Belinda Schwehr, Our Volunteer Chief Executive and Founder
Last century, Belinda practised as a barrister, then taught Public Law in University Law Schools, and then returned to professional practice, re-qualifying as a solicitor in 1998. She developed a specialist practice in Adults’ social services, mental capacity, health care law and human rights. She stopped being any kind of practising lawyer in the early 2000s, however, because it’s hard to make a living from legal practice in an area of law that does not produce a monetary sum by way of compensation, even if one wins – and in which the people with the problems won’t have money to pay for legal advice, in general. She figured she could have a wider impact if she specialised, and trained councils how to do it lawfully, rather than wait for cases to come her way.
Her experience as a public speaker dates from this period when she began to offer training courses as a complementary addition to her litigation practice. Belinda has spent the last 20 years appearing at national conferences in England, Scotland and Wales and running her own face-to-face training and consultancy business, as Care and Health Law. She has delivered live webinars under the auspices of Community Care to 1000 attendees at a time and regards webinar-based training as the only affordable way forward for the sector, from 2017 onwards, as her interests have shifted back to her roots as a case worker.
Prior to committing to the setting up and development of CASCAIDr, Belinda supervised a nationwide team of specialist trainers who provided over 500 days of face to face training to 40 councils on the Care Act in 2015, under her personal teaching and guidance. Belinda also advised the LGOs, the HSC, ADASS, NASS, charitable and private sector care home providers, domiciliary care and support providers, CCGs, special schools, service users and carers.
She has created the Care Act checklist which provides the main scaffold of the Free Scope advice service offered by CASCAIDr.
She is also the creator of the material and webinars supplied to CASCAIDr Trading package deal holders, the material having been acquired under licence from Care and Health Law, her private business.
She is not able to take on work in her private capacity any longer, to avoid conflict of interests. The only exception to that is training of any public body (CCGs, councils, SABs or Hospital Trusts) which might still want to commission a training service.