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Lincolnshire's children's champions recognised in Queen's birthday honours list

News (1931061)
News (1931061)

Coun Patricia Bradwell, executive councillor for children's services, and Debbie Barnes, director of children's services, have been awarded OBEs in the Queen's birthday honours list for 2018.

"Both Patricia and Debbie have been instrumental in transforming Lincolnshire's children's services into a beacon of excellence and this is fully deserved," said Coun Martin Hill, council leader. "Over 10 years ago children's services were performing moderately, but through their drive and leadership and the support of a strong team, we are now rated by Ofsted as one of the best performers in the country, including excellence in children's safeguarding, which is almost unique nationally.

Considered as one of the best by Government, Lincolnshire's children's services have been chosen to lead on developing and improving social work practice nationally.

Patricia and Debbie were appointed to address well-documented failings in social care in Rotherham. Their usual robust but fair leadership is delivering considerable improvement there.

Coun Hill added: "When I appointed Patricia as my deputy in 2013, I gave her additional responsibilities for adult care and public health, a huge workload and responsibility. Not surprisingly she's delivered big improvements in these areas, with adult care transformed from a nearly failing service into the best and most cost effective in the region.

"Debbie has been an outstanding director of children's services since she took up the role in 2012. Under her leadership, children in Lincolnshire enjoy higher quality education, better examination results, strong safeguarding and more joined up support than many other areas in the country.

"They have shown strong, effective leadership and commitment in vital areas of safety and wellbeing for vulnerable children and adults. Their direct and personal roles have achieved such impressive results and I congratulate them on these awards."

Patricia has served on the Local Government Association's National Children's Board and has for a number of years been chairman of the East Midlands Children's Forum. She joined Lincolnshire County Council in 1997 and represented the Metheringham Rural Division for 19 years and since the last election, Woodhall Spa and Wragby.

Debbie joined the council in 2006 establishing strong partnership safeguarding arrangements through the Safeguarding Children Board. Nationally, she leads on educational achievement for the Association of Directors of Children's Services and until recently co-chaired the government working party on improving the education of looked after children. She has presented at both national and international conferences on best practice in children's services.

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