Skills for Care

ASYE alumni win awards at Social Worker of the Year Awards

06 Jan 2023

3 min read

Skills for Care

  • Good news story
  • Social work

Two newly qualified social workers who’ve recently completed their Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE) were awarded a ‘Newly qualified social worker of the year’ award at the Social Worker of the Year Awards.

Amy White, Essex County Council was awarded the ‘Newly qualified social worker of the year, children’s’ award, while Helen Southgate, of Suffolk County Council scooped the ‘Newly qualified social worker of the year, adult’s’ award.

Both winners have undertaken the ASYE programme.

Speaking of the win Amy said:

I am tremendously grateful to have won the ‘Newly qualified children’s social worker of the year award’ for a profession that I absolutely love and for areas that I am very passionate about in supporting vulnerable children to have a voice and be included in their plans. I was very shocked on the night to have won, as there were so many examples across the nominations of outstanding social work practice. I want to thank my team again for nominating me and for all of the support they have given me throughout my ASYE year.

Completing my ASYE year with Essex has been a great experience. Having already worked for Essex for many years as a children and young people’s support worker was very beneficial during my ASYE year as I was able to transfer my existing knowledge and experience to my role as a newly qualified social worker. It was nice to be able to work with families as their social worker that I had previously worked with as their support worker as this provided consistency and familiarity for families.

Within Essex we have ESCA (Essex Social Care Academy) who support the ASYE cohorts with a range of training, networking opportunities, and in areas such as regular practice discussions. I have found the training to be very useful in developing my knowledge in areas to apply to practice. What I have really enjoyed in my ASYE year is my team as well as ESCA giving me the opportunities to be involved in practice development in areas such as direct work for children with disabilities and delivering workshops to colleagues, which is something I hope to continue in my career.

Having a very supportive manager, team, and practice educator has made my ASYE a fantastic year and I very much look forward to continuing to develop my social work practice to best support the children and families I work with throughout my career.

Helen added:

It was an amazing evening to celebrate social work. I was so grateful to be there as a finalist and was very overwhelmed to win the gold award for newly qualified adult social worker 2022. I am so grateful to my manager for nominating me, and my team who have supported me to achieve such great things.

The ASYE programme provided guidance and support to allow me to develop my social work practice working with adults. The regular professional development groups and additional drop-in sessions provided support throughout my ASYE, and opportunity to share experiences with other newly qualified workers. We had guest speakers attend these also to develop our knowledge and improve our practice. We had some sessions where both newly qualified workers from adults and children services joined together to discuss how our ASYE was going and provide support to others. The ASYE programme also developed my confidence in my practice and that I am working at the right level.

The Social Worker of the Year Awards started in 2016 and aim to recognise and celebrate the challenging work that qualified social workers do day in, day out, and highlight their achievements.

Well done to all the winners.


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