Royal honour for Oldham Children’s Services and Care Leavers

Picture courtesy of Oldham Council

Children’s social care in Oldham and the outstanding efforts made towards its workforce has been recognised at the Queen’s Garden Party.

Bernie O’Brien, Oldham Council’s Principal Social Worker was joined by Oldham Children in Care Council members, Sam Coupe and Paige Tildsley at Buckingham Palace on May 15, where they met His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales.

Bernie, who has worked in children’s social care for 25 years – 13 of those in our borough, was nominated by the Department for Education (DfE) for her significant contribution to social work education, through the development of the National Assessment and Accreditation System (NAAS) pilot.

Bernie has led the local roll out of the NAAS in Oldham with the support of Practice Learning Mentors and The Children Sector Consultant. The NAAS allows social workers to demonstrate expertise against a nationally recognised standard and ensures vulnerable children receive the expert, high quality support and protection they deserve. The DfE chose Oldham as one of five local authorities in the North West to pilot the NAAS.

Bernie said: “I felt hugely privileged to attend and represent the social workers in Oldham who work tirelessly in children’s social care to enhance the lives of our young people.”

Sam and Paige have been amazing ambassadors for local care leavers and integral in the decision-making process on how care leavers can be better supported.

They both even hosted the local authority’s annual celebration of children in care and care leavers last year – one way of recognising and rewarding personal, academic and sporting achievements.

Councillor Amanda Chadderton, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services said: “Making sure all our children and young people are healthy, emotionally and mentally, safe and have a voice is of the upmost importance to us.  

“We want our young people to have the best possible chance to succeed and we need to be the best corporate parent we can be.

“It’s great to see Sam, Paige and Bernie amongst the distinguished and deserving guests at the Queen’s Garden Party and representing some of the amazing work taking place with our young people and social care.”


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