Chief Social Workers for Adults

New joint interim Chief Social Workers for Adults announced

By John Rudland

​Those working in adult social services will be interested to know that the Department for Health and Social Care has announced the appointment of Fran Leddra and Mark Harvey as joint interim Chief Social Workers for Adults. The pair, who will be managing the role as part of a job share, will replace Lyn Romeo who will take a 12-month break for personal reasons.

Between them, Leddra and Harvey have a collective 55 years of expertise within social work, and they will combine their secondment with their existing social work roles.

Introducing the joint interim Chief Social Workers for Adults

Fran Leddra is currently Principal Social Worker and Strategic Lead of Safeguarding and Adult Social Care in Thurrock Council. She is an advocate for safeguarding practice and will be keen to ensure that the profession continues to uphold its values and responsibilities.

She says: “Mark and I have both held the co-chair role for the Principal Social Workers Network and this experience undoubtedly led us to apply for this secondment opportunity. With a challenging year ahead, we want to continue to drive forward the Chief Social Worker priorities and to ensure social work and social care is high on the political agenda.”

Mark Harvey is Operations Director for adult disability services in Hertfordshire County Council. Throughout his career, he has worked across both Local Authority and NHS services primarily specialising in mental health and learning disability services.

He adds:“To work alongside Fran as the Chief Social Worker is a fantastic opportunity and something, I am immensely keen to bring my frontline experience to. The year ahead is likely to be one of significant change and opportunity. I am looking forward to continuing Lyn Romeo’s work to lead an approach that can embed social work at the core of DHSC’s work to achieve a better outcome for the people we serve.”

Sanctuary Executive’s view

Our Executive division works closely with senior management teams across the top end of social care. We are excited to hear that the new joint Interim Chief Social Workers for Adults will continue to maintain their frontline roles because it will bring the position much closer to the profession.

Speaking of the joint appointments, James Rook, our Chief Executive, says: “The role of the Chief Social Worker for Adults is hugely important in bridging the gap between frontline services and government legislation. Over the past five years, Lyn Romeo has done a fantastic job and her passion for the role has always been clear. We believe that the joint appointments of Fran Leddra and Mark Harvey can continue to transform services because they can use their collective expertise to listen to the needs of adult social workers.”

He continues: “As the new regulator Social Work England launches at the end of the year, we’ll be interested to see how they work closely with Fran to uphold and maintain social work responsibilities. It’s important that the transition from the HCPC to Social Work England is as seamless as possible, so we’re sure that they’ll benefit from Fran’s knowledge and experience. We’re also extremely excited to see how Mark can use his mental health specialisms to continue to develop and enhance services to improve mental health provision for service users. It’s truly an exciting time for the social work profession and we can’t wait to see what the future holds.”

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