Bolsover social worker nominated for award

Derbyshire County Council has been shortlisted in five categories of the prestigious national Social Worker of the Year Awards.

The annual awards are held with the aim of improving the reputation and understanding of the social work profession and recognise outstanding work of teams and individuals across the country.

The county council has been named as a finalist in the following categories:

• Newly Qualified Adult Social Worker of the Year

• Adult Social Worker of the Year

• Children’s Social Worker of the Year

• Team of the Year - Adult Services

• Employer of the Year.

The finalists will find out if they have won at an awards ceremony to be held at the House of Commons on Friday 30th November.

The event will be attended by more than 170 social workers and award sponsors Sanctuary Personnel, Community Care and the British Association of Social Workers.

The awards judging panel will also be there to answer questions and debate social work issues with the finalists and guests.

There are more than 40 finalists in 14 individual categories and winners from each category will be put forward to be named the overall `Social Worker of the Year 2012’.

Newly Qualified Adult Social Worker of the Year finalist Sally Silcock is based in Bolsover and works for the generic adult fieldwork team.

Sally started her social work career with the county council as a home help in 2002 before progressing to a domiciliary services organiser, managing home helps.

From there she moved into a social work team as a community care worker before achieving her social work qualification in 2011.

She works with a variety of people in her role, supporting people with mental health issues, complex health needs and alcohol dependency.

Adult Social Worker of the Year finalist is Gillian Bown who is based at the Chesterfield Royal Hospital as part of the Acute Hospital Discharge North Team.

Gillian is responsible for making sure patients who leave hospital will be safe and have the support they need. Her work covers a variety of fields including domestic violence, family conflict, challenging behaviour and chronic substance misuse.

Social worker Chris Hill, who is part of the North East Derbyshire Children in Care Team based in Clay Cross has been nominated in the Children’s Social Worker of the Year category.

Chris, who has worked for the county council for 30 years, started her career as a community care worker before qualifying as a social worker.

She has worked within children’s services as a children and families social worker and for the past two and a half years Chris has worked in the children in care team.

The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Team (DOLS) is a finalist in the Team of the Year Adult Services category.

The DOLS team was set up in 2009 to ensure the implementation of the Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.

They work with and assess the most vulnerable people, who are receiving care in a hospital or care home, and provide protection for those who cannot make decisions for themselves.

There are seven staff on the team who work closely together, often at short notice, to ensure every decision, large or small, is in a person’s best interests and it can often involve highly complex legal, ethical, family and financial situations.

Derbyshire County Council’s Adult Care has been shortlisted in the Employer of the Year category for demonstrating best practice covering recruitment, development, training, motivation, leadership and team management.

To be named as a finalist, the county council’s Adult Care had to show evidence of successful teams and include testimonials from employees and people using the services.

In its entry the service demonstrated how it had changed the way it organised its services to reduce management costs and protect front-line services, as well as ensuring a more personalised service for people using Adult Care.

Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Adult Care Coun Charles Jones said: “It is great news that we have been shortlisted as finalists in so many categories and a testament to the excellent work that is being carried out day-in, day-out, by our dedicated social workers and social worker teams.

“The job of a social worker can be extremely difficult and challenging, but our social workers are highly trained and professional, always working towards getting the best results for everyone they work with.”

County council Cabinet Member for Young People Councillor Barry Lewis said: “We’re very proud of all our social workers for the work they do and to have so many finalists in these prestigious awards is excellent news.

“We have our fingers crossed for the finalists and to have got this far is a fantastic achievement in itself.”