Social worker award ceremony gives chance to say ‘thank you’ to unsung professionals
BASW’s Chief Executive Bridget Robb praised social workers for not turning away from the people “many would rather forget”.
Speaking at the 2013 Social Work of the Year Awards, Ms Robb said many people were suffering in the face of measures such as the bedroom tax and the “endless vilification” of those on benefits or in low paid work.
She said citizens were being pitted against each other in a deliberate political attempt to deny people the benefits and services they need, while at the same time social workers faced losing their jobs in the face of cutbacks.
Addressing a gathering of social workers and guests at the annual event held in London on 29 November, Ms Robb said: “Thank you for not walking away from those people in society who many would rather forget. The frail, the vulnerable, the abused and the abusers.
“We successfully protect thousands of adults and children on a daily basis. Yes, we sometimes fail – and it always devastating when that happens – but that does not stop us trying. The police to do not stop all crime, the health service does not cure everybody, social workers cannot stop all deaths, but together with professional colleagues we do make a real and lasting difference to the lives of the people we meet.”
The Social Work of the Year Awards celebrates the achievements of social workers in 12 categories.
This year’s winners were:
Adult Social Worker of the Year: Patricia Fifield, Warwickshire County Council
Children’s Social Worker of the Year: Amanda Beaufoy, Worcestershire County Council
Outstanding Contribution to Social Work: Peter Gilbert
Lifetime Achievement Award: Jenni Randall, independent social worker
Team of the Year – Adult Services: Hospital In-Reach Team, Bracknell Forest Council
Team of the Year – Children’s Services: CATCH Team, Buckinghamshire County Council
Team Leader – Adult Services: Tracy Cullen, Salford City Council
Team Leader – Children’s Services: Michelle Newman, Plymouth City Council
Employer of the Year: Derbyshire County Council (Adult Care)
Practice Teacher of the Year: Brian Mitchell, Calderdale Council
Newly Qualified Adult Social Worker of the Year: Ruth Aten-Shearwood, Derbyshire County Council
Newly Qualified Children's Social Worker of the Year: Jennifer Skirrow, Southwark Council