm #

          Not sure about that logic Ryan. On that basis, would marginalised voices ever have a voice or seat at the table?

        • Jason B May 2, 2024 at 7:55 am #

          If we only have voices that speak for the majority, when will minorities be heard?

  5. Sarah April 29, 2024 at 12:16 pm #

    My thoughts exactly! The discrimination in the higher echelons of the social worker hierarchy cuts across race and class. There is a complete absence of SW who make decisions are far removed from the daily slog, yet they profess to speak for us with blue skies thinking and a few kind expressions of sympathy. It is a shame. Years ago SW hailed itself as a torch bearer for anti discriminatory/oppressive/racist practice, but the has failed miserably. Even a modicum of diversity may address the disproportionate rates of disciplinary action (and dismissal!) of BME staff. We also need representation by SWs who have actually worked at the “coal face” over the last 20 years so that they have a true understanding of what the role involves.

  6. Tahin April 29, 2024 at 4:48 pm #

    Here’s a thought, why not have it as a joint appointment with someone who actually has experience of using services?

  7. Pauline O'Reggio May 8, 2024 at 11:15 am #

    How can equal opportunities apply when in 2024 there are still no black senior managers in position’s who are taken seriously to influence changes.

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