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Highland Director of Social Work is New ADSW President (13/05/09)
Harriet Dempster, Director of Social Work Services, The Highland Council, today (Wednesday) took up her post as President of the Association of Directors of Social Work.
Harriet was elected at ADSW's annual meeting in Crieff on the 40th anniversary of both ADSW and of the commencement of the Social Work Scotland Act.
Harriet has worked in social work for 35 years. During her career she has worked as a practitioner, researcher, lecturer and in policy posts. In 1992 she was seconded to the Scottish Office as Assistant Chief Inspector of Child Care and whilst there advised on the follow up to the Orkney Inquiry and the Children Scotland Bill team.
In 1995 she returned to local government to take up post as Manager of Children's Services with Dundee City Council. Harriet was appointed as an Honorary Professor at The University of Stirling in 1997 and Director of Social Work with The Highland Council in 1999. Between 1997 and 2000 she chaired the ADSW Children and Families Committee.
The new president said: “We will, I am sure, face many challenges over the next and coming years; not least the impact of the recession. But I remain optimistic. We have an opportunity to make our contribution in social work count; make our contribution visible and valued in Scotland. We are a small country and one of the great benefits we have is that we have a relatively close network in social work and we need to make that work for us by using it to give social work a strong united and powerful voice.
“I feel very proud and very honoured to be the President of the Association of Directors of Social Work. I feel very lucky because I am working in a profession with lots of dedicated and very able people who work to make a positive difference to people’s lives day in day out . I also feel very lucky because I am doing something I feel passionate about and so much enjoy.”