The Social Worker of the Year Awards are an important institution that recognise and achievements in social work over the course of the previous year. This Lorraine Pascale will oversee the ceremonies that fete those with a social work job in London and across the whole of the UK.
You’ll doubtless recognise Lorraine Pascale from her books and BBC TV cookery but the celebrity chef has a unique and personal attachment to the social care system. She was fostered shortly after she was born and after her adoptive parents divorced was returned to her birth mother. Sadly, after her mother became ill, Pascale had to be cared for again in various different foster families.
Throughout this time, the social care system was perhaps the only consistent point in a chaotic life. It’s left her with a lasting appreciation for social workers of all kinds and the vital work they do across all communities in the UK. As she was born in London and had a childhood which took her all over the country, she’s uniquely qualified to present these National awards.
The Social Worker of the Year recognises exemplary social workers across 16 different categories, from general awards for the “Overall Social Worker of the Year”, down to more specific recognition for Children’s Services Team Leader, and an award for “Raising the Profile of Social Work”.
As well as providing a necessary morale boost, and some important positive media coverage of social workers, the charity also provides in important service in giving an award for the best Social Work Employer, an accolade to inspire excellence from managers in different social services, and give social workers an important guide to who provides good support in a difficult job.
The Social Worker of the Year Awards were set up in 2006 by Beverley Williams, a social worker who saw a pressing need to recognise the hard work and huge positive contribution social workers across the country make to the lives of children and vulnerable adults – for this she was awarded the MBE in 2014 and continues to work with the charity.
Social Worker of the Year is a charity, and is supported by many local councils across the UK, and other partners who are committed to recognising excellence in social work like the Open University, which trains a large proportion of Social Workers entering the profession and Sanctuary Social Care, one of the UK’s leading providers of Social Workers in the UK.