Entries are now open for the 2019 Social Worker of the Year Awards, recognising social workers in England that have made an exceptional difference to the lives of people they support.
Now in their 13th year, the Social Worker of the Year Awards aim to give recognition to the challenging work of social workers, celebrate the outstanding contributions and achievements of those working in the profession, and improve understanding of the range of challenging work that social workers undertake.
There are 16 categories across the specialisms of both children’s and adult services, including Social Worker of the Year, Newly Qualified Social Worker of the Year, Team of the Year and Best Social Work Employer. There are also categories to recognise social work students, practice educators and practitioners working in the field of mental health.
Last year saw the introduction of a new category – Making a Difference – which recognises qualified social workers who are not employed by a local authority, such as independent social workers, locum workers or social workers in other settings such as the charitable sector, education or regulators.
The winners of two additional awards – Outstanding Contribution to Social Work and Overall Social Worker of the Year – will be chosen by the Board of Trustees of the Social Work Awards Ltd., the charity behind the annual celebration.
Peter Hay CBE, Chair of the Charity, said: “Social work is such an important and demanding profession, but it is rarely recognised. Therefore, the Social Worker of the Year Awards provide the opportunity for us to celebrate the extraordinary work carried out by those who work in the sector in England. If you know an inspiring social worker, make sure you let them know by nominating them this year.”
James Rook, Managing Director of the awards’ headline sponsor, Sanctuary Social Care, added: “This is our ninth year as headline sponsor of the Awards and it has been fantastic to see the event go from strength to strength. The social work sector is often-misunderstood, but we are helping to change that by continuing to celebrate and recognise the positive impact of social workers within our society.”
Last month, the winners from the 2018 Social Worker of the Year Awards celebrated their achievements with government ministers at an exclusive Parliamentary Reception at the Houses of Parliament. The winners were congratulated by The Rt Hon Damian Hinds MP, Secretary of State for Education; Caroline Dinenage MP, Minister of State for Care; award patrons Tim Loughton MP and Emma Lewell-Buck MP and the two Chief Social Workers, Lyn Romeo and Isabelle Trowler.
As well as launching this year’s awards, organisers have also announced which organisations have signed up to support the event this year. Sanctuary Social Care is returning as the event’s headline sponsor, while the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) is once again the awards’ Corporate Partner.
Meanwhile Tees Valley Local Authority Child and Adult Services, UNISON, Children’s Social Work Matters, Barnardo’s and Servelec are all returning as individual category sponsors, alongside the local authorities of Devon, Bradford, North Lincolnshire, Hampshire, Essex, Kent, Lambeth and Sunderland.
The closing date for entries is Friday 19th July. The shortlist will be announced in October and the winners revealed at a ceremony and dinner in London on Friday 29th November. Previous hosts have included celebrity chef and government fostering ambassador Lorraine Pascale, and BBC News Reporter Ashley John-Baptiste.