Judy Ponsford after receiving her award on 27th September 2016

Judy Ponsford, a Derby City Council social worker, has received the Outstanding Contribution by a Social Worker award, at The Fostering Network’s Fostering Excellence Awards which took place on 27 September 2016.

Judy has been a social worker since 1998.  She re-trained after leaving her job with disabled children and their families having been inspired by supervising social work students.

Councillor Sara Bolton Cabinet Member for Children and Young People and Safeguarding said:

“We are delighted that Judy has won this award.  It highlights the dedication and commitment that she and all our social workers strive to achieve in supporting our foster carers and the children that are in their care”.

The foster carer who nominated Judy, said:

‘She goes out of her way to support the foster carers she works with. We care for a severely disabled child with epilepsy who cannot support her weight for long and requires a modified bed to sleep safely.

We were keen to take our fostered child on holiday, to increase her independence and range of experiences, but found very limited appropriate accommodation available. We identified a specialist portable bed which would enable us to take her away to a wide variety of places.  Judy successfully highlighted the need for funds to be released from the appropriate Fostering budget to allow the family to have the bed. We now take her away whenever we can and she has really enjoyed the opportunities which this has given her. The bed has also since been used for other looked after children with disabilities.  Judy goes above and beyond in supporting us with our aims and goals to support our child.’

Kevin Williams, chief executive of The Fostering Network, said:

‘Social workers are vital in making sure that foster care works. Judy’s efforts to support each and every family she works with – often above and beyond what could be reasonably expected – ensures a better future for foster carers and children alike.’