Chief Social Work Adviser

Chief Social Work Adviser


Iona Colvin was appointed as the Chief Social Work Adviser in April 2017.


In her post as the Chief Social Work Adviser (CSWA), Iona is the lead official on advising Ministers and policy teams with an interest in, or responsibility for, aspects of social work services and practice – across children and families, adult social care and justice social work. She continues to play a lead role in advising colleagues on the response and recovery from the covid pandemic, ensuring that human rights and social work values are reflected in policy decisions. 

The CSWA works with numerous policy teams throughout Government, leading on major programmes including the Scottish Government’s response to the Independent Review of Adult Social Care, The Promise and Getting It Right for Every Child (GIRFEC)

The role also focuses on development and regulation of the social services workforce and has a sponsorship responsibility for the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC).


Before taking up this role as Chief Social Work Adviser, Iona spent more than 30 years working in local government. Iona's previous posts include:

  • Director of Health and Social Care and IJB Chief Officer - North Ayrshire
  • Director of Social Work and CSWO - North Ayrshire
  • Director of Southwest Glasgow Community Health and Care Partnership
  • Joint General Manager, Addiction Service – Glasgow

While Iona is a committed and compassionate social worker across all areas, she has a particular interest in developing integrated approaches to improve outcomes for children, young people and adults.

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