The principal child and family social worker: a Munro recommendation in practice

Journal article citation:
Practice: Social Work in Action, 26(2), 2014, pp.81-96.
Taylor and Francis

Excellent social work can transform people’s lives. The Munro Review of Child Protection reinforced this message by advocating higher practice standards, and the development of organisational learning cultures. One of Professor Munro’s recommendations was the appointment of principal child and family social workers toward this end. The authors of this paper discuss the setting up and delivering on this new role in two very different English local authorities. The first two years’ experience of being in post is drawn on to show that this is one of the most exciting opportunities and developments for English social work in some time. Bridging the practice front line and senior management domains offers a unique contribution to understanding how social work is delivered and experienced. Suggestions for systems change to enhance social work are thus empirically informed and practice-driven. The principal child and family social worker can bring gravitas to practice debates at a time of unprecedented fiscal challenge. In the paper, the authors reflect on the role and consider successes and challenges. Any new role benefits from debate about its set-up, the promise and opportunity, and aims and outcomes. This paper starts the debate about the principal child and family social worker. (Edited publisher abstract)

Subject terms:
families, social work, social work methods, professional role, leadership, risk, local authorities, child protection, childrens services;
Content type:
United Kingdom
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