Press Release: Winners of Social Care Accolades 2011
Seven organisations from across Wales are celebrating after scooping a prestigious Social Care Accolade.
The winners of the Accolades, which were announced in a ceremony in Cardiff City Hall, were rewarded for projects that involved investing in the learning and development of their staff to transform social care across Wales.
Gwynedd Council and Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council led the way with two Accolades each for projects that included developing new bilingual software to help support community workers and working closely with those in need to help them learn the skills to live independently.
Cardiff Council, Wrexham Council and the Social Care Partnership in North Wales won one award each, and ABM University Health Board were named joint winners of an award with Monmouthshire Council.
Arwel Ellis Owen, Chair of the Social Care Accolades judging panel, said, "The Accolades play a key role in drawing attention to the great things that can be achieved by those working in social work and social care, but they go even further by providing an important platform for sharing good practice.
"By doing so, we can collectively learn from each other and provide even better services to those who need them right across Wales
"2011 has proved to be a year of milestones for the Accolades. We received a record number of entries and for the first time, submissions came in from every local authority area in Wales making it a truly national competition.
"The standard of finalists was very high and all the projects have had to demonstrate at first-hand to the judges that they have invested in the learning and development of their staff and have made a real difference to those using their services."
Out of 21 finalists the winners of the Social Care Accolades 2011 are;
Learning Together - Joint Winners
Monmouthshire County Council for its work to improve support and guidance for disabled young people moving into adulthood.
ABM University Health Board for its e-learning programme to improve the expertise of staff supporting people with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour.
Effective Recruitment and Retention
Cardiff Council for its project to address recruitment and retention challenges in Children's Services.
Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council for its 'Together Improving Life Skills' project where staff worked closely with service users to help them learn the skills needed to live independently.
Supporting Effective Intervention with Children and their Families
Gwynedd Council for its work in developing specialist tools to risk assess significant harm of individuals in areas such as substance misuse and negligence.
Career of Choice
Social Care Partnership in North Wales for its project to raise the profile of social care as a fulfilling career by using social care ambassadors to share their experiences with students in schools and colleges.
Users and Carers Shaping Services
Wrexham County Borough Council for its project to train a group of people with learning disabilities to help others with learning disabilities receive the best support available.
Social Workers for Tomorrow
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council for its development of the first post-qualification social work training in Wales to meet the most urgent practice needs according to discussions with staff.
Improving Welsh Language Provision
Gwynedd Council for its development of a bilingual computer software package that can be used remotely by community care workers, giving them a choice of their preferred language.
The biennial awards, which are led by the Care Council for Wales, are presented to teams, partnerships and organisations who have improved social care services by investing in the learning and development of people.
This year saw the highest number of entries - more than 70 - since the Accolades began in 2005.
The winning work will be shared with other organisations in learning workshops helping to raise standards in the sector across Wales.
Around five per cent of the total workforce in Wales is involved in some form of social care, equivalent to a workforce of around 88,000, working with people of all ages who have different needs.
Gwenda Thomas AM, Deputy Minister for Children and Social Services, who presented the Accolades today, said, "This is the third time that I have presented awards at this important ceremony and I never fail to be impressed by the high standard of projects.
"Investing in our people and sharing good practice are both vital ingredients in achieving the highest standards of service.
"All sectors need role models and examples of how organisations push the boundaries to improve services.
"By recognising their achievements and facilitating the sharing of good practice, the Social Care Accolades continue to play a key role in helping to professionalise the workforce and raise the standards of service in Wales."
For more information on the Social Care Accolades 2011 please visit www.ccwales.org.uk
For further information please contact Alison Watkins on 07854 386054 or email Alison.firstname.lastname@example.org