Social work awards launched

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The 2016 Social Work Awards were launched on Tuesday (15 March) to mark World Social Work Day.

The awards recognise and reward the efforts of social workers and highlight the positive impact of the profession on individuals, families and communities.

World Social Work Day is celebrated around the globe to highlight the work that social workers carry out and give them recognition for their invaluable contribution to society.

Nominations for the awards – now in their fifth year - are invited from any social work agency or social worker(s) in the statutory, voluntary, private, education and training sectors. Service users, carers or employers who are nominating a team or individual will have the opportunity to acknowledge the positive contribution social workers have made for them. Their social worker will be happy to advise them about the process.

Led by the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB), the Social Work Awards are organised in conjunction with the Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC), the Northern Ireland Association of Social Workers (NIASW), and the five Health and Social Care Trusts in partnership with social work organisations from criminal justice, education and the voluntary and independent sectors.

Launching the awards at a ceremony in Belfast Castle, Fionnuala McAndrew, Director of Social Care and Children, Health and Social Care Board, said she was looking forward to seeing many inspiring entries over coming weeks.

“Social workers play an important role within our communities working with people in sensitive and difficult environments to help them bring about positive changes in their lives. Much of this work goes unnoticed but the Social Work Awards provide us with the opportunity to honour these inspirational and deserving professionals and teams.”

“I would encourage my social work colleagues to nominate as many individuals, teams and projects as possible. I have always been impressed by the standard of entries, finalists and winners over past years and anticipate the same high calibre of nominations in this year’s awards.”

This year the award ceremony will be hosted by the Southern Health and Social Care Trust for the first time and will be held in the Armagh City Hotel on 18 November 2016.

This year’s event will celebrate service users and highlight the rich and diverse range of people social workers work alongside.

The keynote speaker will be Jenny Molloy, author of Hackney Child and Neglected. Local service users will also be contributing to the ceremony through music, video and by displaying art work.

Entry forms and the information pack are now available on the NISCC website on www.niscc.info. The closing date for entries is 29 April 2016.

Shortlisted finalists will be invited to a celebratory lunch and awards presentation on 18 November 2016 in Armagh City Hotel.