Supportive Social Work Employer Award 2022


Children's Social Care

ORGANISATION: Durham County Council

AWARD(S): Supportive Social Work Employer Award 2022

Durham County Council’s commitment to investing in its social work workforce and developing an open and supportive culture has yielded impressive results on retention.


The authority has worked hard to improve social work supervision, updating its supervision framework to include a greater focus on wellbeing, as well as commissioning external reflective sessions that can be accessed by both individuals and teams. Managers and leaders have also been supported to ensure they have the skills and information to have important conversations with staff about how they may be feeling and their wellbeing.


Another notable development has been the creation of a Leadership Academy to support all team and children’s homes managers, which was recently recognised by Ofsted as ‘impressive’, as was the council’s ASYE academy for newly qualified workers. The council received an ‘outstanding’ rating for the impact of its leaders on social work practice.


The council has also supported the development of a number of peer support networks. This includes one for Black and ethnic minority staff which has grown from three members to around 20, as well as networks for LGBT staff and staff who are carers.


Durham children’s services has strived to make its employees feel valued and their success is borne out in the statistics – the department now boasts vacancy, turnover and agency rates all lower than the national average.


Supported by Sanctuary Personnel.



Silver Award

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