Team Leader of the Year, Children’s Services
AWARD(S): Team Leader of the Year, Children’s Services
Heidi is a service manager in Cafcass’ Early Intervention Team (EIT) working with six local authorities in Birmingham and the Black Country. Heidi joined the team with a view to improving safeguarding practices, team confidence and partnership working. Within just six months, she had transformed her team’s OFSTED rating from ‘inadequate’ to ‘good’, exceeding all national KPIs.
Keen to improve outcomes for service users, Heidi identified a lack of understanding about Cafcass’ role was leading to a significant delay for children. She produced an impact study for the local safeguarding children boards and developed a training programme for local authority staff, resulting in a reduction in court delays.
Heidi also acts as Equality and Diversity Ambassador and has facilitated workshops on a variety of topics including gang culture and honour based violence, resulting in 100% of practitioners who attended the workshops saying they will use the learnings in their practice.
In addition to her considerable achievements, Heidi’s personal qualities and strengths of courage, leadership, commitment and passion shone through in her entry. Her dedication to her team has been persistent year creative, resulting in excellent staff morale and engagement.
WHAT THEY SAID:
Heidi has it all: a superb organising ability, empathy galore, a deeply-felt passion for supporting children and their families and support for social workers carrying out tough and complex work, whilst pushing them to ever-higher levels of performance.
Anthony Douglas and Ana Popovici, CEO and Assistant Director, Cafcass
Reading Heidi’s application gave me great pleasure and I found myself smiling throughout - this is someone that I would love to work with. She is clearly valued and respected by her colleagues and other agencies and inspires the best in people.
Michelle Newman, Team Leader of the Year – Children’s Services 2013
Heidi has genuinely been the best manger I’ve had. Her energy, passion, knowledge and support has been fantastic not just for me, but for the whole team.
Collette Byrne, Family Court Advisor, Cafcass
Heidi is approachable, accessible and has very much of a 'can do' approach. She is continually looking for ways in which she can improve the service provided to families and children, whether that be sharing good practice or identifying new and innovative ways of working.
Helen Perkins, Family Justices Clerk, Midlands Region
SILVER AWARD WINNER
David Green, Wokingham Borough Council