Home » News » Winners revealed at Social Worker of the Year Awards 2021!
12 impactful social workers from across England have scooped gold awards at the annual not-for-profit Social Worker of the Year Awards.
Hundreds of social workers are nominated by their colleagues each year in recognition of their dedicated and life-changing impact in the profession.
A rigorous independent judging process – with panelists from all levels of social work, people with lived-experience of social work support and leading figures in the industry – culminates a shortlist of finalists, a silver award winner and a gold award winner in each category.
The awards went virtual for the second year in row, in recognition of the need for Covid safety among those who spend time with potentially vulnerable communities, and was live-streamed from London at 4pm on Wednesday 17 November.
The trimmed down list of categories – 11 plus the overall Social Worker of the Year – delivered winners across the length and breadth of England.
This year saw the introduction of the new Social Justice Advocate Award category, judged solely by people with lived experience of social work. The award is grounded in the IFSW statement of ethical principles and is open to all social workers who demonstrate a commitment to challenging injustice, seek to equalize the position of different social groups and challenge discriminatory systems.
The Awards were hosted by journalist and TV presenter Ashley John-Baptiste (who regularly appears on the BBC and is currently fronting For Love or Money with Kym Marsh) and featured contributions for sponsor councils, award winners themselves and interactive social media segments.
Alongside 12 Gold winners, 13 practitioners received Silver awards for their outstanding social work practice over the last 18 months.
Peter Hay CBE, Chair of Trustees at the Social Work Awards charity, said: “It is so inspiring to discover so many incredible social workers dedicating themselves to improving the lives of others every year that we hold the awards.
“Social Work is a demanding and emotional job and both our gold and silver winners are shining examples of people who go the extra mile, who work tirelessly to achieve change for individuals, families and in the profession.”
“We hope that this celebration of the support, dedication and leadership demonstrated by the finalists provides inspiration and encouragement for all social work professionals to deliver innovative practice in their future careers.”
Social Worker of the Year Awards 2021 – Full List of Winners
Overall Social Worker of the Year Vivian Okeze-Tirado, West Sussex County Council
Adult Social Worker of the Year Melanie Noel, Essex County Council (GOLD) Chris Vass, Stockton-On-Tees Borough Council (JOINT SILVER) James Thomas, London Borough of Tower Hamlets (JOINT SILVER)
Children’s Social Worker of the Year Alexandra Capitani, Coventry City Council (GOLD) Marissa Langley, Surrey County Council (SILVER)
Team Leader of the Year Kudakwashe Kurashwa, London Borough of Hillingdon (GOLD) Zakia Bouyis Loughead, Birmingham City Council (SILVER)
Team of the Year (including MDTs) Keeping Families Together Team, Darlington Borough Council (GOLD) Preparation for Adulthood Service, Bradford Council (SILVER)
Practice Educator of the Year Claire Skilleter, Norfolk County Council (GOLD) Anne Cooper, Gloucestershire County Council (SILVER)
Social Justice Advocate Award Vivian Okeze-Tirado, West Sussex County Council (GOLD) Aedan Wolton, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (JOINT SILVER) Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children Team, Norfolk County Council (JOINT SILVER)
Mental Health Social Worker of the Year John Leavy, Achieving for Children (GOLD) Tulane Chiarletti, Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (SILVER)
Newly Qualified Social Worker of the Year Anna O’Brien, Hull City Council (GOLD) Christine Norman, Dorset Council (SILVER)
Student Social Worker of the Year Lucy Collier, University of Winchester (GOLD) Carrie Evans, University of Lancaster / Frontline (SILVER)
Social Work Employer of the Year Essex County Council (GOLD) Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (SILVER)
University of the Year Durham University (GOLD) Bournemouth University (SILVER)
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