Leeds council deputy director of children Sal Tariq wins OBE in New Year Honours

Leeds City Council's deputy director of children and families, Saleem Tariq, may have been awarded an OBE - but he says there is 'still much to do'.

Saleem Tariq, of Leeds City Council.

Mr Tariq worked in the private sector in London before moving to Leeds in 1992 to undertake a Diploma in Social Work.

He qualified in 1994 and became a social worker, then a manager, until his appointment to the role of chief officer of children’s social work services in December 2011, a job he did for five years.

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Mr Tariq said: “Leeds’ children’s services have been on an improvement journey since 2009. I have been privileged to play my part in driving forward these improvements.

"Being awarded an OBE is a personal honour and makes me very proud.

"However, it is also a recognition of the work that staff in the council and its partners have undertaken to improve outcomes for children. There is still much to do and I will continue to play my part for children and families in Leeds and elsewhere.”

Children’s social care services in Leeds were just this month rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.

Coun Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council said: “I’m delighted that Sal Tariq’s work putting children and young people at the centre of everything we do in Leeds has been recognised.

"He has made an enormous difference to the lives of countless children and their families over 24 years working at Leeds City Council, and I know there will be many people who will join us in congratulating him on this award.”

Tom Riordan, Chief Executive of Leeds City Council, said: “Well done to Sal and the other Leeds and Yorkshire recipients of New Year’s honours.

"It is great to see their contributions recognised and congratulations to them all.

"Sal has made a huge difference to social work practice in Leeds, and more recently in Kirklees, and has been a driving force behind our recent outstanding rating for Leeds children’s services.”