Jill Colbert, chief executive of Together for Children and director of Children’s Services in Sunderland, was named in the Platinum Jubilee Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Together for Children was formed in response to a damning report by inspectors in 2015 highlighted problems across the board.
Work set about to address the issues, and children’s services in Sunderland were ranked ‘Outstanding’ in August 2021.
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Ms Colbert said her OBE also stood in tribute to the excellent work of her many colleagues.
She said: “I am forever grateful to have had a career that has given me the opportunity to work with children and families. I hope that by accepting this honour, I also give credit to the many colleagues I have worked with who have also dedicated themselves to making life better for children.”
Sunderland City Council chief executive Patrick Melia, added: “It is fantastic news to hear that Jill Colbert has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Jill has been instrumental in transforming children’s services in Sunderland and has helped to make a real difference to children’s lives in the city.
“I know everyone at Together for Children and Sunderland City Council is immensely proud of this achievement so I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Jill on behalf of everyone.”
A statement from Together for Children said: “We are incredibly proud that our Chief Executive and Director of Children’s Services, Jill Colbert, has been recommended to Her Majesty the Queen for the honour of Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Birthday 2022 Honours List.
“Jill has been at the forefront of our improvement journey since joining our organisation in July 2018, and we are delighted that the transformation of children’s social care services in Sunderland has been recognised in this way. As we continue our work to ensure the best possible outcomes for children, young people and families in our city, we hope the people of Sunderland will share our sense of pride and achievement.”