Social care and wellbeing team triumph at national awards

Aberdeen City Council’s Social Care and Wellbeing service has scooped two major prizes at the prestigious Herald Society Awards.

The service had been shortlisted in two categories for the highly respected awards, which celebrate excellence and reward innovation across the spectrum of Scotland’s public and voluntary sectors.

Delegates from the social care and wellbeing team competed against other teams from across the public and voluntary sector at this year’s Idea’s Exchange and Awards presentation at the Radisson Hotel in Glasgow.

In the category of partnership working the Youth Justice Development Programme won thanks to a new approach to tackle reoffending and reconviction. Working with partner agencies Grampian Police and NHS Grampian the new approach has seen some spectacular successes in reducing youth offending and increasing diversions from prosecutions.

The award panel recognised the outstanding work being carried out by the youth justice team in providing community alternatives to custody and care.

The social work children’s services management team also scooped the prestigious accolade of Team of the Year following their redesign of the service in the city. The award panel recognised the team’s public service values, outstanding drive and commitment to improve the service and help vulnerable children at risk in the city.

The winning team includes the Head of Children’s Services Susan Devlin and seven Children’s Services Managers Anne Donaldson, Kay Dunn, Shona Manson, Christine Graham, Yvonne Hobson, Helen Jackson and Graeme Simpson.

Fred McBride, director of social care and wellbeing for Aberdeen City Council, said: “We were up against stiff competition and for a mainstream local authority social work management team to win team of the year is outstanding.

“Often this type of award goes to a voluntary sector organisation which has the financial resources to pursue a particular project.

“This is truly fantastic news. I am delighted that the hard work, commitment and determination of our staff has been recognised.”

Aberdeen City Council chief executive Valerie Watts said: “This is great news for the city council and fitting testament to the continued hard work and commitment of the social care and wellbeing team.

“To win two awards for their vital work with some of the most vulnerable residents in the city is a fantastic achievement. I would like to congratulate director Fred McBride and all his team on their success.”

Social care and wellbeing committee convener Councillor Jim Kiddie said: “The team must be commended for their outstanding work in their field.

“The members of the Children’s Services management team and the Youth Justice social workers have shown a real passion and commitment for their job and that is rightly reflected in these prestigious awards.”