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Social work leadership in changing times

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A photo of Pepper the robot, an interactive automaton used to help those with autism and other cognitive conditions to interact with others
As in previous years, my annual report features wonderful examples of innovation in social work and the wholehearted adoption of strengths and asset based approaches, sometimes involving surprising participants, as this video case study from Southend Borough Council reveals.

Chief Social Worker for Adults Annual Report 2019

Today is World Social Work Day, our annual opportunity to showcase the very best our profession has to offer. It’s also a time to raise awareness of the vital contribution we make to the health and wellbeing of individuals and families in ageing, growing and diversifying communities around the globe.

Worldwide, social workers are standing together to celebrate their achievements and remind others of the importance of communication, empathy and the need to build trusting relationships – not just with those they are tasked to help, but with other health and care professionals too.

We need our professional and personal qualities now more than ever. Here and abroad, our skills, knowledge and values are being tested by the challenges of war, terrorism and natural disasters, often exacerbated by ongoing political, social and economic upheaval.

A poster promoting this years theme for World Social Work Day 2019: promoting the importance of human relationships.
Human relationships, not process or protocol, lie at the heart of effective leadership in adult social work

Being human

This year’s theme is about promoting the importance of human relationships, which makes it a fitting day to launch my fifth annual report: ‘Social work leadership in changing times.’

Indeed, leadership – in the context of social work – is very much about demonstrating how our knowledge of the human condition can create and sustain positive relationships to deliver happier, healthier outcomes. Faith in our conviction to work alongside people to help them live the lives they want inspires others to do the same.

We may not always be able to control events, but we can help others change the way they react to them. That is modern, progressive social work’s gift – not just to those needing our help, but also to the health and care professionals with whom we work.

I hope you enjoy reading my report.

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