Records of the Association of Directors of Social Work, professional association, Scotland

Scope and Content

The Association of Directors of Social Work Archive contains 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.

Records include:

  • Executive Committee meetings 1969-2000
  • Policy, Planning and Review Standing Committee minutes and papers 1988-1995
  • Children and Families Standing Committee minutes and papers 1981-2002
  • Community Care Co-ordinating Group minutes 1991-1996 and papers 1988-1996
  • Community Care Standing Committee papers 1994-2001
  • Health and Handicap Standing Committee minutes and papers 1989-1991
  • Mental Health and Mental Handicap Standing Committee/Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Standing Committee minutes and papers 1988-1995
  • Illness and Disability Standing Committee minutes 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 and papers 1988-1995
  • Services to Offenders Standing Committee/Adult Offenders Standing Committee/Criminal Justice Services Standing Committee minutes and papers 1988-2001
  • Manpower and Training Standing Committee/Training Sub Committee/Training Committee/Training Standing Committee minutes and papers 1988-1995
  • Research Sub Committee/Research Standing Committee minutes and papers 1988-1995
  • Standards, Training and Research Standing Committee meetings 1997-2001
  • Finance standing committee records 1996-2001
  • Joint meetings between ADSW and SWSG minutes and papers 1974-1995
  • Annual General Meetings 1970-1995
  • Annual Conferences 1970-1999
  • General papers and correspondence 1969-1999
  • Royal Commission on Longterm Care of the Elderly papers
  • Directors group papers 1996-1999
  • ADSW publications 1988-1997
  • Non ADSW publications 1978-1997

Administrative / Biographical 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, Scotland, 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 accordance 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 Families, Community Care, Criminal Justice Services, Standards, Training and Research, and Finance.

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

In 2002, the Association continued to function.


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

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Transferred from various locations in the spring/summer of 1999-2002

Deposit : ADSW : 1999-2002 : ACCN 2002/4-5

Other Finding Aids

Manual file level list available in searchroom

Digital file level list with some item level descriptions available via Glasgow Caledonian University Library’s online catalogue at through the TELNET function. This can be searched using a keyword search, alternatively this catalogue can be browsed through the archives hierarchy.

Further information can be found via the Glasgow Caledonian University Archives homepage at

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the University Archivist

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use & condition of documents

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 1847 procedures

Custodial History

Retained by various members over the years


Accruals expected on a yearly basis

Related Material

See also the Heatherbank Museum of Social Work, housed at Glasgow Caledonian University, at


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

This material is original

Revised by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, 29 July 2002

Geographical Names