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Changes To CYF Management Team Announced

Media Release
January 15 2004

Changes To CYF Management Team Announced

The Acting Chief Executive of Child, Youth and Family Russ Ballard has announced a restructuring of the organisation’s executive management team, which will take effect from 2 February.

“One of my first tasks has been to consider and implement clear lines of management accountability and strong governance structures required to manage and implement the Baseline Review changes,” said Dr Ballard, who took up his position on 5 January.

In line with the need for a single line of accountability, the two existing General Managers, Social Work and Community Services positions - currently held by Verna Smith and Ken Rand - will be combined into a single position of General Manager, Social Work Operations.

“This a pivotal role in the organisation, and is responsible for the overall management, standards and performance of front line operations, including the approximately one thousand social workers employed by the Department,” Dr Ballard said.

Dr Ballard said Shannon Pakura, who is currently the Chief Social Worker, will be seconded to the position for an initial period of six months. “This decision recognises Ms Pakura’s extensive social work background and understanding of the operational needs of the Department following the Baseline Review.

“The rationale behind the structural changes is to ensure clear and unambiguous lines of accountability. It also reflects my desire to put greater emphasis on social work experience at the most senior level,” Dr Ballard said. “It should in no way be taken as a reflection on the calibre or ability of the current General Managers.”

Ms Pakura said she was looking forward to the challenge of the role. “My priorities will be to implement the recommendations of the Baseline Review particularly those relating to service quality, strengthening our regional responsiveness, managing and developing the 90 new social workers recruited during our nationwide campaign, and building effective partnerships with the voluntary sector.”

As a result of Ms Pakura’s appointment, Craig Smith, who is currently Principle Advisor, Capability Development, will be seconded to the position of Chief Social Worker. This role is responsible for reviewing social work practice within CYF. Mr Smith’s team in the Capability Development Unit will also transfer to the office of the Chief Social Worker.

The changes are interim, until a permanent Chief Executive is appointed, and are therefore secondments rather than permanent appointments at this stage.


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