Collaborating across the country

So much has happened since my last blog and we’ve been moving forward at a frenetic pace, hitting numerous milestonesTwo weeks ago we heard the Minister for Children and Families announce that we will take over as the regulator from the HCPC on Monday 2 December 2019, another key moment for us. 

I have talked a lot about our commitment to speaking with our colleagues and partners across the country, including people with lived experience of social work. The recruitment of our team of regional engagement leads is a key part of this. They are a cornerstone of our engagement and co-production work, and will mean that we can stay close to colleagues on a local level and get a better understanding of what is happening on the ground.

Social work is fundamentally about relationships and our new team will continue to build relationships with everyone who has an interest in social work–social workers themselves, education and training providers, and people who use services. Together they will help us build a rich picture of what is happening in social work across the country, and to shine a light on the fantastic difference social workers make in the lives of millions of people in this country every day. They will also help embed our new professional and education and training standards, and work with people in their regions to ensure that the standards are consistently met, as well as addressing where this is not happening.  

We are excited about these posts–the first of their kind from a regulator–and we know that you will see the positive difference they will make. Their work will mean we are an informed, authentic, collaborative regulator, firmly rooted in the principles and values that are the foundation of social work practice. 

We are busy welcoming the new team this week, as they take up their posts and settle into the organisation. We have six skilled and experienced social workers, who already have strong networks in their respective regions. Two more will join later this year.

So for now, I am delighted to introduce you to Jess, Matthew, Ahmina, Catherine, Philippa and Kate. Very soon, there will be more information about each person on our website so watch this space.

Sarah Blackmore

Sarah Blackmore

Sarah is the Executive Director of Standards and qualified as a social worker from Trinity College Dublin in 1997. Since then, she has worked in a variety of national and international contexts, from frontline practice in Dublin, to working with street children and ex-child soldiers in Sierra Leone during the civil war, to managing services for children and families in the UK. Sarah has worked across statutory, voluntary and regulatory services. She has spent the last six years in Scotland, where she was Deputy Director of Inspection with the Scottish social care regulator, and Executive Director of Delivery and Development for a large mental health charity.