Northern Health and Social Care Trust (NHSCT) social workers have been recognised by the Northern Ireland Association of Social Workers for excellent work in their field.
Over 5,300 social workers are employed across Northern Ireland and this year, there were 93 nominations for the awards. Three NHSCT teams gained awards for their outstanding contribution to the profession.
Fionnuala McAndrew, Director of Social Care and Children at the Health and Social Care board, explained that their work makes a difference in the quality of life of many children, adults, families and communities at key periods in their lives.
Presenting the awards at a ceremony held recently in Armagh, she said: “The Social Work Awards give us a chance to honour and reward inspirational teams and individuals who make a difference to children, adults, families and communities on a daily basis.”
Jonathan Dillon, who works in the adolescent support unit at The Willows, won the Newly Qualified Social Worker award 2016, agreed.
He joined the Trust in 2014 after gaining a first class degree in Social Work from Ulster University.
Jonathan said: “It was great to be nominated for this award by colleagues and the young people I work with.
“I love what I do and went in for Social Work partly because of my early life experience growing up in a working class area when I saw the need to support vulnerable people.”
The team behind the Regional Adult Safeguarding Programme also gained an award for their crucial work in protecting vulnerable adults in the Trust area.
Since 2010 the team within the Trust has carried out vital work on behalf of those adults who, because of their situation or circumstances, may not be able to protect themselves from abuse, neglect or exploitation.
Meanwhile the Dementia Home Support Team gained an award for their work supporting people with behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia. The multi-disciplinary team has undergone a period of substantial change and now provide behavioural assessment in all community settings as well as supporting carers and patients leaving the Dementia Intensive Care Unit. The team developed the now nationally recognised CLEAR Dementia Care model and have introduced other innovations, including a carer training project.
Dementia Home Support Team leader Marc Harvey said: “It is very rewarding to see our work recognised like this. It keeps us highly motivated to continue to make a difference in our work with people living with dementia and their carers.”
The Specialist Fostering Team was also honoured for their work in handling all foster placements within the Trust as well as running the Parent and Tot Together (PATT) group, which helps new parents acquire parenting skills.
It also deals with around 100 specialist foster carers who help children and young people with difficulties.
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