Alex is an SSSC registered social worker with over 20 years’ experience in the third and public sector. He began his career working in deprived communities with so-called ‘persistent young offenders’ and has first-hand experience utilising a therapeutic relational approach in reaching marginalised young persons, most of whom experienced adverse childhoods and development trauma. In adult services, he has managed and led services and teams in all areas of criminal justice social work, including Throughcare and prison, general fieldwork and specific women’s service to name a few.

Alex is a qualified teacher of social work practice and has supervised numerous students throughout the years. He has amassed an extensive teacher and trainer portfolio, which, amongst others, includes risk assessment practice and formulation and strength-based interventions aimed at promoting recovery and change. He regularly attends universities to provide lecturer inputs on associated areas in relation to people in the Justice system.

Nationally, he is the Chair and master trainer for an accredited programme, which included, for the first time, the neurobiology of trauma, and delivered from a trauma informed and responsive perspective.

As a senior leader in Justice, Alex is an associate inspector with the Care Inspectorate and a specialist in trauma informed organisation transformation with safety, trust, choice and collaboration at its core. This saw him complete a postgraduate Master’s Degree with distinction on strategic leadership and development of services. This focused upon a critical analysis of protection frameworks and recommendations around alternative community partnership and empowerment models.

In 2017, he was nominated and winner of the Scottish Social Service Award for utilising current research to develop a collaborative approach to addressing domestic abuse and enhancing partner and family safety.


Probation In Scotland (2020) Grant, Buchan and O’Donnell

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