Research Collections


Association of Directors of Social Work (ADSW) Archive

Reference codes, titles and dates of Archive

Reference Code: GB1847 ADSWA
(part of Heatherbank Museum of Social Work)
Title: Records of the Association of Directors of Social Work
Date of creation of material:
Level of description:
Extent: 17 metres

Administrative history

Name of Creator: The Association of Directors of Social Work.
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.

Click to see larger image 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, which are at present called – 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 members over the years.
Immediate source of acquisition
: Transferred from various locations in the spring/summer of 1999-2002.

What is in the Archive

Scope and Content Abstract: The collection contains ADSW minutes, papers, correspondence and subject files. It also holds documentation from many of its annual general meetings and annual conferences. Publications of the ADSW and other publications pertinent to the subject areas of the standing committees are also part of the Archive. It should be noted that the minutes and papers for each committee are incomplete.

  • 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)Click to see larger image 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 (alphabetic summary list)

Appraisal, Destruction and Scheduling Information: This material has been appraised in line with GB1847 procedures.
: Accruals expected on an annual basis.
System of Arrangement
:  The Archive 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 archive has 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.

Getting & using the Archive

Conditions Governing Access: Owned by ADSW.  Open by arrangement with the Archivist.
Copyright/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.
Physical Characteristics:
None that affect the use of this material.
Finding aids: Item level handlist, and catalogued on GCU's library catalogue - keyword searchable.

Detailed list (chronological) of ADSW Archive only items in catalogue

Other collections of similar subject matter

Location of Originals: This material is original.
Existence of Copies:
No known copies.
Related units of description
: Part of Glasgow Caledonian University Research Collections - 

Further details of related material can be found on the appropriate links page.

Publication Note: None to date. 

Archive contact

Carole McCallum (University Archivist)
Telephone - +44 (0)141 273 1188
Email -  

Notes relating to the preparation of this description

Description Compilation Details: Complied by Carole McCallum,  University Archivist, 31 October 2001, and updated, 8 April 2003.

Last Updated: 18 August, 2009
Edited by:

Logo: ADSW