A COVENTRY social worker has been presented with a top national accolade for providing support to unaccompanied asylum seeker children, writes Shnae Harrison.
Alexandra Capitani has been named the 2021 Social Worker of the Year,
The Coventry City Council advanced social work practitioner, who has been in the role since 2014, was recently appointed the job of Team Leader with the Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC) service.
Her colleagues nominated Alexandra for her devoted service, providing activities and support to young asylum seekers, helping them build friendships and have an easier time settling into their new lives.
Alexandra has organised festive celebrations and delivered food parcels to help make the children feel less isolated.
She, along with her colleagues, formed a group which met regularly to the children in cultural festivals and ensure the children of Coventry are recognised in a meaningful way.
One young person supported by Alexandra said: “Many people seem to be so disapproving of social workers but for me you have been my saviour – the person that saved me from the destructive path I was on.
“You saw I was broken and piece by piece you have helped me put myself back together.”
They added without Alexandra’s help and guidance they ‘would not be the young person they were today’.
In her new role Alexandra has developed important relationships and networks throughout Coventry and the West Midlands with refugee centres and community organisations.
She has also created a programme for social workers in Coventry to further their understanding in supporting young asylum seeker children.
Matt Clayton, Coventry City Council’s strategic leader for looked after children, added Alexandra was a credit to the social work profession.
“She is extremely dedicated to the children, young people and families she supports as well as improving practice and outcomes for those she does not directly work with.
“Alexandra works with some young people who have been significantly criminally exploited and as a result display behaviour which can be threatening and intimidating.
“However, Alexandra seeks to understand the reasons behind this and that allows her to breakthrough where other professionals cannot.”
Visit www.socialworkawards.com for more.