Judging for The Children & Young People Awards has taken place with the winners being announced at a gala dinner at Birmingham’s ICC on 16th April 2021. The standard of nominations for these inaugural awards has been incredibly high making shortlisting an unenviable task for the judges. Here we profile Nia Jones from New Horizons, finalist in the Registered Manager category, and a great example of outstanding practice in care for children and young people.
Achieving excellence in social care is something that comes naturally to Nia Jones. On joining New Horizons, a provider of residential care for children and young people, in 2019 she was quick to make an impact.
Despite this being her first registered manager role Nia didn’t shy away from changes that needed to be made. She had a vision of creating a home which would achieve outstanding in all areas.
At first Nia needed to select a team that was just as enthusiastic as her and one that also had the passion to drive the home and the young people forward. Under Nia’s motivational leadership the new team quickly gelled and made significant improvements in the home.
Fortnightly supervisions were all completed with Nia taking on the role of coach and mentor. Giving extra support when required Nia also let the team use their own initiative and they soon began to find they own style of working, thinking for themselves whilst learning the job role.
Alongside this Nia implemented weekly Keeping in Touch sessions. These sessions gave the staff time to reflect on their own practice whilst providing an opportunity to ask for support as and when required.
The coaching and mentoring that Nia introduced have had a measurable impact on the day to day running of the home. Staff retention is now outstanding, and morale is at an all-time high.
Nia’s solution based approach has been infectious. One team member said: “We had a good team when Nia came to Douglas House but now, we have an outstanding team who are fully committed to providing the best possible environment and care for our young person.
“Nia recognises that each member of our team has different strengths and encourages us to develop and use them for the good of the home and our young person. Her enthusiasm, work ethic and endless encouragement has motivated us all.”
Another said: “Nia has brought the team even closer together with a shared focus on providing the best we possibly can for the young person in our care. I feel she deserves some recognition for all she does and has achieved so far. She is an inspiration to us all and I am proud to work with her.”
On being nominated for The Children & Young People Awards, Nia says: “I was shocked and humbled to find out that colleagues had nominated me.