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Social Worker of the Year Awards and Children and Young People Now Awards – Cafcass


Cafcass is delighted that the organisation, individual colleagues and one team have been  shortlisted in several award categories for both the 2023 Social Worker of the Year Awards and Children and Young People Now Awards.

Social Worker of the Year 2023 shortlist

The Social Worker of the Year awards were set up to recognise inspiring social workers who help transform people’s lives. The categories have been created to highlight exceptional practice in children’s and adult services, mental health and social work education.

Cafcass - Supportive Social Work Employer

The Supportive Social Work Employer Award recognises social work organisations delivering excellent practice as an employer while inspiring employees to achieve their best.

Cafcass has been nominated as an employer for its commitment to strong organisational values and how it has embraced a unified model of relationship-based practice with children and families. Cafcass’ staff wellbeing is prioritised through a comprehensive strategy and a dedicated wellbeing team, with diversity networks, recognition events and scheduled wellbeing days.

Sarah Parsons - Life time Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognises an individual who has dedicated their entire working life to social work and has consistently made a positive difference within their community.

Sarah is Cafcass’ Principal Social Worker and Deputy Director for performance and improvement. She has worked at Cafcass for over twenty years. With more than 35 years dedicated to public service as a social worker, Sarah has focused her career with sensitivity and compassion on improving outcomes for children and families in the family courts. She has made an enormous and immeasurable difference to many children and families over the years, as well as to the development of Cafcass professional practice, culture and her colleagues.

Lloyd Haskin – Student Social Worker of the Year Award

The Student Social Worker of the Year award is for university students studying social work who are showing outstanding potential in their studies; surpassing expectations and who have a thorough understanding of social work theory and practice.

Lloyd has studied Social Work with the University of Plymouth and during his placement year at Cafcass has made a huge impact on the children and families he has worked. He is incredibly self-motivated in his desire to support others and his application of his developing knowledge and experience. Lloyd takes time to make families feel listened to and at ease, always treating others with respect and dignity.

Clare Burnett - Newly Qualified Children’s Social Worker Award

Newly Qualified Children’s Social Worker of the Year award is for those with less than one year’s experience who have made a positive difference to the lives of children through their outstanding work.

Clare always keeps children at the heart of her practice, going above and beyond to make families feel respected and valued. She continually brings a fresh perspective with her positive and innovative approach, drive and determination and impressive knowledge.

Children and Young People Now Awards shortlist

The Children & Young People Now Awards have become the gold standard for everyone working with children, young people and families.

Now in their 18th year, the awards are a source of pride and recognition for all those working to improve the lives of children and families.

Cafcass Together Team - Public Sector Team Award

The Public Sector Children’s Team Award is to recognise the public sector team that has made the greatest impact in improving the life chances of children, young people or families. Entries were open to teams and departments within local authorities as well as local health services and national bodies.

The Cafcass Together team has been nominated for the design and continuous development of the Together with children and families practice framework which has transformed the way in which Cafcass Family Court Advisers and Children’ Guardians work with children and young people.

Cafcass Chief Executive, Jacky Tiotto said:

“Social work is an art! The individuals who come to it bring their own individual palette, their special experiences and their own style of helping others. What they have in common as a community, is a deep passion to help give people back hope, security and a sense of control over their lives and futures.

For everyone nominated, shortlisted and those who win in their category – they will each be exemplary practitioners, leaders or people associated with the profession.

I am so pleased that Cafcass is associated with five nominations and I am beyond proud that we have colleagues at the start and later stages of their careers being recognised for these prestigious awards. Equally, that our practice framework – Together with children and families – and the implementation team have been shortlisted is a perfect example of the importance of values in social work and those working in social work organisations.

“Everyone at Cafcass is ambitious to be the voice for children and to help them in their family law proceedings. In every daily task, and in every team, my colleagues are working on making a difference and reflecting on how we can do more and better. Congratulations to all of those shortlisted both at Cafcass and to our partners and colleagues across the social work sector.”