Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust social workers Kelly Bentley-Simon and James Hussain have been shortlisted in the prestigious Social Worker of the Year Awards 2023, in recognition of their extraordinary practice.

Kelly Bentley-Simon featured with book she co-authored, and Karen Gillbank who nominated her for the awardKelly Bentley-Simon has been selected as a finalist in the Newly Qualified Children’s Social Worker of the Year 2023 award category and James Hussain has been shortlisted in the Newly Qualified Adult Social Worker of the Year 2023 award category.

Kelly is renowned for her passion and drive in meeting the needs of the people she supports and often goes above and beyond what is required of her in her role to make a difference. Kelly has co-edited, compiled and contributed to academic book: Emergence: Hidden Narratives from Neurodivergent Social Workers and shares knowledge and experience in university lectures to contribute to the development and provision of services for young people with neurodevelopmental and mental health needs.  Kelly is person-centered, using professional knowledge, alongside lived experience to provide excellent personalised care to young people and the families she works with.  This is reflected in the positive feedback she receives from families, who have credited her with alleviating anxieties before an assessment, as Kelly takes the time to ring beforehand to explain the processes and what to expect before the meeting.

James HussainJames is known for his ‘can-do’ attitude and regularly think outside of the box to find creative ways to support people with mental health conditions have their health needs met. As lead social worker in the District Nursing team, James has developed an innovative new bootcamp initiative for people in the community, enabling them to take part in physical health activities, which is having a positive impact on both their physical and mental health. Taking all this in his stride, James juggles the commitments of work with study and is passionate about his role as a social worker, keen to make a difference to the people that he cares for.

Kelly and James will find out if they have won at a special awards ceremony in London on Friday 3 November.

Supported by Wandsworth Borough Council, the Newly Qualified Children’s Social Worker of the Year award is for those with less than one year’s experience who have made a positive difference to the lives of either adults or children and families through their outstanding work.