Practising social workers, and a youth worker who helped expose a child sexual exploitation scandal, are among those recognised in the Queen’s birthday honours list.
Anne Harvey, an approved mental health professional and family support service manager at Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council and Margaret Bersey, who has worked for Plymouth City Council for 40 years and is currently a team manager, were both awarded MBEs for services to children and families.
Bersey said it was “a wonderful honour” but couldn’t quite believe that she had been recognised “for simply doing my job”.
She said: “I consider it a great privilege to have been able to work with so many children, young people and their families in Plymouth. To able to see so many children overcome early life adversities and go on to become confident young people, and in some cases successful parents themselves, has been a strong motivator in my career.”
Jayne Senior, the youth worker who helped expose child sexual exploitation in Rotherham after repeated referrals to the authorities were ignored, received an MBE for her services to children.
Senior said receiving the honour was “bittersweet”, adding: “Getting an award for what happened in Rotherham is the bit that saddens me – all those lives ruined and devastated. That’s the bit that upsets me.
“If it gives me an opportunity to keep talking about it and to continue supporting victims and family members and raising awareness so this never happens on this scale in another town, then it’s a great honour.”
Bernadette Dornan, an independent reviewing officer in Birmingham, received an MBE as did Nigel Nash, service manager for Cafcass, and Taiyabur Chowdhury, who worked as an adoption social worker in Bradford.
Several directors of social services received honours. Eleanor Schooling, Islington’s former director of children’s services who is currently Ofsted’s interim director of social, was made CBE. David Pearson, Nottinghamshire’s director of adult social care and a past president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) also received a CBE. Nicola Clemo, formerly director of children’s social care at Cambridgeshire County Council and now chief executive of Slough Children’s trust, was made OBE.
Christine Lenehan, director of the Council for Disabled Children, was made a Dame. Arwel Owen, chair of the Care Council for Wales received an OBE for his contribution to social services and social care in Wales.
The list also recognised a number of foster carers and adopters, including Anne and James Staniforth who had fostered 25 children over the past five years and Alison and Thomas Gilligan who adopted four children with special needs.