Darren Shaw.

Darren Shaw PGDiP, BA Hons

Director of Service Delivery for Innovate CYPS


As Director of Service Delivery for Innovate CYPS, Darren provides operational and strategic oversight across all projects.

With a strong background in practice improvement and service transformation, he also leads on new programme development.

At the heart of Darren’s creative yet pragmatic approach to addressing frontline service challenges is his ability to inspire and work collaboratively.

In his 12 years working within children’s social services, he has worked at several local authorities. Entering social work in his mid-20s, he started his career with Staffordshire County Council where he learned his trade working as a Social Worker, Senior Practitioner and Team Manager.

After eight years with Staffordshire County Council, Darren wanted to expand his experiences and worked as Safeguarding Team Manager at Birmingham City Council before specialising as an independent assessor.

At this time, Dudley Council approached him to assist with its ambitious improvement plans, where he spent three years implementing and overseeing service improvements. During this period, he worked as Head of Improvement and Principal Social Worker and set up and managed the highly acclaimed Centre for Professional Practice which was nominated for a national award for innovation.

In 2019, his career came almost full circle, as he joined Birmingham Children’s Trust as Assistant Director for Practice Improvement and Development, and led on the implementation of the Practice Hub, Social Work Academy and Social Work Apprentice Programme.

However, fully aware of local authority change management constraints, he was keen to explore a different way of working. He wanted to enter the private sector, but only if he could improve children and young people’s lives while reducing local authority costs.

When an opening came up at Innovate CYPS, Darren knew he had to be involved. He was longing to be part of an evolving entity where high-quality social work is the standard. In his own words, he describes Innovate CYPS as a “specialist project service with values, standards and expectations that wants to do something different.”

At Innovate CYPS, Darren is freely able to innovate. He draws on all his experiences, observes and listens to local authorities, and responds with evidenced-based sustainable solutions.

When he’s not busy leading Innovate CYPS’ project teams and meeting with local authorities, he loves to spend time with his two daughters. He also enjoys watching sports, namely football and cricket and is passionate about good food. So much so that he treats himself to a Michelin Star restaurant once a year.