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New chief executive of Social Work England urged to work with BASW England to promote excellent social work practice

BASW England congratulates former social worker Colum Conway on his appointment as chief executive of Social Work England (SWE) and urges him to work closely with the professional association – and the wider social work sector – to uphold social work values and ensure the Professional Capabilities Framework is integrated into all social work standards.

“We called for SWE leadership to have social work background, so it is encouraging that he and the new chair, Lord Patel, are both former social workers and should bring a human-rights approach to the new regulator, as well as a keen understanding of the challenges social workers face,” says Maris Stratulis, BASW England manager.

“In addition, BASW England has consistently advocated for a strong social work presence on the SWE board based on skills, expertise and knowledge. We look forward to hearing the makeup of the board.”

Conway has a background in social work and is the current Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Social Care Council, the regulatory body for social work in Northern Ireland. 

He qualified as a social worker in 1995 and worked in the social care sector, including a period as a senior social worker, before he became Director of Services at The Early Years Organisation. He then became Chief Executive of Extra Care before he joined the NISCC.

A written statement from the Department of Education can be viewed here and the full Secondary Legislation consulatation response is available here