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IASW Social Work Awards 2016

  • Hogan Mezz Suite, Croke Park
  • 7.00pm Drinks Reception, 7.30 Dinner & Awards
  • 17 Jun 2016

Price €40 members, €70 non-members

The Social Work Awards are a celebration of social work practice


You can view photos from this event on our Facebook page

The second year of the Irish Association of Social Workers' National Social Work Awards culminated in the awards ceremony held on the June 17th, in Croke Park in Dublin and attended by almost a hundred people. The Minister for State for Mental Health, Helen McEntee was the guest of honor. The Social Work Awards is about recognising the excellent, diverse work that takes place in the profession and celebrating the many outstanding achievements of social workers across Ireland. It also has an important role to play in making social work's contribution know to the wider public. Tribute was paid to the 'life changing' work of social workers at the ceremony where guests recognised the skill and professionalism of the practitioners nominated in the 5 categories; Social Worker of the Year; Newly Qualified Social Worker of the Year; Practice Teacher of the Year; Social Work Team of the Year and new for 2016, Social Work Researcher of the Year.

The Social Worker of the Year category, sponsored by Tusla, celebrated the achievement of social workers over the expanse of their careers. This award category received a high number of entries, all deserving of recognition, but the judging panel were particularly impressed with the dedication, leadership and innovation displayed by the nominees who were short-listed namely; Gabrielle McDaid of Tusla in Donegal; Caroline Cantan –of Enable Ireland in Dublin and Joe McCarthy of Tusla in Cork. Fred McBride, the CEO of Tusla presented the Award to Caroline Cantan for her exemplary work in enhancing services for children with disabilities.

The Newly Qualified Social Worker of the Year was sponsored by CPL Recruitment. The judging panel managed to whittle down all the nominations received to a short-list of Victoria McGuinness of Mayo University Hospital; Kate Newell of Cork University Hospital and Michelle Byrne in Primary Care Centre in Dublin 8. The judges were looking for a practitioner with the potential to become a future role model for the profession as well as someone who had demonstrated considerable skill and professionalism in their career to date. The judges felt that Kate Newell best demonstrated this in her role as a medical social worker.

The Practice Teacher of the Year category seeks to give recognition to those social workers who are involved in the mentoring and supervising of students. The judges short-listed two individuals in this category; Brian Donnelly of HSE Mental Health Services in Clontarf, Dublin and Martina Doyle of the Brothers of Charity in Waterford. Both social workers had demonstrated an unwavering dedication to the next generation of social workers in the time and energy that they gave to their students. Ultimately, the judges decided on Brian Donnelly for his versatile approach to meeting his students learning needs.

The Social Work Team of the Year, this year sponsored by the HSE, seeks to celebrate the collective dedication, hard work and skill shown by numerous social work teams across the country in a variety of care-group settings. This year was no exception with an unprecedented number of nominations received presenting the judging panel with a considerable challenge to short-listed just three; Dublin North City Mental Health Team; Sligo University Hospital and Older Persons' Service and the Medical Social Work Department in The Mater Hospital, Dublin. The Award on the night was presented by Minister McEntee to the Dublin North City Mental Health Team for their client-centered practice and innovation.

In recognition of the increasing emphasis on the need for quality social work research, it was decided to introduce the new category of Social Work Researcher for 2016. This was sponsored by the Centre for Effective Services. The three short-listed nominees were Nerilee Ceatha of Tusla in Dublin; Carmel Halton of University College Cork and Olivia O'Connell of Tusla in Cork. All three are champions of social work research and demonstrated how research can directly impact on practice. In its inaugural year, the judges decided that the Award be shared between Nerilee Ceatha and Carmel Halton.

In only its second year, the National Social Work Awards has done a lot to raise the profile of social work by acknowledging the excellent work done by all those nominated and by celebrating the individuals and the teams that serve as an inspiration to us all. The IASW would like to thank all the nominators and nominees for their applications; the organizing committee Paula Donohoe, Aideen McDonnell and Eleanor Dwyer and the judging panel Paula Donohoe (again!), Hilda Loughran and Norah Gibbons.


If you require accommodation you can contact Croke Park Hotel, Jones's Road, Dublin. Tel +353 1 871 4444 Email: Website:



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