Leadership in Social Work

Well-run services contribute to people, families and communities experiencing positive and enabling support that improves their life opportunities and wellbeing.

A lack of positive leadership is consistently identified in reviews of what has not worked well in social work and social care services. Similarly, where innovations have been imbedded in practice, the role of leadership is highlighted as a core enabler. Despite this recognition, there is little knowledge about how leadership is demonstrated within the context of this sector. It is also not understood as to the most effective approaches to supporting leadership development throughout a social work and social care career.

This work stream therefore seeks to understand how leadership is understood and enacted in social work and social care services. It collaborates with national organisations such as Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), Research in Practice, the Directors of Adult Social Services / Childrens Services, Skills for Care, and the Principle Social Worker and Lead Occupational Therapy Networks.

The project includes conceptual work, establishing sites for empirical research and evaluations, and developing CPD and qualification programmes focussed upon leadership within social work.

Current programme opportunities include the Social Work & Social Care Senior Leadership Level 7 Apprenticeship programme and the Strengths-based practice leadership programme.

Learning from leaders: What does good leadership look like in social care and how it can be implemented into practice?

Professor Paul Burstow, chair of the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE)
Lyn Romeo, Chief Social Worker for Adults, Department for Health and Social Care
Dr Jason Schaub, Lecturer in Social Work, University of Birmingham


Lead staff

Anne-Marie Glover

Anne-Marie Glover

Senior Lecturer, Social Work Programme
Acting Head of the Department of Social Work and Social Care

Anne-Marie is the Director for the Post Graduate Diploma in Social Work (Step Up) Programme, a Social Work Lecturer in the Department of Social Work and Social Care, and School Head of Quality. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a qualified and HCPC registered Social Worker, having worked in a range of statutory Children and Families settings. Anne-Marie’s PhD ...

+44(0)121 415 8032

Simon Haworth


Simon Haworth recently joined the University of Birmingham as a Lecturer within the Department of Social Work and Social Care. He is involved in teaching on undergraduate, postgraduate and post qualifying programmes and currently undertaking a variety of projects for the West Midlands Social Work Teaching Partnership.

Prior to this appointment, Simon worked within the field of child protection ...

+44 (0)121 414 2935

Professor Robin Miller

Professor Robin Miller

Director of Global Engagement for the College of Social Sciences

Professor Robin Miller is an applied academic with an international reputation in relation to integration, leadership and implementation within health and social care. He has been P-I/Co-I to over £14 million of research grants over the past decade and has published over fifty peer-reviewed articles and books.

Robin is the Joint Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Integrated ...

+44(0)121 414 8018

Kelly Tighe

Teaching Fellow

Kelly is a Teaching Fellow and registered Social Worker specialising in work with children, young people and families. She teaches on Pre-Qualifying and Post Graduate Social Work programmes within the School of Social Policy, leads the Department for Social Work and Social Care’s Staff Student Forum and is a member of the Welfare, Inclusion and Social Engagement Committee. 

She works ...

+44 (0)121 414 2284


In June 2019, the University of Birmingham, Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) and West Midlands Social Work Teaching Partnership hosted an event which invited speakers and social work professionals to come together to consider the question 'What does good leadership look like in social work?'

The event was one strand of a larger leadership in social work project incorporating empirical research and evaluations, as well as the development of new CPD and qualification programmes focused on leadership in social work.Please follow the links below to listen to presentations on the day, as well as hearing from key note speakers about what good leadership looks like in social work:

Dr. Ossie Stuart, Trustee at the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) - 'Equality and Diversity in Social Work’ 

Dr Ossie Stuart discusses equality and Diversity in Social Work

Lyn Romeo, Chief Social Worker for Adults, Department of Health and Social Care – ‘Leadership in Adult Social Work’ 

Lyn Romeo discusses leadership in Adult Social Work

Sean Holland, Chief Social Work Officer/Deputy Secretary, Social Services Policy Group - ‘Social Work Leadership in Northern Ireland’

Sean Holland discusses social Work Leadership in Northern Ireland

 Jason Schaub, Lecturer in Social Work, University of Birmingham - ‘What is missing from our definition of Social Work Leadership’ 


Jason Schaub discusses the question, 'what is missing from our definition of social work leadership'

Dr Ruth Allen, Chief Executive, British Association of Social Workers - ‘Excellence in Social Work Leadership’  

Dr Ruth Allen discusses the 'Excellence in Social Work Leadership' programme

 Caroline Pipe, Social Worker and Systemic Psychotherapist - ‘Centre for Systemic Social Work’ 


Caroline Pipe discusses the Centre for Systemic Social Work

Belinda Weir, Director of Leadership, Health Services Management Centre, University of Birmingham - ‘Systems Leadership'


Belinda Weir discusses systems leadership

 Tanya Moore, Principal Social Worker, Hertfordshire Adult Care Services - ‘Connected Lives and Complexity’


Tanya Moore discusses good practice being done in adult social work at Hertfordshire County Council

 Jenny Pitts, Community Led Support Programme Lead - ‘Leadership and Community Led Support’


Jenny Pitt discusses leadership and community led support in social work