Winners of the Social Worker of the Year Awards 2019
Winners of the Social Work Award 2019

The Social Worker of the Year Awards and The University of Birmingham have announced the results of an independent survey of past Gold and Silver winners which assessed the long term impact of winning one of their individual practitioner, team or organisation awards.

Results from the survey, which gave different sets of questions relevant to individual winners and teams, showed the benefits of winning a Social Worker of the Year award are far-reaching.

  • Four in five (85%) respondents stated that winning their award had made a positive difference to their career development. 
  • Almost three-quarters (74%) of individual winners believed that winning an award has had a positive impact on their professional life, with one respondent suggesting that it “both recharged my resolve and reignited my desire to deliver a service”. 87% of individual winners said they would encourage colleagues to nominate themselves or others for an award in the future.

The findings also demonstrate that, for teams and organisations, there are clear benefits to winning an award. Nine-in-ten (88%) respondents felt that winning an award raised the profile of their team and boosted morale, while three-quarters (75%) believed their award win led to greater interest of local organisations and increased partnership working.

The survey also highlighted the important role of the annual awards ceremony in raising the profile of social work, with one respondent stating that “winning the award not only increased my confidence, it raised my profile locally and nationally giving me the opportunity to raise the profile of our profession even wider.”

Peter Hay CBE, Chair of the Social Work Awards, said:

'As a charity our purpose is to celebrate the outstanding achievements of the social work practitioners who are working day-in and day-out to better the lives of those in their communities. We feel incredibly proud to see the long-term positive impacts that winning an award can bring for social workers, teams and organisations in our sector.

Thank you to everybody who took the time to take part in our survey. Your valuable insights will help us develop the awards further, and continue to give recognition to the challenging and inspirational work of social workers in a truly meaningful and relevant way.'

Sent via email to past silver and gold winners, the online survey explored themes such as the effect of winning an award on individual practice, career development and feeling valued at work. The results will now provide a basis to define the future development of the awards.

The survey was also designed to ascertain interest in a proposed ambassador programme, which will now be developed by the charity in partnership with The University of Birmingham as an exclusive programme for previous winners.

The survey was undertaken by the team of a wider Leadership in Social Work programme at University of Birmingham, which has a series of ongoing research and development projects.

Dr Jason Schaub, Lecturer in Social Work at the University of Birmingham, said:

'We are delighted to release the results of our joint ‘Social Worker of the Year Awards’ Impact Survey. Alongside the personal and organisational benefits brought by winning an award, the survey responses highlighted the importance of the annual awards ceremony in recognising good practice and raising the profile of the social work sector.

We look forward to continuing our partnership with the Social Work Awards charity in the future, beginning with the development of an exclusive ambassador programme for previous award winners.'

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