Social workers from across Northern Ireland celebrate commitment to lifelong learning

Social Workers from across Northern Ireland celebrated their success and commitment to lifelong learning at the annual Professional in Practice awards hosted by the Northern Ireland Social Care Council.

Awards in three different categories: Consolidation Award; Specialist Award and Leadership and Strategic Award were presented to the 170 Social Workers from the Statutory and Third sectors at the special ceremony in the Tullyglass Hotel, Ballymena earlier this week.

The Professional in Practice Framework delivered by the NI Social Care Council is the only one of its kind in the UK supporting social workers practice and lifelong learning.

Chief Social Work Officer, Sean Holland (pictured) officially launched the new Advanced Scholarship Award at the ceremony and commended Social Workers for their ongoing commitment, contribution and value they are making to society through their continuous Professional in Practice learning and evidence based research.

The new Advanced Scholarship Award aims to recognise and firmly position the mature and self-confident social work profession that exists in Northern Ireland. Stretching beyond Masters level the new award acknowledges professional practice and academic achievement at Doctorate level.

Developed by the Northern Ireland Social Care Council in partnership with a range of stakeholders including both universities (UU and Queen’s University Belfast), employers and the NI Health and Social Care Board (NIHSCB) it was officially launched by Sean Holland, Chief Social Worker for the Department of Health.

Speaking at the event, Patricia Higgins, Chief Executive for the Northern Ireland Social Care Council said: “The Professional in Practice framework for continuous professional development for social work is world class. The Advanced Scholarship award has been driven by the profession and will help further shape the strategic direction of Social Work today and in the future. I would like to pay tribute to all those who have made this award a reality and wish those pursuing a PhD every success.”