Ashley John-Baptiste to host the Social Worker of the Year Awards 2021
The Social Worker of the Year Awards has announced that broadcast journalist and TV presenter, Ashley John-Baptiste, will present the virtual awards event on 17 November 2021.
As a care leaver himself, Ashley is passionate about raising the aspirations of looked-after children and fully credits his social worker for helping him get to where he is today.
This will be Ashley’s second time hosting the awards ceremony, which highlights the many outstanding achievements of practitioners, social work teams and organisations across the country.
Ashley was taken into care at the age of four, growing up between several different foster families and children’s homes across South London. He went on to study history at the University of Cambridge.
A talented reporter and presenter, Ashley hosts BBC shows like Expert Witness, For Love or Money and is a regular face on The One Show and Morning Live plus has made many documentaries, features and podcasts: including exploration of growing up in care, racism, the lived experience of black students in the UK.
Centred around the theme of ‘Reconnection and Recognition’, this Social Worker of the Year Awards virtual event will highlight social workers’ outstanding work during the last 18 months as they support individuals and communities to reconnect and to move forward from their experiences during the pandemic.
Speaking ahead of the awards, Ashley said: “I know from my own experience how important social workers are in supporting young people who find themselves in difficult circumstances, especially given the challenges posed by Covid-19 over the last 18 months. I’m delighted to be involved with the awards again this year, and I’m looking forward to shining a light on the outstanding social work happening across the UK.”
Peter Hay CBE, Chair of the Social Worker of the Year Awards, said: “We’re thrilled that Ashley is returning to support the charity this year. Ashley is a very talented media professional, but more importantly, he is an inspirational role model for young people with lived experience of social care and the perfect champion for everything that our charity stands for, which gives dedicated, committed and passionate social workers the recognition they deserve.”
This year 52 outstanding practitioners, teams and organisations have been selected as finalists across 11 categories, including two new categories: University of the Year and Social Justice Advocate award. The winners from each category will be announced at the ceremony which will be broadcast live to social workers across the country from London on 17 November.
The Social Worker of the Year Awards 2021 is supported by headline sponsor Sanctuary Personnel; corporate partner the British Association of Social Workers (BASW); and individual category supporters Children’s Social Work Matters, Wandsworth Borough Council, Waltham Forest Council, Dorset Council, UNISON, Devon County Council, Essex County Council and Torbay Council.
Social Work England, S12 Solutions and the local authorities of Gloucestershire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Bradford, Middlesbrough, Southampton, Stockton-on-Tees, Dudley, West Sussex, Derbyshire, Luton and Suffolk support the awards this year as Thank You sponsors. Visit here to see our full list of sponsors.
Register for this year’s event here