A social work team from Cheshire West and Chester Council has received national recognition for its support of vulnerable children after winning a top prize at the prestigious Social Worker of the Year Awards.

The Winsford and Northwich Children in Need team was named Team of the Year for Children’s Services during the national awards ceremony which took place at the Lancaster London Hotel.

The team was commended for its reflective practice and focus on professional development while also supporting students and newly qualified social workers. The judges said that the nomination showed real innovation and high quality leadership.

Speaking just after collecting the award, a member of the team said: “We’re very excited and surprised to have won but it’s an absolute credit to all the staff within the team and the multi-agency partners we work really hard with as well a supportive senior manager who has been there every step of the way.”

Director of children’s services at award sponsor Gloucestershire County Council, Linda Uren, said: “The Winsford and Northwich Children in Need team is an excellent example of the impact of high quality leadership and innovation and the whole team should be very proud of their achievements.”

The team were presented with their award in front of an audience of 350 social workers and representatives of the profession.

The Social Worker of the Year Awards were founded in 2006 by independent practitioner, Beverley Williams, with the aim of improving the understanding and reputation of the profession.

This year the awards have been supported by headline sponsors Sanctuary Social Care; corporate partners, the British Association of Social Workers; and category supporters the Local Government Association, UNISON, Calderdale Council, Gloucestershire County Council, Barnardo’s, Kent County Council, Essex County Council in partnership with Servelec Corelogic, Hampshire County Council, The Open University and Devon County Council.