Dr Ray Jones is Emeritus Professor of Social Work at Kingston University and St. George’s, University of London, and a registered social worker. He has 50 plus years experience in social care and as a social work practitioner, manager, teacher and researcher.
From 1992 to 2006 he was director of social services in Wiltshire. He was the first chief executive of the Social Care Institute for Excellence, and has been deputy chair and chair of the British Association of Social Workers.
From 2008 to 2016 he was professor of social work at Kingston University and St George’s, University of London. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Exeter and at the University of Bath and is an honorary fellow of the University of Gloucestershire.
He has led inquiries following the deaths of children and adults, from 2009 to 2013 was chair of Bristol’s Safeguarding Children Board, and from 2010 until 2016, reporting to the children’s minister in England, oversaw children’s services and child protection improvement in Salford, Torbay, the Isle of Wight, Sandwell and Devon. In 2013-2014 he was appointed by the Welsh Assembly to advise on the Welsh Social Services and Well-Being Bill.
He has also advised on social services development in Russia and in Slovenia. He is the author of eight books including ‘The Story of Baby P: Setting the Record Straight’, which was published by Policy Press in July 2014 and informed a BBC Television documentary, and a second up-dated and expanded edition was published in February 2017. ‘In Whose Interest? The Privatisation of Child Protection and Social Work’ was published by Policy Press in December 2018, and his most recent book ‘A History of the Personal Social Services in England’ was published by Palgrave Macmillan in summer 2020 and re-printed in 2021.
His research has included, among others, group work and neighbourhood work with young people, the ‘Troubled Families’ programme, child protection decision making, serious case reviews, multi-professional teams, direct payments, and family carers. He has been a member of the Nuffield Foundation’s children and family law committee (chaired by Professor Sir Michael Rutter and then by Lady hale), and has chaired and been a trustee of several international, children’s and homeless charities and a chair of school governors.
He is a regular press columnist and media commentator, been a member of Department of Health working groups, and has frequently been invited to give written and oral evidence to Parliamentary Select Committees.
In 2017 he received the Social Worker of the Year Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Social Work’, and in 2021 was awarded an honorary doctorate in civil law by the University of East Anglia.