A FORMER government official has been awarded an honorary fellowship at Leeds Trinity University for her commitment to social welfare, justice, integration and equality.

Dame Louise Casey has spent the last 20 years in public service, working for four Prime Ministers and leading major programmes and campaigns on high profile social policy areas in Whitehall.

She was named by BBC Radio Four as one of the 100 most powerful women in the UK and is executive chairman of the Institute of Global Homelessness.

She said: “I am unbelievably honoured and overwhelmed to be named honorary fellow of Leeds Trinity University. From being part of the University’s 50th anniversary year celebrations, meeting students on the only MA Family Support degree course in the country, and being named honorary fellow; I feel very connected with this university, and I am proud to carry this title.”

She added: “Our graduates are the next generation of social advocates, campaigners and activists. They are the one who can make this world a better place, and I for one, am looking forward to supporting them, and other graduates, on their journey.”

Five years after graduating, Dame Louise, aged 27, became Deputy Director of Shelter. She led the change from 52 staff to over 350 and was largely responsible for the creation of Shelterline, the country’s first 24-hour telephone helpline for homeless people.

She was head of the Rough Sleepers’ Unit (RSU) under Tony Blair, where she successfully reduced the numbers of homeless people living on the streets by two-thirds within a three year period. She was Director of the national Anti-Social Behaviour Unit and head of the Respect Task Force. She became the UK’s first Victim’s Commissioner, and was appointed by David Cameron as Director of the Troubled Families Programme to challenge repeating cycles of poor parenting, abuse, violence, drug-use, anti-social behaviour, and crime, and to help families to turn their lives around. She undertook the Inspection into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council in South Yorkshire, and a review of community cohesion and extremism across the UK, published as the influential Casey Review.

For the last 10 years, Dame Louise has been a Trustee at DePaul International, a global charity working to tackle homelessness worldwide, and since 2014, she has chaired the Institute of Global Homelessness based in Chicago. She left the Department of Communities and Local Government last year and is now a Visiting Professor at Kings College London, lecturer at the London School of Economics, Trustee of the Prince of Wales Charitable Foundation and Patron of the National Citizen Service.