BASW recognises the incredible personal and professional contribution, dedication and commitment that social workers make every day to improving the lives of children, families and adults throughout England, across the four nations and the globe.
Social workers are the unsung heroines and heroes of our communities – you do change lives and you do make a difference.
BASW has been involved with the Social Work Awards from the very early days and is pleased to be a Corporate Partner and sponsor for the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Newly Qualified Children’s Social Worker of the Year award.
There are many members of our profession who persist, sometimes against significant odds, to put the needs of those they serve first and have dedicated their working life to the profession of social work.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is an individual award to recognise the dedication and achievements of an individual who has worked in the industry for over 20 years. The award is not simply about longevity, but about approaching the work assertively with passion and determination, and making a significant contribution that has changed lives.
Meanwhile, the award for the Newly Qualified Children’s Social Worker of the Year will recognise practitioners who have made a difference to children and families through outstanding work carried out during their first year of practice.
BASW itself has been in existence for 45 years now and we like to think we share these characteristics – we exist to support social workers, individually and as a profession, and are enjoying our highest ever membership figures. Many of our members are involved in the work of the organisation and are an invaluable source of information and support as we speak out for social work across the UK. They value our independence, that we can speak without fear or favour, supporting Government and other organisations when they are working in ways which are good for social workers and service users, and criticising them when this is not the case.
Life is not easy for social workers and BASW is able to offer a range of services for social workers at all stages in their career (see www.basw.co.uk). Yet it is good to stop amidst the trouble, cuts and difficulties for a while and celebrate our profession. There are fantastic social workers and teams, who do not let themselves be overcome by problems, but put their service users first and help them overcome their difficulties. And it is good to remember them, to learn about them and to see them rewarded for their efforts.
An award ceremony can only acknowledge those who are put forward, so of course provides only a partial picture of all the good work that is going on, but is a good time to reflect on social work, on all it achieves, and on all individual social workers achieve with and on behalf of people in need. The awards can give the media a different picture of social work, as a profession that does know what it is doing and where it is going, and which throws up many genuine stars without whom society would be the poorer.