World Social Work Day 2024

World Social Work Day shines a spotlight on life-changing careers in social care

For more information about social work jobs available with Northumberland County Council, please click here

Today we’re celebrating World Social Work Day and saying thank you to all our social workers for the life-changing difference they make every day.  
“Empowered me to be me and be a mam,” “you helped me find my voice again,” and “I have grown so much in confidence and self-esteem.”

These are just a few of the heartfelt messages shared to thank Northumberland’s social workers for their dedication, compassion and care.
World Social Work Day is an annual celebration that aims to shine a spotlight on the achievements of social work and its value for individuals, families and communities, particularly during uncertain and challenging times.   

This year’s theme is rooted in the Global Agenda and emphasises the need for social workers to adopt innovative, community-led approaches that are grounded in indigenous wisdom and harmonious coexistence with nature.
Northumberland employs over 300 social workers across children’s and adult services in our communities, schools and hospitals and there are more ways than ever for people who care to join our award-winning teams.  
Whether you are at the start of your career, looking for your next steps or a career change – there are a range of options available, including apprenticeships. 
Council Leader Glen Sanderson, said: “I think it’s very important to have a World Social Work Day because it brings to everyone’s attention just how crucial their work is to people’s lives, supporting them when they need it most.  
“It can be very difficult and complex work, requiring great skill and compassion. 
“I’m very proud and very grateful and their work makes our society a better place in Northumberland and around the world.” 
Our social workers are committed to giving children the best start in life from before they are even born by supporting parents-to-be to help address any potential issues and challenges they face as soon as possible. 
Our teams then continue to work alongside individuals and families throughout their lives, empowering them to reach their potential.  
Mental Health Social Worker, Hannah Dawson, won a major accolade at the Social Worker of the Year Awards 2023 which took place in November last year.  
Hannah was handed a gold award for the Mental Health Social Worker of the Year and was described as 'a shining example' with unwavering determination and commitment in assisting the most vulnerable throughout her career. 
Hannah said: Mental health social work can be challenging, but it is also hugely rewarding to be able to support people through tough times. 
“I think all of my colleagues share my commitment to this valuable profession.” 
Also shortlisted were Louise Gray who was selected as a finalist for the Adult Social Worker of the Year award and Katie Anderson who was shortlisted for the Approved Mental Health Professional of the Year award.   
Northumberland is recognised nationally for the support it offers to its newly qualified social workers during their Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE). The council’s innovative Children’s ASYE Social Work Academy has now been rolled out into Adult Services too.   
The purpose of the academies is to give all newly qualified social workers additional support to develop their knowledge and skills and a high level of supervision. 
The council also continues to develop new routes into social work. Step Up To Social Work is a 14-month, full-time training programme offering talented graduates and career changers the chance to become the next generation of child and family social workers.  
There is also an apprenticeship route for those looking to gain practical experience as they learn.  
Glenn Todd, is now a qualified social worker and undertaking his ASYE after completing his degree apprenticeship in social work. He joined the council as a residential childcare officer before becoming a social work assistant.   
His Social Work Integrated Degree Apprenticeship saw him combine academic study at Sunderland University with work-based learning.    
He said: “My passion for social work spans back to when I was a child as my best friend was a cared for child and spoke fondly about how much his social worker made a positive difference in his life.   
“The qualities he saw in his social worker - being empathetic, listening, helpful, supportive, but mainly being a positive role model to keep my friend safe, helped me realise that becoming a social worker was a main goal of mine.  
I enjoy working alongside people to find solutions to any problems they may face, and overall help protect children, young people and vulnerable adults from any abuse or harm.    
Personally, I do not feel there is any more rewarding personal aspect in your life than supporting someone to overcome their difficulties and help change their life for the better.” 

For more information about social work jobs available with Northumberland County Council, please click here

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