A SOCIAL worker from North Yorkshire praised for her dedication and bravery has been shortlisted in the industry's most prestigious award.

Tiffany Cook, who works with the Ripon and Rural safeguarding team is one of a handful of staff across Britain chosen for the Social Worker of the Year Award. The county council's Children's and Young People's Service has also been chosen as a finalist in the Social Work Employer of the Year category. The awards to be presented in London in November recognise the achievements and dedication of people working in the profession.

Tiffany joined the County Council as a student and has been qualified for more than three years. She said: "My team cover a diverse geographical patch, which makes for a diverse caseload, including issues caused by mental health problems, substance misuse and poverty.

"My work encompasses initial assessment of the needs of a family through to complex child protection cases and care proceedings. I deal with warning signs around very sensitive issues such as grooming and exploitation, not only supporting families through an immediate period of stress or crisis, but in the longer-term to ensure they become self-sustaining.

"For as long as I can remember I’ve had an incredible passion for social work and a desire to improve my practice. I strive to build and maintain trusted relationships with families, often in very challenging circumstances."

Team manager Adele Herdsman said: "Tiffany’s incredible dedication and bravery is an inspiration to others, and she is incredibly popular in the locality, with a character to match her professional abilities."

The awards come on top of Ofsted rating the service the first to be outstanding across the board. County Councillor Janet Sanderson, Executive Member for the Service, said: "Last year’s Ofsted report showed that our social workers have manageable caseloads, with 97 per cent saying they would recommend North Yorkshire as a good place to pursue the profession. The number of social workers has increased substantially to ensure increased demand in some areas is addressed and high quality of practice for families is maintained.

"We are incredibly proud to have been chosen as finalists in these national awards which showcase the Council as a brilliant employer for those wanting to succeed in the profession."