Newly Qualified Children’s Social Worker of the Year


Jessica Raper

ORGANISATION: East Riding of Yorkshire Council

AWARD(S): Newly Qualified Childrens Social Worker of the Year


Before qualifying as a social worker, Jessica Raper completed a fine art degree and the way she applies her creativity to social work practice really shone through her nomination.


In the case of a child whose teeth had rotted due to dental phobia, Jessica provided worry people and magic beans to help the child feel safe at the dentist. In another case, she used finger puppets to enable a young person to communicate with the police. She also organised a fairy tea party for a parent and child who had not seen each other for six months, and her work on this case has led to ongoing positive contact between the two.


Alongside her inspiring direct work with children and families, Jessica has also navigated her way through a number of complex cases. A notable example was her work supporting two young people, who were being placed with relatives, and their mother, through difficult care proceedings, which saw her court report commended for its child focus and clarity.


Jessica’s colleagues credited her as a practitioner with contagious positivity, adding that she was a “shining example” of how children’s social work should be delivered.


I was so impressed by the creative work Jessica has done with CYP to help them with their fears and distress. I was equally impressed with the way in which she has made parents feel safe to work with her. Jessica is clearly a huge asset and deserves recognition.

Annie, Surviving Safeguarding

Very strong nomination with clear evidence of social work values, excellent communication skills with varied ways of engaging with children and young people.

Elizabeth Njenga, Newly Qualified Social Worker, BASW

Jess has been the children’s social worker for approximately 18 months. During that time, she has built a relationship with the children that is above and beyond that of any of their previous social workers. The children now look forward to her visits rather than the view that the social workers visits are something to be tolerated.

Service user feedback

Jessica consistently goes the extra mile and feedback about her performance and approach is invariably positive. Her positivity and her determination is contagious. It inspires and enlivens all those around her. We think that Jessica is a star and shining example of how excellent children's social work should be delivered.

Eoin Rush, Head of Children and Young People Support and Safeguarding Services, East Riding of Yorkshire Council



Elizabeth Njenga

Jess Dugdale-Pointon

Louise Walker MBE


Alice Bent, Oxfordshire County Council

Daniel Newman, Essex County Council

Heidi Turtle, Kent County Council


Jessie Turner, Hull City Council

Simone Oliver, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

Tiffany Ridd, Norfolk County Council

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