School of Health & Society 25.05.24

Honorary degree for Salford’s Strategic Director of People

Salford City Council’s Strategic Director of People, Charlotte Ramsden OBE, has been awarded an honorary degree by the University of Salford.

Charlotte’s career has seen her develop and lead integrated multi-agency services for children and families, with responsibility for all statutory social work provision in two different authorities. 
After joining Salford in 2014 as Director of Children’s Services, she took on the additional role of Director of Adult Services in June 2015, working on the development of an Integrated Care Organisation for health and social care service delivery. Charlotte led this project from a council perspective, working closely with health partners. This work was used as a national pilot and leaves Salford in a strong position for wider transformation plans being developed as part of the new statutory Integrated Care System for Greater Manchester.
In her role at Salford City Council, she has been credited for her leadership work with colleagues across Greater Manchester, leading to the region being awarded £7.43 million in government innovation funds. This money was used to develop new approaches to supporting families with earlier help and to work with children and young people on the verge of coming into local authority care. It is still being used to develop new options for fostering and residential care and greater support for care leavers.
As part of that work, Salford City Council opened the Route 29 hub in 2020 . Young people whose foster placement or family situation has broken down can now get instant access to dedicated 24/7 support workers, plus specialists including a psychologist, a speech and language therapist and educational psychologist. Previously young people often had to go outside the city for support.
The new hub has led to a reduction in teenagers needing to come into care, a reduction in the council needing to place them outside Salford and an increase in the stability of their placements. In a pioneering move, the building, services and even staff were designed and chosen with extensive input from young people who had been through the care system.
Charlotte’s Greater Manchester work has gone from strength to strength with a new three-year partnership plan and specific partnership work to support children, young people and their families wherever they live in the city-region.
Charlotte said: “I am humbled and delighted to be awarded this honorary degree which is also a tribute to our fantastic team at Salford City Council. 
“Supporting children and young people to achieve their potential has always been my passion - working with children and young people, their families and professionals to identify their strengths and support them when their lives are tough. Now my role encompasses adults too and the commitment is the same – providing the services they need, whether those are universal and open to all or specialist intensive long-term support or crisis intervention. The importance of integrated health and care partnership working cannot be overstated.
“Partnership is crucial to everything, and my work has taken me from individual family work to connecting partnership systems and shared responsibilities on a wider scale. Working with the University of Salford adds a unique dimension and  brings opportunities for creative developments and clear evaluation of impact I will continue to work closely with partners there as we build the health and social care system for the future.” 
Councillor Jim Cammell, Lead Member for Children’s and Young People’s Services, congratulated Charlotte on her honorary degree and said: “This is a fitting tribute to someone who has transformed support for residents of all ages in Salford and is leading on initiatives that will do the same for people across Greater Manchester and beyond. My congratulations, this is very well deserved.” 
Professor Margaret Rowe, Dean of the School of Health and Society at the university, said: “Charlotte has dedicated her career to helping the vulnerable, particularly children and young people. As a leader of children and young people’s services in Greater Manchester she has tremendous expertise across the integrated agenda of health and social care.

“At the University of Salford, we are proud to play an active role, together with local partners, to enhance the lives of the people in our city and beyond. We look forward to continuing to work in partnership with Charlotte on collaborative projects as we develop our health and social care leadership offer, as well as new workforce initiatives to meet local need.

“Charlotte will provide an outstanding local role model to our university community as we continue to strive to deliver the best health and social care outcomes for the people of Salford.”

Charlotte Ramsden