Social work clinical leadership in allied health


  • Kim Fry Allied Health Director and Professional Adviser for Social Work for MidCentral Health, a division of the MidCentral District Health Board.



health social work, social work leadership, allied health providers,


One of the main issues in the health environment today is the need for clinical leadership. This includes the leadership of social work within the grouping ‘allied health’. Over recent years Allied Health Directors have emerged within District Health Boards (DHBs) and the author currently holds one of these positions and is the only social worker to do so. Social workers are the largest profession within the allied health group and have the knowledge, skills and attributes to provide direction within this group of many different professions. The challenges of defining and uniting allied health provides social workers with many opportunities, however we need to market and position ourselves strategically in our organisations. This article provides a case study of the Allied Health Director role at MidCentral Health and will examine how the role came about, the context of the organisation and the organisation’s current structure. Key issues in defining allied health will be explored including the tensions and concerns among professionals of being viewed as a generic group. There are challenges and opportunities for social work within the health environment and this brief paper explores how we can both utilise and develop our skills, knowledge and practice to provide allied health with unity and direction.


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How to Cite

Fry, K. (2009). Social work clinical leadership in allied health. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 21(4), 109–113.