Children's service manager awarded MBE for 'outstanding commitment' during pandemic

Pretty Nkiwane, Hertfordshire County Council's manager of children's services, was awarded an MBE for supporting children

Pretty Nkiwane, Hertfordshire County Council's manager of children's services, was awarded an MBE for supporting children during the pandemic - Credit: Herts County Council

The manager of Hertfordshire County Council's children's services has been awarded an MBE in the Queen's New Year's honours for her outstanding commitment to social care during COVID-19.

Pretty Nkiwane received the accolade for her hard work and dedication to safeguarding children throughout the pandemic, working with young people, families and social workers to achieve the best outcomes during challenging times.

Commenting on her nomination, Pretty said: "I feel so humbled to receive such an honour and I must say this is part of teamwork with colleagues and staff in my service.

"I receive this on behalf of all my colleagues within family safeguarding services who have worked so tirelessly and in particular during the COVID pandemic. 

"Their commitment to the children in our community is second to none."

Pretty's career with the county council spans over 19 years. Her many other successes include helping implement the Hertfordshire Family Safeguarding Model, which has been adapted by other local authorities.

She also helped devise and implement the frontline programme for social worker training and recruitment.

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Pretty said: "As a leader within family safeguarding I have ensured that our staff are supported and their wellbeing is central to my commitments, which is now particularly important in the current COVID pandemic, so that they too can deliver a safe service.

"In my current position this was always, and remains my responsibility, especially at a time when social workers were among the very few professionals visiting children and families in the home.

"I think these social workers have shown their passion and accountability, therefore it's my view that they are the unsung heroes."

Pretty's grandfather was also a recipient of an MBE in 1957, for his work within the local government in Malawi.

Jo Fisher, executive director of children's services at Herts County Council, said: "We are immensely proud of Pretty whose MBE is so richly deserved in recognition of her diligent and dedicated work to the children, young people and families of Hertfordshire."

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