Children’s Social Worker of the Year
ORGANISATION: Suffolk County Council
AWARD(S): Children's Social Worker of the Year
The pages of glowing feedback from children and families Emily has worked with speak volumes about her social work. Foster parents write warmly of her communication skills, while one mother simply expresses gratitude for “having faith in my ability” to parent her son.
Emily’s talent for delivering excellent, thorough assessments was spotted soon after she joined Suffolk’s child in need team in 2012. Her subsequent move to a child in care team was seen as an opportunity for her to build these skills and develop her expertise –something her service manager describes as being a “privilege” to observe.
Perhaps the most striking section of Emily’s nomination discusses her ability to forge relationships with families who have been hostile and reluctant to deal with services. In two cases highlighted as examples of her practice, she was able to build rapport with mothers –one who was a care leaver, and another with substance misuse issues – and eventually help enable their young children to return home to them.
Emily’s approach has inspired respect within her team and beyond for being risk-sensible, as opposed to risk-averse, and always solutions-focused. The panel commented on her “absolute commitment to achieving the best outcomes for families”.
WHAT THEY SAID:
Emily has a very diverse and complex caseload yet does not take the easy option, she appears to be absolutely committed and focused to achieving the best outcomes for families.
Emma Lewell-Buck MP, Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Work
Emily has demonstrated incredible dedication to ensuring permanence for children in a timely manner. She has worked extremely hard to improve outcomes for children, to work at the child's pace and also to prevent drift - and where possible to reunify children with birth families, underpinned by robust assessments and safe planning.
Maris Stratulis, England Manager, BASW
Emily is a great team player and mentor for other social workers in the team and has been an inspiration throughout the years for other social workers and managers alike, who find her practice and decision making safe, innovative, non-discriminatory and well researched.
Codrutza Oros-Marsh, Service Manager
She exemplifies the highest professional standards in social work and remains enthusiastic, friendly and approachable to parents and other professionals. It is also clear that the children she is involved with find her someone they can trust and confide in.
SILVER AWARD WINNER
Aimee Weston, Essex County Council
Danielle Martin, Essex County Council
Jason Barnes, West Sussex County Council
Jenny Harris, Devon County Council
Jonny Hoyle, North Yorkshire County Council
Maureen Skidmore, Cafcass
Rebecca Habberley, Warwickshire County Council