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GROUNDBREAKING PROGRAMME TO DEVELOP SOCIAL SERVICES LEADERSHIP

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A£2m programme, funded by the Scottish Executive to develop leadership skills in Scottish social workers, was form...
A £2m programme, funded by the Scottish Executive to develop leadership skills in Scottish social workers, was formally launched yesterday.

Around 100 social work managers will explore their strengths and develop the new skills and understanding needed to deliver an effective service in an increasingly diverse, complex and multi-layered society. The programme will be rolled out over the next nine months, leading to a post-graduate certificate. The programme will be repeated in May 2004.

Deputy education and young people minister Euan Robson said:

'Social workers are at the cutting edge of public service reform, working tirelessly for the most vulnerable in society. It is vital that these valuable staff have access to training to help them deliver the high quality of service required and to meet their own professional goals.'

The Social Work Services Inspectorate (SWSI) commissioned the Scottish Leadership Foundation (SLF) to undertake a study of the career paths, training and development of social work services managers and leaders.

Research identified the leadership challenges that social work leaders need to address. The old models of leadership - command and control - are not working. A new model of leading cultural change, developing a learning culture and working with multi-professional teams is what is required.

The people nominated to take part in this course were asked to write supporting statements on how they might benefit and what changes in the service they would like to see.

Quotes

'I am keen to play as full a part as possible in the management of change as we meet new and different expectations ahead.'

'I believe the programme will allow me to develop skills to be able to contribute to the 'bigger picture' emerging in the social services.'

'I am hungry for new skills. I know I can build teams and services but I know I can do it even better.'

'I hope the course will provide me with a framework t o address the challenges revolving around managing change - change in the needs of the client group and the changing expectations of social workers.'

* The Scottish Leadership Foundation is an independent not-for-profit organisation

focused on Scotland's public services. It has a clear remit to develop new leaders, sustain existing leaders and support pubic services to develop their own future leaders. Further information here.

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