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A SOCIAL worker from Redcar and Cleveland has been selected as a finalist in the Social Worker of the Year Awards 2017 as a result of their outstanding work and leadership skills.

Louise Walker, Principal Social Worker at Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, has been nominated for the Raising the Profile of Social Work award and will find out if she has won at an exclusive ceremony which will take place in London at the end of November.

Louise is one of 81 finalists across 14 categories and the winners from each category will compete against each other to be named the “Overall Social Worker of the Year 2017.”

The prestigious awards ceremony is the leading celebration of its kind in the social care sector, and recognises the achievements and successes of the profession’s most innovative and dedicated social workers.

Louise, who has been a social worker for 25 years, said: “When I got over the initial shock of being shortlisted, I became really excited and proud. Representing Redcar and Cleveland at this level is just fantastic.

“Being a Principal Social Worker is the best job I’ve ever had. I get to influence the strategic development of social work while still having close contact with frontline practice and directly observing social work at its best. The job was made for me, or I was made for the job; I just love it.”

Barbara Shaw, Corporate Director for Children and Families at the council, nominated Louise for the award. She said: “Louise has been actively promoting the role of social workers in Redcar and Cleveland and has raised the profile, regionally and nationally. She is doing a fantastic job making sure that our social workers are valued and that the impact of their work is recognised.

“We’re all really proud of Louise, and hope she has a brilliant night at the awards. She thoroughly deserves this recognition.”

Bev Maybury, Strategic Director for Health and Wellbeing at category sponsor Bradford Metropolitan District Council said: “This award recognises social workers who have made a real difference in promoting a recognition of the importance and value of social work. Reaching the finals is an outstanding achievement and something to be very proud of.”

The awards were judged by leading influencers including the Chief Social Workers Isabelle Trowler and Lyn Romeo and Maris Stratulis (England Manager, British Association of Social Workers).

The Social Worker of the Year Awards are supported by headline sponsor Sanctuary Social Care; corporate partner the British Association of Social Workers, and individual category supporters, Barnardo’s, UNISON, iMPOWER, The Open University, OLM Systems and Community Care. The awards are also supported by the local authorities of Calderdale, Bradford, Devon, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Kent and Essex as well as the Tees Valley Local Authority Children’s Services – a partnership between the local authorities of Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Darlington, Redcar & Cleveland and Stockton-on-Tees.

For more information about the Social Worker of the Year Awards please see