Two national awards have gone to Wakefield Council staff for achieving excellence in the care of children, young people and families.
Winners on the night were Chris Campbell, awarded the ‘Social Care Covid Hero Award’ and Louisa Daley who was given the ‘Support Worker Award (North)’, at the National Children and Young People Awards, held on Thursday 6 October in Birmingham.
Sam Walshaw was highly commended in the ‘Biggest Impact Award’ category.
Wakefield Council staff and teams were shortlisted in six categories.
The awards recognise accomplishments at all levels and from across the whole of the social care profession, including services for people with learning disabilities and/or autism and children, young people, families, and foster carers.
Chris Campbell won in a special award category, given to an individual, team or employer who has gone above and beyond during the Covid-19 crisis.
As a team manager of a child protection locality team in Wakefield, he worked tirelessly throughout the lockdowns for the children and families of Wakefield and for his colleagues, staff members and senior management.
He kept children safe during the pandemic, sometimes visiting them in person to ensure they were safe and in other cases, he worked into the night to put them into immediate safety.
Chris spent a lot of his time ensuring that appropriate PPE and testing was available to the team, often driving across the city to collect and distribute this to relevant teams.
Louisa Daley, a Children and Family Worker, won the ‘Support Worker Award (North)’. This award recognises the crucial role of the support worker, in providing high quality care and support for children, young people and families.
She has dedicated considerable time to offering guidance and supporting foster carers and children.
In a recent case, her professionalism and approach prevented children from being taken back into public care. Instead, she worked with the foster carers and children to keep them together.
Sam Walshaw was highly commended in the ‘Biggest Impact Award’, a category for those who have helped promote positive change in the lives of vulnerable children and families.
Her work has seen her play a key role in transforming the Council’s residential homes to more homely two-bedroom homes that improve the lives of children and young people in care.
Cllr Margaret Isherwood, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “What a fantastic achievement! Many congratulations to everyone. It’s wonderful to see our staff being recognised in these awards because they, and their colleagues, all do an incredible job.”
This is the second time Wakefield Council has been recognised. In July, they won another national award for their transformation of Children’s Services. The recognition came in the LGC awards, one of the country’s most prestigious public sector awards.
It follows a remarkable turnaround for the service, from receiving an inadequate rating by Ofsted across the board in 2018 to being judged, three years later, as Good with outstanding leadership.
Cllr Isherwood added: “We will continue to work as hard as ever to provide our children and young people with the best service, one that gives them an outstanding start in life.”