West Somerset Adult Social Care team nominated for Social Worker of the Year Award

Somerset County Council’s Adult Social Care team from West Somerset has been selected as a finalist in the national Social Worker of the Year Awards 2017 as a result of their outstanding work with vulnerable adults.

The West Somerset team has been nominated for the Team of the Year, Adult Services’ prize and will find out if they have won at an exclusive awards ceremony in London in November.

The team have been nominated for their innovation, creativity and fantastic team work.

In 2016 the West Somerset team were part of a pilot project to change the way adult social care services operate to help people keep or regain their independence and connect more with communities. The team were given free rein to be creative – they set up drop-ins, improved decision making processes and organised networking events in communities with local service providers and partners. Their hard work means that people can now get advice and information quickly and they can find the right support or local solution that really meets their needs and allows them to be independent for longer.

The team’s good practice is now being embraced by all areas of the county.

So far this year there have been over 150 drop-ins, helping hundreds of people find the support they need.

Cllr David Huxtable, Cabinet Member for Adults Services at Somerset County Council, said: “It is fantastic news that our hard working team in West Somerset have been recognised on a national stage for their innovative approach to improving adult social care services. Their commitment and drive has helped the council to change the way it works to benefit local people and communities across the county.”

The team is one of 81 finalists across 16 categories and the winners from each category will compete against each other to be named the “Overall Social Worker of the Year 2017.”

The prestigious awards ceremony is the leading celebration of its kind in the social care sector, and recognises the achievements and successes of the profession’s most innovative and dedicated social workers.

Heather Wakefield, Head of Local Government at award sponsor UNISON, said: “This award recognises the best work in adult services and a team which consistently goes above and beyond to make a positive difference to the lives of the people it supports. All teams named as finalists should be very proud of their achievements.”

The awards were judged by leading influencers including the Chief Social Workers Isabelle Trowler and Lyn Romeo and Maris Stratulis (England Manager, British Association of Social Workers).

The Social Worker of the Year Awards are supported by headline sponsor Sanctuary Social Care; corporate partner the British Association of Social Workers, and individual category supporters, Barnardo’s, UNISON, iMPOWER, The Open University, OLM Systems and Community Care. The awards are also supported by the local authorities of Calderdale, Bradford, Devon, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Kent and Essex as well as the Tees Valley Local Authority Children’s Services – a partnership between the local authorities of Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Darlington, Redcar & Cleveland and Stockton-on-Tees.

For more information about the Social Worker of the Year Awards please see www.socialworkawards.com.