By Dan Parton
A principal social worker and a leading advocate of personalisation were among social care figures lauded in the King’s Birthday Honours.
Former directors, a child protection consultant and a campaigner for the rights of families in the children’s social care system also received honours in the list, announced last week.
Newham council’s children’s PSW Beverly Halligan received an OBE on the back of the London borough’s journey from an inadequate Ofsted rating in 2019 to good overall, with outstanding leadership, last year.
Halligan, who has spent 35 of her 38-year career at Newham, said it was an “incredible honour” to be nominated.
“This award is a reflection and tribute to all those who played their part in helping to safeguard, protect and nurture our young people during adversity,” she said. “We’ve been on a transformative journey for the last few years, all whilst navigating the pandemic, and I’m incredibly humbled by the nomination, let alone the award.”
Personalisation advocate garlanded
Meanwhile, there was a CBE – the highest mainstream award below a knighthood or damehood – for equality and disability consultant Clenton Farquharson, who has long championed personalisation in adult social care.
Now chair of the board of the Think Local, Act Personal board the sector body charged with further personalisation, he paid tribute to those who had helped and supported him over the years.
“Receiving a CBE is not only a personal achievement but also a testament to the unwavering support and encouragement of those who have been a part of my journey,” he added.
Two recipients were honoured specifically for their services to social work – Anne Turner, the now retired former director of children’s safeguarding and social work at Camden council (OBE) and child protection consultant Marcella Leonard.
A specialist in the risk management of sexual offenders and in supporting survivors of sexual trauma, Leonard is a past chair of the British Association of Social Workers Northern Ireland, who praised her on Twitter.
A wonderful achievement @leonardconsult Worthy recognition of your leadership and skill. Delighted for you.
— BASW Northern Ireland (@BASW_NI) June 16, 2023
There was also an OBE for Carol Tozer, who until 2021 was director of adults’ services at the Isle of Wight while Family Rights Group chair Angela Fraser-Wicks.
Family rights campaigner ‘hugely proud’
Drawing on her experience of having two of her children removed, she has campaigned for the voices of families to be heard within the social care and family justice systems.
As part of that she serves on the Family Justice Council, which monitors the workings of that system, and the national implementation board for the government’s children’s social care reforms.
Frazer-Wicks said she was “hugely proud” to have received the honour. “I hope this shows that we should be less judgmental and more supportive of birth parents,” she said.
“I hope I am living proof that a challenging and traumatic past does not have to stop you from having a bright and happy future. We are all capable of change, some of us just need a little help to do so.”
Others social care figures who received an MBE included:
- Damian Nolan, divisional manager, adult social care services, Halton council;
- Selwyn Morgans, ,former manager of the Aycliffe secure children’s home in Durham;
- Peter O’Hara, founder and chief executive of social care software developer OLM Systems;
- David and Vivienne Baker, foster carers, Plymouth council;
- Andrew Daniels, foster carer, Credo Care;
- David Upjohn, foster carer, Credo Care.
In addition, Katy Turner, branch manager at care provider Caring Connections Knowsley, received the British Empire Medal.