The 2018 Social Worker of the Year awards took place in London on Friday 30th November. Entries for this year's awards open in April 2019. #SWA18

Chris Dyas, NSPCC

Children's Social Worker of the Year



Chris Dyas’ nomination received a resounding “wow” from this year’s judging panel.


A practitioner with more than 30 years’ experience, Chris’ social care career began in 1985 when he started work as a youth worker, organising and developing community projects in South Manchester. He qualified as a social worker in 1990, and worked for two years in Manchester’s children’s services, before spending the next six in Macclesfield.


Chris has spent the last 20 years working as a children’s services practitioner at the NSPCC service in Stoke-on-Trent, where he specialises in supporting young people who have been traumatised by sexual abuse. He was praised by colleagues as having an “ultimate skill” in being able to make meaningful connections with children and young people, “helping them to believe that they are being listened to and are understood”.


This was reflected in the moving testimonials submitted with Chris’ nomination, where young people described him as a social worker who has helped them to feel supported, less alone and find light at the end of the tunnel. He really stood out as a practitioner who is consistently committed to developing his practice for the benefit of those he works with.


What was said about Chris:


Plam Kara-Lewis, Cafcass Family Justice Young People’s Board: “A highly skilled person who needs to be duplicated for all young people. Young people’s mental health needs skilled practitioners like Chris to make differences.”


Andrew Willcox, Cafcass Family Justice Young People’s Board: “Chris is clearly devoted and very dedicated to improving the life of children and young people. He certainly is passionate, devoted and very skilled. He will take any chance to develop and improve.”


Service user feedback: “When I felt confused and anxious, Chris was there to talk to. When I lost my temper, he gave me the space I needed to calm down. When I pushed everyone away, he helped me understand why. When I needed to talk, he listened. When I needed to be silent, he waited.”


Sherry Malik, Director of Children’s Services, NSPCC: “Chris is unstoppable in his quest to put children first. He constantly finds ways to empower the young people he works with over and above the Letting the Future In therapeutic service he provides. He is a wonderful role model for his colleagues and for the children he works with in the way he continues to learn and develop.”



  • Andrew Willcox, Age 16, Cafcass Family Justice Young People’s Board
  • Annie, Surviving Safeguarding
  • Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England
  • Benjamin McCormick, Age 19, Cafcass Family Justice Young People’s Board
  • Dez Holmes, Research in Practice
  • Elizabeth Njenga, BASW
  • Plam Kara-Lewis,Cafcass Family Justice Young People’s Board
  • Esha Mokni, Age 14, Barnardo’s



  • Chris Dyas, NSPCC
  • Kirsteen Lowrie, Southwark Council
  • Liz Davis, Norfolk County Council
  • Lucy Jackson, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council - SILVER AWARD WINNER
  • Owen Chizimba, Essex County Council - SILVER AWARD WINNER
  • Rebecca Healy, Birmingham Children’s Trust
  • Slavica Tobdzic, Central Bedfordshire Council
  • Theresa Forrester, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council