New Chief Social Work Adviser

Appointment to provide professional advice to ministers on services and practice.


Iona Colvin has been appointed as the Scottish Government’s new Chief Social Work Adviser. 


Ms Colvin is currently Chief Officer at the North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership and, following an open recruitment exercise, will be seconded to the Scottish Government for a period of two years.


She will succeed Alan Baird, whose secondment into the role will complete in April.


Minister for Childcare and Early Years Mark McDonald said:


“Scotland benefits from high quality social services and the dedicated, skilled and valued workforce which delivers them. The Scottish Government is committed to working with all of our partners in the public, voluntary and independent sectors who develop and deliver these important services. 


“I very much look forward to working with Iona who brings an impressive range of professional skills, expertise and experience to the role of Chief Social Work Adviser.”


Ms Colvin  said:


“It is a tremendous privilege to have been appointed to the role of Chief Social Work Adviser to the Scottish Government.  The role provides huge opportunities to inform and strengthen policy and delivery of the extensive range of social work and social care services in Scotland and to highlight the strengths, challenges and opportunities in the sector.”




As Chief Social Work Adviser,  Ms Colvin will provide advice across a range of policy areas across the Scottish Government which have interest in, or responsibility for, aspects of social work services and practice across the full scope. In particular she will work with policy teams leading on major programmes including Integration of Health and Social Care, Adult Social Care, implementation of Self-Directed Support, Getting It Right for Every Child and Community Justice Reform and those focused on building and developing the workforce across public services.


Prior to her current role as North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership Chief Officer, Ms Colvin was Director of Social Services in North Ayrshire and has previously worked across a range of social services in Glasgow City Council.


Ms Colvin’s secondment commencement date will be provided in due course.


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