Dinnington social worker scoops top award

Carlene Devereux has been named Rotherham Council's Young Person of the Year
Carlene Devereux has been named Rotherham Council's Young Person of the Year
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A SOCIAL worker who gives invaluable help to children and their families in Dinnington has won a top award.

Carlene Devereux, a children and families social worker in the South Dinnington Locality Team, has been named Rotherham Council’s Young Person of the Year.

The 23-year-old was picked from eight nominees for the award, which is given annually to the employee who has given outstanding service during their period of employment and who shows outstanding qualities of character in all aspects of their lives.

Originally from Bedfordshire, Carlene started working for the authority in October 2010, after graduating from the University of Sheffield with an honours degree in Social Work Practice. She has also achieved a post graduate Certificate in Professional Practice with Children and their Families.

She was nominated by Tracey Arnold, the Dinnington south team manager, who described Carlene as a ‘highly regarded’ member of the team ‘committed to her work with children and their families who works above and beyond her role.’

She said: “During her time with the authority she has displayed an excellent level of service to her clients; is committed and enthusiastic in her work and, at every level, puts the children she works with at the heart of her role.”

“She is also a very determined individual who has a great sense of right and wrong. She also has a great sense of empathy with children and is a confident advocate for them.”

Carlene, who lives in Sheffield, said it was lovely to be nominated for the award and a real honour to win, but stressed that she could not do her job without the people in the team.

“I feel very lucky,” she said. “Because I work with a brilliant team and I enjoy my work, even though it can be a really difficult job sometimes.”

“But there are also plenty of great aspects to our work, such as helping and witnessing a positive change in behaviour. That is excellent and makes it all worthwhile.”

All the nominees were interviewed by councillors Paul Lakin, Coun Jahangir Akhtar and the Mayor of Rotherham, Coun Shaun Wright, who presented Charlene with the award at Rotherham Town Hall.

The other seven finalists were social worker Joanne Merry, two technical Officers in the lighting section of Streetpride - Emma Sarjeant and Luke Steggles, Emma Chadbourne, an enforcement officer in the Safer Neighbourhoods Team, care assistant Shannon Hirst, Kyle Hopkins, an Access To Information assistant in legal services and Lizzy Grayson, a procurement officer.