Nominations are open for the Scottish Social Services Awards 2021.. 

Led by the Scottish Government, and supported by Social Work Scotland and us here at SASW, this year's awards will shine a spotlight on the fantastic, relational and rights-based work that has taken place throughout the pandemic. 

What’s changed?

The awards have had a refresh, and reflect the work we know has been happening throughout COVID19 and before. You can nominate yourself, your social worker or support worker, or a team or colleague. The closing date for entries is 9 August, 2021, and finalists will be announced on 13 September.

Finalists will be invited to a short ceremony and drinks reception, and presentations will take place after the Social Work Scotland conference on 26 October 2021, at 5pm at the Crieff Hydro, Perthshire.

Awards Categories

SASW Social Worker of the Year  

Do you know a social worker who has gone above and beyond during the pandemic? Have they demonstrated social work values and ethics in action?


1. a qualified, practicing social worker who has gone above and beyond to support people through the pandemic

2. a person who helps to inspire or motivate those they work with

3. someone who develops relationships that make a difference, promoting rights and tackling inequalities

Find out more and nominate. 


Bright Spark 

These awards are an opportunity to value the contribution of young people and to inspire the next generation to consider a career in social work. You don’t have to be a qualified social work professional to win this award, but you need to demonstrate its values! Two awards will be made under this category: one to recognise the talents of a student social worker and one for a young person new to working in social care services. 


1. have shown they understand the value of meaningful relationships and the context of people’s lives during the pandemic

2. brings enthusiasm and commitment to their work

3. are keen to learn, to develop themselves and to champion human rights

4. are proud of the work they do and are an ambassador for social work’s values

Find out more and nominate. 


Working Together 

The pandemic hasn’t just isolated the people we work with; it’s isolated social workers from their managers, colleagues and other professionals. We want to celebrate those teams who have found ways to support each other through the challenges of lockdown, acknowledging each other’s needs and strengths. At times of change, these skills are vital.


1. supported each other and related colleagues throughout the pandemic

2. acknowledged and played to each other’s strengths

3. examples of supportive working practices that supported colleagues during lockdown to recognise and meet their needs as well as support people

Find out more and nominate. 


The Untold Story 

We want to celebrate people who have helped make a positive difference for others either through their day-to- day work, or promoting the social services profession more widely. This should be an individual or team working in social care services who have gone that extra mile during the pandemic. We are looking for an unsung hero(s); an inspiring individual or team who thinks that they are ‘just doing their job’ but whose approach makes it so much more than that? Do you or someone you know fit this description?


1. is dedicated and courageous, doing the right things for the people they support and work with

2. values each person they work with as an individual and supports them in a way that works for that individual

3. is an advocate for the most vulnerable

Find out more and nominate. 


Making Change Happen 

Have you led a successful project or campaign to improve or change something which affects you, your organisation or the wider social services sector during the pandemic? This could include a project to improve staff wellbeing or raise awareness of an issue which affects the people you support. It could be about promoting an issue, challenging stigma or championing the interests of the people you support. Ultimately it is about making a change happen.


1. developed a campaign or project which seeks to improve or change something which affects the people they care for or work with

2. raised awareness of an issue in a positive manner

3. successfully campaigned and brought about positive change

Find out more and nominate. 


SWS Leader of the Year 

This person doesn’t need to be a qualified social worker, but they do need to have demonstrated leadership and social work values in a team, organisation or more widely. Have they led others to make an impact or difference during the pandemic, for the social work profession and to champion unheard voices?


1. demonstrated leadership, inspired or motivated others to bring about change to improve the impact of the social work profession

2. shown leadership in improving outcomes for individuals, children and families who’ve struggled to keep afloat in lockdown

3. raised the profile and committed to the values of social work during the pandemic, demonstrating and promoting a rights-based, relational approach

Find out more and nominate.