Two Cornwall Council social workers nominated for prestigious awards

Two social workers from Cornwall Council have been selected as finalists in the Social Worker of the Year Awards 2017.

Principal Social Worker Ali Bell and social work student Suzanne Rowe are amongst 81 social workers and social work teams from across England who have been selected as finalists across 16 different categories, celebrating the achievements of practitioners in both children’s and adult services.

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The winners from each category will compete against each other to be named the ‘Overall Social Worker of the Year 2017’.

The winners will be revealed at a prestigious awards ceremony in London in November, which is the leading celebration of its kind in the sector and recognises the success of the profession’s most innovative and dedicated social workers.

Suzanne, who works in adult services, has been nominated for the Student Social Worker of the Year Award which is given to the student studying social work at university, who is surpassing expectations in their practical placements and in their understanding of the theory of social work practice. 

Ali, who works in children’s services, has been shortlisted for the Practice Educator of the Year Award, which recognises the pivotal role that practice educators have in guiding and supporting social work students, newly qualified social workers, and learners at all stages to develop in their careers.

Rob Rotchell, the Cabinet Member for Adults and Sally Hawken, the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services are also delighted with news of the nominations. “It's great to see two of our social workers nominated for such prestigious awards. Council social workers have an incredibly difficult job, but it’s an important job that helps some of the most vulnerable people in our community,” Rob said.

"Social work is a job centred on people - working with individuals and families to help improve their lives, from protecting vulnerable people from harm or abuse to supporting people to live independently.  Social workers often work in complex social circumstances where there are no clear answers and you need a range of skills to achieve the best possible results for people. Ali and Suzanne are fantastic role models for their profession,” Sally added.

“We think all our social workers are outstanding, but to have two social workers from Cornwall shortlisted as finalists in different categories this year is brilliant news,” said Trevor Doughty, Strategic Director Children, Families and Adults.

Ali said: “I was very surprised to find out I was nominated and was incredibly touched to read the testimonials. I was humbled by what people said and am proud that the work I do has made a difference.”

Suzanne, who studied through the Open University, said: “I’ve learnt to foster a more in-depth approach to viewing the person and their problems as a whole. I’ve also learnt to treat people as human beings, give them respect and have some trust and compassion - don’t assume the worst of them before you know their best.”

We believe that the people of Cornwall deserve the best and we put their needs at the heart of everything we do. Our social workers share our determination to make a difference to their lives and make a brighter future.

One of our key priorities is to make sure children and adults are safe and we work together with a wide range of partners to help and protect them. 

Our children’s social workers work in a wide range of situations where children, young people and families might need support. These include caring for family members and supporting those experiencing problems with family relationships and conflicts, and facing difficulties as a result of disability, including feeling isolated within the community and experiencing practical problems with money or housing. 

Our Adult Social Care social workers play a leading role in delivering services to disabled and older people in our communities, seeking to ensure that they can maintain their independence living in their own homes for as long as possible.  Our vision is for a personalised, person centered approach which emphasises choice and control and promotes prevention, inclusion and wellbeing.  Our social workers are developing positive partnerships with colleagues from a wide range of different professions and agencies across Cornwall to prevent ill health and ensure care at home is at the heart of health and social care plans for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.


Story posted 17 November 2017