Collection ADSW - Association of Directors of Social Work (ADSW) records

Identity area

Reference code

GB 1847 ADSW


Association of Directors of Social Work (ADSW) records


  • 1969 - 1999 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

17 metres

Context area

Name of creator


Administrative history

The Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 was implemented from 17 November 1969 and has been quoted as the most important landmark in Scottish social work history. The Act brought together into a comprehensive service existing provisions for children, elderly, physically and mentally handicapped persons and offenders, which had been previously exercised through the Children, Welfare, Health and Probation Committees. The Act created social work departments and established social work as a professional service within local government.

It was at a Scottish Office sponsored seminar in Peebles Hydro, on 14 October 1969, that the Association of Directors of Social Work (ADSW) was constituted. The first office bearers were Douglas Grant as President, Bob Winter as Secretary, Harry Mapstone as Vice President and Jim Gregory as Treasurer. There were 42 Directors of Social Work present at this meeting. Membership of the Association was open to all Directors of Social Work appointed by local authorities under the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968. The structure of social work has changed over the years in accordance with local government reorganisation. The objects of the Association are the promotion of social welfare and the promotion of the interests of service users.

In 1998 the ADSW was restructured in line with the changes in local government. Its committee structure was developed to reflect the range of concerns and pressures in providing social work services in the 1990s. A Directors Group was established and the Standing Committee structure was streamlined into 5 committees – Children and Familiy Care, Community Care, Criminal Justice Services, Standards, Training and Research and Finance.

The ADSW works closely with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) in lobbying government for funding and in developing and responding to new legislation. ADSW was a statutory consultee of the Social Work Services Group (SWSG) in the Scottish Office and continues working with the Scottish Executive's Social Work Services Inspectorate. From time to time sub groups and working groups are established to deal with specific issues.

Archival history

Retained by various ADSW members over the years.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Transferred from various locations in the spring/summer periods of 1999 to 2002.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

This collection has been arranged into 4 sections: committee minutes and papers; AGM and annual conference material; papers and correspondence (subject files); and publications. It dates from 1969 to 1999 however there are various gaps in this date range. The papers relate to Scottish Directors of Social Work.

  • Executive Committee meetings (1969-1996)
  • Policy, Planning and Review Standing Committee minutes (1988-1995) and papers (1988 to 1995)
  • Children and Families Standing Committee minutes (1988-1998) and papers (1981-1998)
  • Community Care Co-ordinating Group minutes (1991-1996) and papers (1988-1996)
  • Community Care Standing Committee papers (1994-1999)
  • Health and Handicap Standing Committee minutes (1989-1990) and papers (1989-1991)
  • Mental Health and Mental Handicap Standing Committee/Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Standing Committee minutes (1988 to 1995) and papers (1988-1995)
  • Illness and Disability Standing Committee minutes (1991-1995) and papers (1991-1998)
  • Standing Committee on Services to Elderly and Disabled People/Committee on Services for Elderly People/Committee of Services to Elderly People/Standing Committee on Services for Elderly People/Standing Committee for Services to Older People minutes (1988 to 1994) and papers (1988-1995)
  • Services to Offenders Standing Committee/Adult Offenders Standing Committee /Criminal Justice Services Standing Committee minutes (1988 to 1995) and papers (1988-1995)
  • Manpower and Training Standing Committee/Training Sub Committee/Training Committee/Training Standing Committee minutes (1988 to 1995) and papers (1988-1995)
  • Research Sub Committee/Research Standing Committee minutes (1989 to 1994) and papers (1988-1995)
  • Standards, Training and Research Standing Committee meetings (1997-1998)
  • Joint meetings between ADSW and SWSG minutes (1974-1994) and papers (1975-1995)
  • Annual General Meetings (1970-1995)
  • Annual Conferences (1970-1999)
  • General papers and correspondence (1969-1999)
  • ADSW publications ((1988-1997)
  • Non ADSW publications (1978-1997)
  • Numerous subject files in the aforementioned areas

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


No accruals expected.

System of arrangement

These records came to us from different sources and at different times. After studying the structure of the ADSW and discussing it with their representative on our project working group, it was sorted and catalogued as closley as we could determine in accordance with original order and creation.

The papers have been arranged into 4 sections: Committee minutes and papers; AGM and annual conference material; papers and correspondence (subject files); and publications. Each section is arranged into series, which consist of a number of items related by format and/or function. Within series the items are generally arranged chronologically. However, due to material being added in different phases, this has not always been possible. Each section should be checked thoroughly if looking for material from a specific year.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

The majority of documents can be consulted however permission must be sought for certain areas of the collection.

Conditions governing reproduction

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to University Archivist. Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Item level handlist available in the reading room.
Most of the Archive is electronically catalogued (item level details listed in the individual record's content note) available through GCU's library catalogue.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Place access points

Genre access points

Description identifier

Institution identifier


Level of detail


  • English



Accession area