Rachael Cutler, Adoption Practitioner in our Yorkshire team was crowned Social Worker of the Year at the National Adoption Week Awards in October 2017. Rachael was nominated by an adoptive family when she worked for our colleagues at One Adoption in Yorkshire.
We asked Rachael to talk about her career history and how she was nominated for the award:
I qualified as a Social Worker in 2010 and hold a BA (Hons) First Degree in Social Work. I began my social work career in 2010 with Leeds City Council within Children’s services. I worked in a Care Management and a Looked After Children’s Team until January 2013, when I moved to the Adoption Team. Within the Adoption Team I worked in all aspects of adoption from assessing adopters, training and family finding. I progressed to the level of Senior Social Worker in 2015. I continued working for Leeds City Council and became a member of the family finding team in One Adoption West Yorkshire 2017.
Prior to becoming a social worker I worked in the travel and tourism industry spending 13 years overseas working for a major tour operator and two years in the UK as Cabin Crew based at Leeds Bradford Airport.
I was nominated for the award by a same sex female couple who I first met on the Preparation Training in 2015. A year later they were approved as adopters and they are now parents to a 22 month old little girl. The adopters found their adoption journey to be both a thought provoking and therapeutic experience. The adopter told me they felt that I managed some sensitive issues with skill and compassion making the assessment process as pain free as possible considering her past and current circumstances. Also she felt I saw beyond what some could see as negatives and gave credence to what the couple could offer an adopted child.
The adopters said of Rachael in their nomination entry form:
“We first met her in stage one of the adoption process when she delivered training. Right from the start we were drawn to her open-hearted and very real personality. She was clearly a social worker who loved her job and wanted to help potential parents achieve their dream of adopting a child. She has not only gone that extra mile for us, she has walked up hills, run through storms and climbed mountains – to allow us to write this with our beautiful daughter beside us.”
What do I enjoy the most about my job?
I really do enjoy meeting new people and getting to know them through the assessment process. I enjoy the developing relationship between myself and my adopters. I think I am as excited as my adopters on the day they finally get to meet their child/children.
I joined Adoption Matters in early October 2017 and I look forward to meeting many more families and being part of the agency’s exciting plans for the future in the Yorkshire region and across the UK.
Below: Rachael receiving her award from National Adoption Week Awards Host, Tessa Sanderson.