The role of the Chief Social Work Officer

Guidance for local authorities regarding the role of the Chief Social Work Officer.


3. The guidance is for local authorities and will also be of use to bodies and partnerships to which local authorities have delegated social work functions. Local authorities must have regard to this guidance when carrying out their functions under the 1968 Act. Recognising the democratic accountability which local authorities have in this area, clarity and consistency about the role and contribution of the CSWO are particularly important given the diversity of organisational structures and the range of organisations and partnerships with an interest and role in delivery of social work services.

4. This guidance summarises the minimum scope of the role of the CSWO. It will assist elected members in ensuring that the role is delivered effectively and that the local authority derives maximum benefit from the effective functioning of the role. Effective delivery of and support for the role will assist local authorities to be assured that there is coherence and effective interfacing across all of their social work functions.

5. The guidance is intended to:

(a) support local authorities in effective discharge of responsibilities for which they are democratically accountable;

(b) help local authorities maximise the role of the CSWO and the value of their professional advice â€" both strategically and professionally;

(c) provide advice on how best to support the role so that the CSWO can be effective in their role both within the local authority and in regard to other entities, such as Community Planning Partnerships, whilst recognising that local authorities operate with different management and organisational structures and in different partnership landscapes;

(d) assist Integration Joint Boards ( IJBs) to understand the CSWO role in the context of integration of health and social care brought in through the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014 (the 2014 Act).

(e) be read alongside the wide range of guidance relevant to social work functions of local authorities and relevant guidance issued relating to the 2014 Act.

(f) be sufficiently generic to remain relevant in the event of future management or organisational structural change.


Email: Jane MacKenzie

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