Chief Social Worker criticised for government connections

News|January 25th 2016

The Chief Social Worker for Children has denied being the “voice of the profession” after criticisms that she is too close to the government.

Isabelle Trowler was appointed ‘Chief Social Worker for Children and Families’ in 2013, after close to two decades in the profession. But she has since been accused of being a “spokesperson” for the government’s social work policies.

Academic Ray Jones said both Trowler and her colleague Lyn Romeo, the Chief Social Worker for Adults, were being used by the government to promote unpopular reforms to the profession.

“We can leave it to other civil servants to tell us what the government wants us to do. I don’t think that should primarily be the role of the chief social workers – we shouldn’t be asking them [chief social workers] to be spokespersons for central government.”

But, speaking at recent conference, she insisted that she was simply “a civil servant”.

“I see my role as offering advice to ministers based on what others – children and families and social workers – tell me about the system.”

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