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Winners of the Children & Young People Awards 2021


The Care Employer Award 

Five Rivers Child Care

Five Rivers are a forward-thinking social enterprise, keen to ask for, and respond to, staff feedback. They use innovative ways of ensuring children and young people are at the heart of everything they do and have clear company values, which are understood and recognised by 97% of their employees.

Highly Commended

Fostering UK 

Fostering UK are passionate about ensuring that their employees are recruited well, feel valued and never feel replaceable. With hectic work and home schedules, it is clear that staff are never made to feel guilty about having a home life, allowing them to give their all to their chosen careers.

The Newcomer Award

Chloe O'Brien, Flourish (Gloucestershire) Limited

Chloe is passionate about enabling children to live their best lives and her passion for her role and who she works with shone through.  She is an asset to her organisation and indeed the sector and has a bright future.


The Support Worker Award (North) 

Nazma Liaqat, Foster Care Associates

Naz is personable, extremely hardworking and completely dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable young children. She gave numerous examples of going above and beyond and thinking outside of the box. Outstanding!

The Support Worker Award (South) 

Vanessa Arif, Stepping Stones Care

Marie is a truly outstanding and positive role model for children and young people. She is reflective and thoughtful about her practices and interactions and creatively engages young people in services that will help them move forward. Her philosophy, positivity and value-set underpin all aspects of her daily work, which makes her a worthy winner.

Highly Commended

Jade Walsh, The Ryse College 

Jade provides a solid foundation for children and young people, as well as colleagues. She is a keen advocate and has high aspirations for those she is supporting. She has an in-depth understanding of the needs and complications and the emotional state of young people, and adapts her approach accordingly. She is focused on building resilience for the long-term and empowers the young people to engage in a wide variety of services.

The Children's Home Manager Award (North) 

Julie Roberts, Netheredge Care Ltd

Julie's passion and enthusiasm shines through.  She has a strong focus on a family environment that offers young people exceptional opportunities and experiences in a home where they are supported to be safe and achieve the best possible outcomes. Her leadership and high expectations of the young people and staff team drive the continuous development of the home.

Highly Commended

Jill Firth, Dove Adolescent Services 

Jill supports her team and young people to have strong open communication in a family environment which maintains contact with all it's members past and present, supporting them to achieve the best possible outcomes. Her passion to provide a family home with high expectations of all members is a credit to her leadership.

The Children's Home Manager Award (South) 

Steven Robertson, Kedleston Group

Steven adopts a very hands on approach and is completely focused on getting the best outcomes for all the young people.  He clearly believes in himself, the staff and the children.  Steven is passionate  about making sure he has a steady staff team, and that communication is key throughout. He also uses individual staff strengths to support new ideas, develop his staff team, and ensure the young people enjoy and achieve. An enthusiastic and involved Manager, with a passion for building and improving.

Highly Commended

Chelsea Bryan, Five Rivers

Clearly sees this as a way of life and not just a job and is totally committed to her work. She loves every one of the children and ensures they know this is unconditional even when they move on. Her main goal is to have a well trained, consistent staff team, who use their strengths to support the young people to achieve their goals.  She is very focused on ensuring the young people enjoy and play as they should, adopting a therapeutic approach to encourage child development. 

The Children's Home Manager Award (Central) 

Patrick McCabe, Happy Group Ltd

Patrick is a strong advocate for the young people in his care and his staff team and this has been particularly evident during the pandemic. His innovative approach is highly commendable, using upcycling projects to provide furniture, food and bicycles produced by the young people for the community.

Highly Commended

Susan Baron, Homes2Inspire

An outstanding manager who goes above and beyond to support staff and children in order to ensure the very best possible outcomes.

The Children's Home Manager Award (Secure Unit) 

Dr Kate Herod, Nugent

Kate has developed an outstanding service.  She empowers her staff team, using intent based decision making and curious accountability to ensure the young person’s placement journey stops and positive outcomes are achieved in a nationally recognised service. She became registered manager at a moment of crisis and through her leadership, trust and faith in the staff team and young people has transformed their life chances.

The Children’s Home Team Award (North)

The Team, Netheredge Care Ltd Team

The Team have demonstrated the importance of being role models for children and young people by encouraging them to provide support to people and families less fortunate than themselves during the pandemic. This was achieved through promoting acts of kindness, supporting other local services in the community and making donations to charity events and foodbanks. This has not only had a positive impact on the staff team and young people, but it has positively impacted on other people's lives within the community. The team have clearly fostered an excellent culture within the home and there is no doubt this will have lifelong benefits for the young people they care for.

Highly Commended

Caroline Lund & Team, XYP

Although a relatively new team, it is clear they have an excellent foundation and ethos to build upon and this is likely to have significant benefits for the outcomes for children and young people. The team are clearly supported and encouraged by leaders and managers to think outside the box and be innovative in their approach to care.

Children’s Home Team (South) 

The Team, Wood Grove Children's Home

The whole team work exceptionally well together and are ready to go the extra mile if required to support the people they care for.   Their dedication and passion for the children in their care was very evident.

Children’s Home Team (Central) 

Overfields Staff Team, Footsteps to futures

There was a genuine authenticity to the team, who passionately believe in emotional therapeutic support with the children they support, and the service they provide.

The Foster Carer Award

Jane and Dave Gater, Wigan Local Authority

Dave and Jane have been providing foster care services for over 20 years and are also passionate leaders within their community. During lockdown, they set up a support group for other foster parents, which they continue to manage. Their mix of family values and managing complex needs has established them as the selected or preferred ‘go to’ by their local authority.

Highly Commended

Tracey and Michael Pearce, Fostering UK

Michael and Tracey are dedicated to their role as foster parents, having experienced their first placement under covid restrictions, the words that express and stand out the most are 'Big Love'. A wonderful couple.

The Fostering and Adoption Award

Joanne Lloyd, Nugent 

Jo and her team are a small voluntary adoption agency that specialise in bespoke, hard to place adoptions, going above and beyond to keep siblings together and find loving and caring adoptive parents for children with complex needs. Absolutely inspirational!

The Biggest Impact Award (Individual)

Michelle Clarke, Imagine Housing CIC

Michelle has gone above and beyond for the young people she supports. Her commitment, time energy passion and resilience to ensure that vulnerable young people have a home and the right support to achieve their long term life goals is to be commended. She will be there in their time of need offering kind words and practicable solutions to whatever their situation is. It's not just one young person she is having the biggest impact on,  it is many many more!

Highly Commended

Ami Ashworth, New Horizons

Ami goes above and beyond to support the team to make a real impact for the lives of the children in their care.  Her enthusiasm and passion for her role was outstanding.

The Biggest Impact Award (Team) 

Wigan Council and the Mockingbird Project 

The team adopt an innovative approach to fostering.  They have an impressive record of support for children, young people and families and have developed an outstanding reputation for excellence, safeguarding and keeping families together.  The team’s passion and dedications is nothing short of outstanding!

The Safeguarding of Children Award

Karen Hoer, Calcot Services for Children

The team’s main priority is keeping children safe and going that extra mile to tackle adversity.  Their passion and dedication was outstanding. 

The Children with Disabilities Award

Florence House - Calcot Services for Children

An outstanding team who go above and beyond, supporting one another to ensure the best possible outcomes and promote wellbeing of the children in their care.  Their dedication and passion was infectious! 

The Leaving Care Award

Billie-Jo Robinson, Signature Aftercare

Billie was clearly passionate and dedicated and demonstrated a clear knowledge and understanding of the constraints involved in the current care provision, whilst providing an exemplary service. 

The Wellbeing Award

The Centre of Excellence in Child Trauma (COECT)

This is an impressively innovative organisation committed to helping foster and adoptive families to stay together.  Experts by experience they act as advocates and a voice for children and is a growing movement that are making a real difference, impacting outcomes and changing lives.  Truly inspirational! 

The Partnership Working Award

Participation Team, Foster Care Associates

The team see young people’s future aspirations as a key tool to build their confidence getting them used to working life. 

The Children’s Champion Award

Musthafa Hussain, Diverse FM Community Media and Training

Musthafa's personal commitment to vulnerable children during the pandemic, especially after two of their full time colleagues caught COVID, has been truly remarkable. His ability to shine during this crisis has been inspiring, going above and beyond to help vulnerable children and the wider community.

Highly Commended

Sarah Roskell, Independent advocate for Graham's Consultants 

Sarah's commitment to vulnerable young people as a freelance advocate is remarkable. Her ability to react , respond and promote positivity during this most difficult of years is outstanding. 

The Children and Families Social Worker Award

Natalie Paul, East Sussex Local Authority

Natalie is clearly a passionate, caring advocate for the children in her care, who truly believes that the trauma of a young person's past shouldn't define their future. She demonstrated her resilience to not giving up on a child when things get tough and also articulated that children have typical age-appropriate behaviours, not always behaviours as a result of being a child in care. 

The Young Carer Award

Dominic Wright 

Dominic has been caring for his mother, who has multiple sclerosis, since he was just 3 years old. He is learning to administer his mother's medication and assists her in getting dressed, making cups of tea, and caring for his younger brother. He is a shining star who aspires to be a carer when he grows up, and he would be amazing! 

The Outstanding Contribution to Social Care

Jane and Dave Gater, Wigan Local Authority 

Jane and Dave have committed 20 years of their lives to providing a loving home to a significant number of foster children. They exude selflessness and unconditional love provided to their foster children who now view them as their parents - and grandparents! Jane and Dave make what they have achieve sound easy - but it is doubtless that there have been many challenges along the way that have been overcome through determination, love and support and providing a family home.  Jane and Dave have also been instrumental in establishing a support group for other carers who, especially during lockdown, have found the role isolating and challenging.  Well done!

Highly Commended

Amanda Carpenter, Bay View

Amanda will get things done! Her drive and passion to achieve positive outcomes for young people are clear - she won't let anything prevent her achieving success. Despite being a Director Amanda stands shoulder to shoulder with the staff team, working on shift and getting to know each young person individually.