Social Work Employer of the Year


Essex County Council

ORGANISATION: Social Work Employer of the Year

AWARD(S): Social Work Employer of the Year

Essex employs 3,500 staff across children’s and adult’s social care, 1,200 of which are social workers and its Children and Families service is rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted (in 2019).


The nomination described Essex’s capable response to the pandemic, working to ensure the support needs of Essex communities were met while ensuring staff were kept as safe as possible. The establishment of the Essex Welfare Service allowed the council to co-ordinate volunteers, redeploy staff where need was greatest and set up food distribution, welfare calls and other support for the community.


Essex also provided evidence from surveys carried out by children’s social care during the pandemic which showed that over six months from July 2020, 84% of families surveyed reported they were supported very well or fairly well by the council’s children’s social care function. During the pandemic Essex’s Children in Care Council led the delivery of ‘boredom boxes’ to children in care, zoom activity sessions, socially distanced visits, texts and more.


Judges also heard about the promotion of and commitment to worker wellbeing and learning and development at Essex. For example, Essex County Council run Essex Social Care Academy, offering continuous social care professional development. The council is also committed to supporting other local authorities with bespoke workshops and online events to share good practice and support them on their improvement journeys.


Learn more about Essex County Council below.



The pandemic in 2020 has had a profound impact on social care and it has been promising to see how Essex County Council transformed their services to be able to meet the needs of people in Essex.

Bindu Parmar, Head of Service, Leicester City Council

In Essex County Council we have an excellent focus on transforming outcomes for people and communities, with social work at the centre. The approaches to local support and communities both pre, during and post-Covid has been absolutely inspirational. The focus on wellbeing and development for our tremendous workforce is also second to none.

Alison Ansell, interim Director of Social Care – West Essex, Essex County Council

I think during the pandemic, generally speaking, Essex County Council has been supporting the workforce in the best possible way. Compared to other local authorities ECC have been well equipped, well-prepared, and supportive to the adult social care workforce. I do not believe in the circumstances anything differently could have been done, especially as we were working and still are for the unknown.

Feedback from a Social Work Employee at Essex County Council


Silver Award

Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

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