The requirement for each Council to have a Chief Social Work Officer (CSWO) was initially set out in Section 3 of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 and further supported by Section 45 of the Local Government etc (Scotland) Act 1994. 

The role of the CSWO is to provide professional governance, leadership and accountability for the delivery of social work and social care services, not only those provided directly by the HSCP but also those commissioned or purchased from the voluntary and private sector.  Social work services are delivered within a framework of statutory duties and powers and are required to meet national standards and provide best value.

The Chief Social Work Officer is a member of the Senior Management Team within the HSCP and is a non voting member of the HSCP Board.