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Carys Phillips appointed as Social Workers Union Chair for two year period

John McGowan, General Secretary of the Social Workers Union (SWU), provides an update

John McGowan, General Secretary of the Social Workers Union, said: “Carys' appointment is excellent news, both for trade unionism and the wider SWU membership. Carys' social work experience, activism and union insight should prove invaluable in supporting the work of the Social Workers Union Executive, as well as a real asset for the staff group.

"We see Carys as someone who is fully committed and educated in all aspects of social work. I am confident that Carys will prove a fantastic Chair of SWU and has a clear picture and understanding of what we require to build on all the good work and strides we have made over the last nine years as a trade union.

"The appointment of Carys as SWU Chair is affirming for our UK-wide membership and reflects many aspects of the membership, a practicing social worker prioritising integrity at the core of interactions."

Commenting on her new position, Carys Philips said: "I believe my rich and varied applied social work practice and the challenges therein provides an excellent platform upon which to build the Social Work Union, and support the work of the Executive Committee and engagement of all its members.

"Supporting the General Secretary is vital and pivotal to the continued growth and success of SWU. My work/life experience is highly transferable in supporting the General Secretary, developing the strategic direction and robust risk management plans for SWU.

"My communication style is open, unguarded and honest. The role will help foster collaboration within social work organisations as supportive, best practice and caring employers. SWU’s Six Point Urgent Plan builds upon the BASW /SWU on-going campaign in ‘Working Conditions’.

"It is now clear that the COVID 19 pandemic has emphasized and is deepening society’s pre-existing inequalities"

Below is a summary of Carys' Social Work roles over the past 20 years:

  • I have worked in Management roles in several local authorities and managed direct services as well as social work teams, I have worked in commissioning and have a broad view and understanding. I have substantial experience of strategic development of Management Development and successfully introduced ALS alongside the Director of a large local authority.
  • I have led safeguarding in four distinct local authorities as such chaired a variety of high-profile meetings. I was a project lead for publicly funded research in developing progressive awareness training for approaches to safeguarding
  • I have been published, authored reports, designed and delivered learning workshops and given evidence to County Councillors, Inspectors and through various Court processes – liaising with press officers as appropriate.
  • I have experience of working across the health and social care sector in a number of agencies and this has enabled skills of effective networking, practical skills to deliver effective solutions.  I have worked and travelled widely for CPD
  • I have led of workforce development, course design and collaborative pieces of work promoting best practice and strategic developments.
  • I am experienced and able to prioritise work in line with agreed time-scale and demands, I am interested and self-motivated individual that offers a positive and motivating influence upon teams/ individuals.
  • I have an ability to lead, question and motivate staff /individuals to empower and enable.
  • I have been a UK Representative on the SWU Executive since 2018, and, throughout this time feel I have gained excellent experience, enhanced knowledge and even greater enthusiasm for the vital importance of SWU, its values and ensuring its progression.
John McGowan and Carys Phillips