Meet the Leadership Team

The Children’s Services Directorate is made up of four main service areas:

  • Learning Skills and Universal Services
  • Safeguarding, Specialist and Targeted Services
  • Strategy, Commissioning and Performance
  • Partnership Development and Business Support

Here is some information about the team, their career journeys so far and their key priorities for Leeds. And of course it always helps to put a name to a face.

Steve Walker - Director of Children’s Services

Steve Walker 

Steve is photographed next to artwork produced by pupils from Lower Wortley primary school.

Steve joined Leeds City Council in 2011 as Deputy Director, Safeguarding, Specialist and Targeted Services, and became Director of Children’s Services on 1 October 2016.

Steve has over 25 years’ experience in children’s social care. He qualified as a social worker in 1984 and worked as a social worker and front line manager for over 10 years before becoming a principal manager. In addition to his experience as a senior manager for children’s services, Steve was a research fellow at Royal Holloway College, University of London, where he developed a range of materials to support social work practice. He was an inspector with the Care and Social Services Inspectorate for Wales and has been involved in developing and implementing policy to deliver better outcomes for children.

Prior to joining Leeds City Council, Steve was the head of child and family services for the city and county of Swansea.

Steve’s career is underpinned by a commitment to service improvement and the delivery of positive outcomes for children.

Saleem Tariq – Deputy Director, Safeguarding, Specialist and Targeted Services

Sal Tariq 

Prior to his appointment to the post of Deputy Director, Safeguarding, Specialist and Targeted Services, Sal was Chief Officer of Children's Social Work Services for Leeds City Council for five years.

Sal began his social work career as a residential social worker with looked after children and young people. He has also worked with children with disabilities in a short breaks home and with adults with learning disabilities living in the community. Sal spent time working in the private sector in London before moving to Leeds in 1992 to undertake the Diploma in Social Work. Having qualified in 1994 he worked as a Social Worker and then as a manager at all levels in the service until his appointment to the role of Chief Officer in December 2011.

Sal is committed to providing child centred services that improve the life chances and outcomes for children and their families in Leeds.

Deputy Director, Learning (currently being recruited to)

Sue Rumbold – Chief Officer, Partnership Development and Business Support

Sue RumboldSue chose to be photographed at Leeds Museum alongside a banner promoting Leeds’ vision for a Child Friendly City.

Sue Rumbold qualified as a physiotherapist and has worked for most of her career with disabled children and their families in a range of settings including homes, schools, children’s centres and clinics. This provided a real insight into the challenges faced by families in the most difficult of circumstances, which continues to be a point of reference throughout Sue’s work.

Sue has experience of commissioning and managing children’s health services working within a PCT. She came into local government after working as the health lead on a joint area review, as Head of Commissioning and Partnerships. Sue also trained as a health inspector for a joint area review in another authority.

Sue is passionate about the involvement of children and young people in decisions which affect their lives, in her role as Chief Officer of Partnership Development and Business Support, Sue leads on delivering ‘Child Friendly Leeds’, a campaign to make Leeds the best city in the UK for children and young people to be born, to grow, learn and have fun.

Sue has an open leadership style, committed to the values of working with people, ensuring that children and families are at the heart of everything we do. Sue is married with a daughter and loves watercolour painting.



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