Norfolk social workers receive national awards in children's services

Norfolk County Council's asylum-seeking children (UASC) team won silver at the Social Worker of the Year Awards.

Norfolk County Council's asylum-seeking children (UASC) team won silver in the social justice advocate category at the Social Worker of the Year Awards. - Credit: Norfolk County Council

Social workers from Norfolk County Council’s children’s services scooped gold and silver at a national award ceremony. 

Norfolk was recognised for its work in two categories at the 2021 Social Worker of the Year Awards. 

Senior social worker Claire Skilleter won gold in the practice educator of the year category and the council’s unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) team won silver in the social justice advocate category. 

John Fisher, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “I’m delighted and speak for the whole service when I say how immensely proud we all are of both these awards and of the dedicated staff who won them. 

“They are well-deserved for the winners and show the quality of practice and the outstanding individuals and teams we have here in Norfolk. 

“Claire has been with the council in a range of different roles for a number of years now. This award recognises the impressive quality of her work in training the dozens of newly-qualified social workers joining our social care teams every year. 

“The UASC team has been doing excellent work supporting increasing numbers of vulnerable children and ensuring not only that they are safe, supported and settled in our county, but we have the highest aspirations for them.” 

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The awards highlight social workers’ outstanding work during the last 12 months. 

Claire, who first started work with Norfolk County Council 30 years ago as a primary school nursery nurse, is a practice education lead for social work in the east and south of Norfolk. 

Claire Skilleter won gold in the practice educator category at the Social Worker of the Year Awards.

Claire Skilleter, from Norfolk County Council, won gold in the practice educator category at the Social Worker of the Year Awards. - Credit: Norfolk County Council

She said: “I am thrilled to receive this award and to be recognised for creatively supporting students and teams through the challenges of learning during a pandemic. It means so much to hear from students and colleagues that they have found my support, knowledge and practice materials helpful.” 

The UASC team, which was a finalist for an award in the recent Local Government Chronicle awards and whose work was praised by then children’s minister Vicky Ford MP, is a large team of more than 15. 

It has peer support workers, personal advisors, social workers, managers, and operational support and now works with 185 young people, in addition to supporting UASC care leavers.   

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