Essex County Council is celebrating a double success after picking up two prestigious national awards.
The council had four finalists in last night’s Children and Young People Now (CYPN) Awards, with its Family Operations Essex Social Care Academy (ESCA) among the victors, winning in the Recruitment and Professional Development Award category.
The ESCA team organises and advocates professional development and training for the council’s Family Operations staff, as well as foster carers and partners such as Essex Police. It has provided training for about 700 professionals in the last six months.
A group of young people from Uttlesford who took part in last autumn’s National Citizen Service (NCS) programme, run by Essex County Council’s Youth Service, were also victorious in the National Citizen Service Award category.
The Uttlesford team ran a community action project to raise awareness of mental health issues. They created a powerful film which was presented to more than 1,000 young people during school assemblies across Essex.
Cllr Dick Madden, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Children, said: “Our dedicated staff work closely with families across the county to ensure children in Essex get the best start in life.
“Essex Social Care Academy plays a vital role in ensuring our social workers and foster carers, as well as staff from our public sector partners, have the skills and knowledge required to achieve that objective.
“I am delighted the team’s outstanding contribution to the learning and development of our workforce has been acknowledged with this well-deserved award.”
Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, added: “This was the third consecutive year our Youth Service had been nominated for a CYPN Award and is the second time they have won, which is a clear illustration of the excellent work they are doing each and every day.
“They work with thousands of young people in Essex every year, running some fantastic programmes and supporting community-led youth activities.
“The National Citizen Service scheme encourages young people to make a positive contribution to their communities and teaches them crucial life skills. This particular group showed brilliant initiative with their mental health project and I am so pleased their passion and hard work has been recognised with an award.”
Now in their 11th year, the CYPN Awards provide much-deserved recognition for those working with children, young people and families.
The other Essex County Council nominations included the Changemakers team, which works with the Essex Children in Care Council, and Special Guardianship team.