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BASW urges new Chief Social Worker for Adults to work closely with wider social work sector

BASW has urged the newly appointed Chief Social Worker for Adults in England, Lyn Romeo, to work closely with her counterpart for children if she is to make the role a success.

As Chief Social Worker for Adults Ms Romeo, currently Assistant Director of Adult Social Care and Joint Commissioning for the London Borough of Camden, will be responsible for improving the quality of care across adult services in England and acting as a champion for the profession.

BASW Chief Executive Bridget Robb reiterated the Association’s concern at the decision, taken last year, to divide the Chief Social Worker post into two. “We welcome the announcement but remain disappointed that there are two chief social workers rather than one.

"We hope that Ms Romeo and the Chief Social Worker for Children will be wanting to work with the whole profession in England. They will also have to work with chief social workers elsewhere across the UK and we look forward to developing a working relationship with them."

Ruth Cartwright, BASW England Manager, said: "BASW welcomes the appointment of the new Chief Social Worker for Adults. We look forward to meeting Ms Romeo as soon as possible and to working with her to make sure the voice of social work is heard loud and clear at governmental forums."

Ms Romeo herself, who has 35 years of frontline and management experience, emphasised her strong social work credentials: “As a social worker myself, I know how challenging it can be on the frontline, but I also know what a hugely positive influence a good social worker can have and the amazing difference they can make to people’s lives.

“It will be my aim to boost the profile of adult social work, support social workers in improving the quality of their practice and to make sure social workers can support the people they work with to achieve the outcomes they want for themselves.” 

Announcing the appointment, the Department for Health made it clear she would be expected to work closely with the Chief Social Worker for Children.

Care services minister Norman Lamb, who appointed Romeo, said: “I am delighted that Lyn has accepted this new and exciting role. She brings with her a wealth of experience from Camden and other areas. Her expertise will make her a strong and effective advocate for people who use services, their carers and social work practitioners working with adults.”

Both Chief Social Workers postholders will be expected to advise health and education ministers on how best to improve standards in social work, looking at areas such as training and professional development.