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Social Work Awards 2015: Nominations now open to celebrate excellence in social work practice


The Social Work Awards 2015 were launched today 1 September 2014. The Awards celebrate excellence in Social Work practice across Northern Ireland and provide a public recognition of social workers’ achievements.

Nominations 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.

The Social Work Awards are organised by the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB), NI Social Care Council (NISCC), the Northern Ireland Association of Social Workers, the five Health and Social Care Trusts in partnership with social work organisations from Criminal Justice, Education and the voluntary and independent sectors. The awards recognise and reward the efforts of social workers and highlight the positive impact of the profession on individuals, families and communities.

Launching the awards Cecil Worthington, Director of Social Work and Community Children’s Services at Belfast Trust, said: “I am delighted today to launch the Social Work Awards 2015 and look 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.”

Welcoming the launch Fionnuala McAndrew, Director of Social Care, Health and Social Care Board, added: “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”.

The nine award categories are:

Colum Conway, Chief Executive, Northern Ireland Social Care Council, said: “We have just over 5000 social workers practising in Northern Ireland and it is very important that we take every opportunity to raise the profile of social work as a profession. Social work makes a really valuable contribution to our society providing extra help and support, where needed, to enable people to cope with everyday living.”

Service users or carers who would like to nominate a social worker or social work team for an award should contact their key worker or social worker who will be happy to assist.

Entry forms and the information pack are now available on the NISCC website on www.niscc.info . News, photos and video clips are also posted on the NISCC’s Facebook, Twitter and Youtube accounts. The closing date for entries is 17 October 2014.

Shortlisted finalists will be invited to a celebratory lunch and awards presentation on 5 March 2015 in City Hall, Belfast.