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Social Work: who we are and why we're changing

About us, why we’re changing and how it affects you

Demands on social work staff are increasing. Technology and other changes mean the ways our staff do their jobs are changing dramatically.

The combined effect is that we have to develop new ways of working. We’re aiming to do this in ways that improve the services we provide to the people who need and use them.

Our work at a glance

We arrange care services for people and communities across Fife. We:

  • provide people with the help and back-up they need to live in their own homes and communities
  • protect and provide help to children, adults and older people
  • help people who have committed offences to change their behaviour.


We have around 5,000 staff. Not all are full time.

Did you know?

  • 1,371,084 hours of Homecare were provided to older people in the community
  • 23,680 weeks of Respite Care were provided to carers to help them to continue in their caring role.
  • 57,650 hours of Unpaid Work were undertaken by offenders in the community under our supervision
  • 991 people attend our Day Centres every week


How we’re organised and managed

Elected members of Fife Council are responsible for overall decisions about social work services in Fife. Our services are organised to reflect the people and groups we work with, and managed by a senior management team.

How councillors oversee what we do

The following committees of Fife Council take overall decisions about social work services in Fife.

  • Social Work and Health Committee
  • Education and Children’s Services Committee
  • Police, Fire and Safety Committee.


How we’re organised

We have three sections working with individuals across Fife:

  • Children and Families / Criminal Justice Services
  • Adult Services
  • Older People’s Services. 


A fourth section called the Resources Service provides us with the back-up we need to function. For example, they:

  • manage our budget
  • plan staffing needs, training and development
  • provide advice on everyday systems and areas such as administration and health and safety.


How we’re managed

The Council’s Executive Director for Social Work has overall responsibility for all aspects of the Social Work Service. The Executive Director is also the Council’s Chief Social Work Officer.

The service is managed by a senior management team. Each senior manager has a specialist area. Within this they’re responsible for developing the strategy, for planning and for delivering the service.

Why and how we’re changing

Fife Council has always provided social work services which are second to none. We have a consistently high track record of planning and delivery of traditional social work services, and a positive and proactive approach to change. We are proud of our social work service and while we face challenging times, we are confident that we have the skills to take forward a robust agenda of change to protect these vital services in the long term.

We know that Social Work Services in Fife will look very different in the future. As a service, we have examined the need to change and the options for re-shaping service delivery in response to the challenges we face. Our Re-shaping Social Work programme has engaged with staff and service users over a two-year period, to develop the mechanisms that will allow us to deliver change.

Increasing demand, greater complexity of need and shifting expectations mean that Social Work Services have to change. We will work more closely with other universal providers such as health, housing and education, and with independent sector service providers to find new delivery methods for services to meet this increasing and changing need.

To meet these needs we have already started a programme of change and improvement targetted at specific areas

  • office rationalisation
  • the mobility and flexibility of staff
  • customer management and contact.


Find out how our new ways of working affect you.

Your Enquiry

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Send enquiry to: Social Work Enquiries




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