A NEW body has been set up to represent leaders of social work services.

The Association of Directors of Social Work (ADSW) is to be replaced by Social Work Scotland (SWS), which will be formally launched at ADSW's annual conference on June 18.

The changes has occurred because a trend towards integrated children's services in councils meant many no longer had a single director of social work services, a trend now being exacerbated by the push for integration of health and social care.

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SWS's membership will be open to senior managers in the public, voluntary, private and health sectors whose organisations are directly involved in social work provision. More junior managers, who aspire to social work leadership, will also be able to join.

Sandy Riddell, President of Social Work Scotland, said the new body would give vital leadership and direction at a time of change. "There has never been a more important time for leaders across the social work profession to have a cohesive voice," he said.