IFSW’s Human Rights Commissioner, Ruth Stark, has been recognised in the June 2013 Queen’s honours list for her contribution to social work in Scotland. IFSW congratulates Ruth on the award of such a prestigious recognition of her work within her home country. We also take this opportunity to publically acknowledge her significant contribution to social work internationally, including co-developing the social work human rights manual and leading many of the international human rights campaigns.
Ruth qualified as a social worker in 1976 after working as a trainee in Staffordshire and Edinburgh. After a short period as a qualified Probation Officer in England she moved to be a social worker in Edinburgh in 1978 and has worked in Scotland ever since. In 1989-91 she took on the role of conference coordinator for the IFSW Europe conference in Glasgow and in 2000 she became a paid officer of BASW as head of the association in Scotland. Throughout her time working for BASW she has continued to keep in touch with social work practice in the role of Safeguarder for children in the Court and Children’s Hearing system, an independent person appointed by the Court to safeguard a child’s best interest. Ruth was appointed the IFSW Human Rights Commissioner in 2008 and has played an active role in the leadership of IFSW for several years. Ruth is married to a social worker and has two adopted children, both now following their own adult lives.