About us

We want to help you find the right person

Social Work Scotland are a professional leadership body for the social work profession, which means we do not provide, or have direct responsibility for, social work services.

Social Work Scotland do not work directly with adults or families.

You should contact your local social work department if you:

  • are worried about a child or an adult
  • need to contact a social worker or social work services
  • are unhappy about the service that you or someone else is receiving and would like to make a complaint about a social worker.

Find your local social work department here

If you are worried about someone and you feel at any time the situation becomes urgent, please call 999.

What we do

Social Work Scotland is a membership organisation which represents social workers and other professionals who lead and support social work across all sectors.
Our vision is of a social work profession across Scotland which is led effectively and creatively; is responsive to the needs of the people we support and protect; is accessible and accountable; and promotes social justice.

Our Team

Our staff team is led by our Director and comprises a core team, as well as a team of policy and project staff.

Ben Farrugia


Ben has been the Director of Social Work Scotland since October 2018, and a member since 2014. Prior to his current role, Ben was part of the senior management team at CELCIS (Scotland’s Centre for excellence for children’s care and protection) at the University of Strathclyde, responsible for the organisation’s research, policy and consultancy offer. He has worked for the Scottish Government (looked after children team) and in Westminster (on children’s services and regional economic development).

Laura Kerr


Laura has been a qualified social worker since 2003 and remains a registered Social Worker. Since qualifying, Laura has undertaken PGCertificates in Child Protection, in “Addictions” (substance use), and in Strategic Service Design in Health and Social Care. Most recently, Laura was one of the first cohort to undertake the NES-led “Developing Senior Systems Leadership Programme. Laura has worked across the third and statutory sectors providing operational and strategic leadership for over 20 years. Key interests during her social work career have been homelessness, substance use and mental health, as well as strategic planning in health, social work and social care more broadly. She is particularly interested in whole family/whole system approaches to service design and delivery, and community capacity building. Prior to taking up the post of Head of Policy and Workforce, Laura was the Adult Policy & Practice Lead for Social Work Scotland; working across all adult services strategy and policy areas and profiling the voice of social work in integrated spaces. With this experience, plus a background as an Alcohol & Drug Partnership Lead, and working across geographical boundaries as a strategic lead, Laura has a wealth of experience in collaboration, co-design, and navigating complex political environments.

Flora Aldridge


Before joining Social Work Scotland, Flora spent 20 years in the public and third sector in England. Her experience spans communications and engagement, research and consultation, equality and diversity, and social security. She moved to Scotland in 2018 and before taking up the role of Head of Operations, was our Communications and Engagement Manager for 5 years. She brings a keen interest in research, housing, collaboration and inclusive processes to her role at Social Work Scotland.

Corinne Groeneveldt


Corinne has been a part of the Social Work Scotland team since April 2019. In her role, she manages the planning, organising, and strategising of the daily operations and routine of the organisation and the ever expanding team. With a background in the charity sector and a Master of Science degree in Gender History from the University of Glasgow, Corinne brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our work and the projects we support.

Nicola Morrison


Nicola joined Social Work Scotland in May 2023 as an Administration Assistant, recently moving the role of Administration and Operations Officer. She previously graduated from the University of Stirling with a degree in Sociology and Criminology. Nicola brings her knowledge of GIRFEC to the role, and in her free time enjoys baking and watching crime documentaries.

Rubina Azad


Rubina joined the Social Work Scotland team in February 2024 as the new Finance and Membership Officer. Her role includes keeping financial records in check and keeping records of memberships up to date, as well as other administrative tasks. Before joining SWS, she graduated from Edinburgh Napier University with a degree in Psychology and she has previously worked for a charity who provide aid all over the world; these experiences led to her interest in social work. Outside of her work, Rubina enjoys photography, archery, and cooking.

Bryony Stewart


Bryony joined Social Work Scotland in July 2024 as Communications and Events Lead with 8 years of experience across the private and third sectors. Shortly after moving to Edinburgh in 2013, Bryony graduated with BA (Hons) in Festivals, Events and Marketing Management from Edinburgh Napier University. Having worked for a large membership charity, followed by a social impacts marketing agency, and a public sector engagement events brand, Bryony holds a varied skillset in all things events, communications, and marketing.

Vivien Thomson


Vivien practiced in local government social work for over 30 years, joining us in October 2020 after various service management roles in her host authority. Her experience ranges from early years to disability and corporate parenting, and front-line management to developmental and strategic roles. Involvement in fostering and kinship policy initiatives, and cross-sector work are particular features. Alongside formal work Vivien is trustee for a homelessness organisation, child protection advisor for several charities, and volunteers with a charity developing alternatives to institutional care in central Asia. Her hobbies include baking, gardening, reading and walking.

Sharon Glasgow


Sharon has worked in the social work sector for over 30 years, mainly in Local Authority roles, but also in the 3rd sector, with operational, learning and development and strategic responsibilities over this time. Sharon has had a particular focus on child protection, GIRFEC and corporate parenting and young carers. She worked at CELCIS (Scotland’s Centre for excellence for children’s care and protection) at the University of Strathclyde to establish the Protecting Children Programme and at Scottish Government as a Social Work Adviser in the Age of Criminal Responsibility Implementation Team within the Youth Justice and Children’s Hearings Unit.



Sharon Stirrat


Sharon joined Social Work Scotland in October 2022, having had a social work career spanning 39 years, working as a front-line worker and manager. Sharon’s roles included posts within two local authorities over 29 years and then she moved to the post of Director of Operations with a Scottish Third sector organisation. Sharon helped to establish the first national public social partnership with a focus on mentoring women within the criminal justice system. She was seconded into the Scottish Government’s “Reducing re-offending” programme which involved working across several work-streams, writing national guidance and leading on training. Sharon had the opportunity to Chair the Justice Standing committee for a period during 2012.

Calum Campbell


Calum has been with Social Work Scotland since January 2020, initially as a Project Officer in the Self-directed Support Team and now as the Digital Social Work Policy and Practice Advisor. Calum brings 13 years of experience of working in both social care and social work in a variety of roles and settings. As a qualified social worker, Calum has practised across both statutory and third sector settings. The use of digital solutions has been threaded throughout Calum’s social work career, and he is passionate about ensuring we future proof the profession, and that social work adapts to the demands of our digitalised citizens and culture, because digital social work has the potential to positively change the way we work and improve outcomes for people.

Self-directed Support Team

Jane Kellock


Jane joined Social Work Scotland in 2018 as Head of Strategy, and now project manages the Self-directed Support project. Jane is a former Chief Social Work Officer, and has worked in a variety of senior management posts in adults, and children and families social work services in local government. Prior to qualifying as a social worker in 1996, Jane worked in the third sector in supported accommodation services designed for people discharged from long stay mental health hospitals. Jane has had a long and varied career, and her previous work includes establishing a life stages approach to tackling health inequalities, designing an early personalisation and Direct Payments scheme, mental health community development, and managing homeless accommodation services.

Donna Murray


Donna joined Social Work Scotland in 2019 bringing 30 years’ experience of working in social care and a passion for implementing Self-directed Support. Donna has worked in the statutory sector, voluntary sector and in higher education enjoying development roles in Equalities Team, Community Mental Health teams and Access Programmes. She spent 4 years in Zambia supporting parents living with HIV who had children with learning disabilities. Donna’s last role was working with micro enterprises to test out new models of care and support in remote rural areas. Donna is a Trustee for a community-owned putting green which provides volunteering opportunities for people living with long term mental health problems. She loves travelling, running and her dogs.

Laura Finnan Cowan


Laura joined the Self-Directed Support Team in December 2022, as a Project Officer. Laura comes to the project with experience of providing independent support for SDS at a local level and having had an SDS leadership role in a national dementia organisation. Laura passionately believes that well implemented SDS will mean more diverse and inclusive communities, which everyone can benefit from. Laura loves live music, reading and is learning to be a gardener.

Calum Carlyle


Calum joined Social Work Scotland in 2019 as part of the Self-directed Support team. He has a background in project support and administration within the Social Work sector, mostly working within Hospital Social Work departments across Edinburgh. He is passionate about social justice and equal opportunities. Calum’s interests include world religions and early history and he is also a musician, singer and songwriter.

Joint Investigative Interviewing Team

Our Joint Investigative Interviewing Team was established in 2017, as a partnership between Police Scotland, Social Work Scotland and local government. Together we are comprehensively reforming Scotland’s approach to interviewing child victims and witnesses, bringing practice up to the highest global standards.

Jennifer Morrison


Jennifer joined Social Work Scotland in October 2017, having had a career in social work for 14 years, as a front-line child protection social worker and manager within a local authority setting. Jennifer’s passion for the subject of forensic interviewing of children was central to her continued involvement in the development of the Scottish Child Interview Model and in 2021 Jennifer took up the post of project lead within the National Joint Investigative Interviewing Practice and Training Development team. Jennifer continues to lead on the roll out of the new training and policy and practice developments for social workers and police officers across Scotland who undertake joint investigative interviews. Away from work Jennifer enjoys travelling, walking and reading.

Mark O’Donnell


Lauren Craig


Lauren joined Social Work Scotland in March 2022, and brings with her over ten years of experience within the Social Work profession, predominately as a front-line child protection social worker. Lauren previously worked with the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration, as a Children’s Reporter, gathering experience and understanding of the legislative structures and processes which surround child protection and the use of evidence within these proceedings. As part of the National Joint Investigative Interviewing Practice and Training Development Team, Lauren delivers and supports the continued roll out of the Scottish Child Interview Model, as it is implemented throughout Scotland. Out of the office, Lauren enjoys the outdoors and can generally be found cycling in the hills.

Adeline Kay


Adeline has been with Social Work Scotland as part of the Joint Investigative Interviewing Team since April 2022. Prior to this she spent over 10 years within a Local Authority Children and Families Team as a Social Worker and Senior Social Worker, with a focus on Child Protection. During her career, Adeline has obtained post-graduate qualifications in Child Welfare and Protection and Practice Education, and was originally trained and practised in the previous joint investigative interview model. Outside work Adeline enjoys spending time with her pets, reading and shopping.

Susanne Goetzold


Social Work and Education Partnership

Anne Conlin


Anne started her career in Community Education in early 1980’s and worked throughout education and social work for 25 years before joining Carers Scotland as Training Manager in the early noughties. Latterly and for the last 11 years she was CEO for Learning Network West. Anne’s particular interest is in Education and the Learning and Development of the workforce. She has studied at post qualifying level, Training and Development and Management & Leadership and was previously a member of Chartered Management Institute. She joined Social Work Scotland who host Social Work Education Partnership as the SWEP Delivery Manager in Feb 2023.

Rosie Megginson


Rosie is passionate about Social Work Education, and has been part of the SWEP Team since the inception of the Programme Office in August 2020. Rosie started her career in statutory social work before moving into a management role in the third sector for an organisation providing early intervention support for black and minority ethnic families. Rosie became a qualified Practice Educator in 2015 and also undertook her Postgraduate Certificate in Child Protection during her time in the third sector. During her time in the third sector, Rosie developed a passion for Social Work Education, and when her career moved towards policy focused work, she became an Independent Practice Educator and continued to work with students in a variety of different settings.

Melissa Friel


Melissa joined Social Work Scotland as the SWEP Progress Lead in June 2023. Prior to this she spent over 13 years working in social care with 7 of those years working within Local Authorities as a Social Worker. Melissa has experience working in Children and Families and Adult Disability Services. Melissa obtained a post graduate qualification in Practice Education and has a keen interest in developing and supporting the future social work workforce. Outside of work, Melissa enjoys spending time in her campervan, hill walking and exploring Scotland.

Magdalena Kurek


Magda joined Social Work Scotland as the SWEP Progress Lead for North in July 2023. Magda started as a care assistant in a nursing home in 2004, and following this moved to Fife where she worked as a Social Worker and Senior Practitioner for 13 years, working mostly within Children and Families. Her passion for working with students lead Magda to complete a postgraduate degree in Practice Learning and Practice Assessing. In the 7 years prior to joining SWEP, Magda worked as a Learning Development Lead Officer in Fife, responsible for all student placements and post qualifying courses. This allowed her to work closely with all social work teams across council and support students in a number of settings. Outside of work, Magda is a keen DIYer and massive animal lover, believing that both are beneficial to a healthy wellbeing. Magda currently owns a Greyhound called Polli.

Nabiha AlBanna


Nabiha joined SWS and SWEP in August 2023 as the Communications and Project Coordinator with many years of experience. She holds the distinction of being a qualified Prince2 project management professional, bringing a wealth of expertise to her role. Nabiha has a deep passion for community work. Her commitment to making a positive impact on society drives her to actively contribute to community initiatives and social causes.

Become a member

We’re stronger with you as a member. Help us shape social work leadership now and for the future.

Our Articles of Association

This document sets out our core objectives (our ‘mission’), governance, membership and rules.

View our Articles of Association (pdf) – updated December 2021