You may have noticed this blog has changed its title and is no longer in my name, Lyn Romeo.
The reasons for this are threefold: firstly to align with the current format and style of other GOV.UK blogs, secondly - and more importantly - to emphasise its principal focus, but thirdly to signal a temporary but very significant change in my personal and professional circumstances.
As some of you may already know, I am taking a year’s leave of absence to help my family care for my ailing mother who lives in Australia.
I have been going back and forth quite a lot, but the time has come for me to focus on her and make sure she is as comfortable and cared for as possible. It is a significant transition for me, but one many carers manage amazingly each and every day.
Meet Fran Leddra and Mark Harvey
While I am away, the Department of Health and Social Care has recruited a job share arrangement to cover my role as Chief Social Worker for Adults.
We are therefore very fortunate to welcome Mark Harvey from Hertfordshire County Council and Fran Leddra from Thurrock Council, who together will be taking forward our priorities for effective, modern and progressive adult social work practice. They will be in post from 1 October 2019.
I know they are as committed as I am to developing social work and social care policy to be the best it can be - supporting people to live longer, healthier and happier lives.
Mark and Fran have been prominent leaders in the Principal Social Worker networks, making major contributions in improving social work practice and creating a stronger profile for social work in the care and support sector.
Both will continue part time in their substantive posts back in their local authorities and I believe their real life and real time experiences will bring enormous added value to their roles at DHSC.
Goodbye... for now
I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for your engagement, support and challenge over the years and I am sure you will support Mark and Fran in their roles over the next 12 months.
I am delighted to introduce them to you. Read more about both of them in the official news story on GOV.UK