We will be hosting our second BASW UK Social Work Journalism Awards on the evening of 18 June 2024.
This will be part of our two-day BASW UK Conference taking place in Edinburgh on 18/19 June 2024.
This year it's even easier to enter or make a nomination by simply using this online form.
The BASW Social Work Journalism Awards is the UK’s first ever award scheme to recognise high quality reporting of social work in the media.
It's part of the association’s wider campaign to improve public perception of an often misunderstood and misrepresented profession.
As well as seeking journalists to put forward their own work or that of colleague's, we also want social workers and members of the public to nominate work they believe is worthy of praise.
This year's award also includes recognition of drama/fiction featuring social work - you can see all the categories below.
So please use this link to nominate any award-worthy articles, broadcast pieces, podcast episodes or drama...
'I’m thrilled to have received this award... Hopefully the new awards will encourage more understanding of and reporting about these really important issues.'AttributionAlison Holt, BBC's social affairs editor, joint winner of the 2023 Outstanding contribution to journalism featuring social work award
'It’s an honour to be recognised alongside these talented journalists and by BASW'AttributionMithran Samuel, editor of Community Care
How to enter
Who can enter?
The awards are for any UK journalist working in print or broadcast in the national, regional and specialist media.
The awards also welcome nominations from anyone with an interest in promoting fair, accurate and responsible reporting of social work in the media.
What are the award categories?
- Written journalism in national media
- Written journalism in regional/local media
- Broadcast – national media
- Broadcast – regional/local media
- Trade press
- Lived experience (reports in any media that sensitively features service users/people that social workers support)
- Drama - fiction/TV/film/radio featuring social work
What are we looking for?
The awards seek to recognise reports that show an outstanding understanding of social work and the role of social workers. This could include the complex issues practitioners and the people they work with face; the challenging context in which they work; and the difference social workers make to people’s lives.
Who can apply?
Applications can come from individual journalists and media organisations. Social workers and members of the public may also nominate journalists in specific categories.
What period do the awards cover?
The awards are for any report published or broadcast between 1 April 2023 and 31 March 2024
When will the awards be announced?
The deadline for nominations for the 2024 awards is the 31 March 2024...
All nominations will go through a stringent judging process to create a short list. The winners of each category will be announced at the Awards Night event on 18 June 2024 in Edinburgh.
Who’s judging the awards?
- Dr Ruth Allen - chief executive of BASW
- John McGowan - general secretary of the SWU
- David Brindle - former social affairs editor of The Guardian
- Shahid Naqvi - editor of Professional Social Work magazine
- Maggie Fogarty - former Social Work Today reporter and social affairs TV producer
- Rebekah Pierre - BASW professional officer and journalist
- Representatives from BASW's Experts by Experience Group
Why were The BASW Social Work Journalism Awards launched?
We recognise social work is a difficult and complex subject. BASW, as the national organisation for social workers, wants to recognise journalism that demonstrates an in-depth understanding of the field. There is excellent work out there by journalists who deserve praise. By launching these awards, we aim to acknowledge this and also help improve the public’s perception of our profession.
The awards are being led by BASW and supported by SWU which together with the Campaign Collective has published Guidelines on media reporting of social workers. The guidance has been approved by press regulator IMPRESS.
How we use nomination data
Purpose and lawful basis for processing
Our purpose for processing is to run the annual BASW Social Work Journalism Awards to celebrate creative, informed and sensitive reporting that demonstrates an outstanding understanding of the profession, we will assess each nomination and pick a winner.
The lawful basis we rely on to process your personal data is article 6(1)(a & f) of the UK GDPR, which allows us to process personal data necessary to perform this task. We do not ask for any sensitive personal data.
What we need
The information we ask for is the information we need to assess the nominations we receive, contact shortlisted nominees, publicise their work, and to pick a winner.
If you are nominating someone else for consideration, you will submit your name and contact details along with information about the nomination in an online form. This will include the details of the piece of work as well as a statement about why you are nominating them.
Why we need it
We need personal data of the person making the nomination so that we can contact them with any queries we might have. We need the information about the piece you are nominating to assess the nomination and contact the originator of the piece if they are shortlisted and to publicise their work.
What we do with it
The nominations will be assessed by the judging panel. We will contact shortlisted nominees to tell them that they have been shortlisted. We may also contact the person who nominated the shortlisted candidates to inform them that their nominee has been successful.
We will publish the information about the shortlisted nominees on our own website.
How long we keep it
We will retain nominations for 12 months.
What are your rights?
As we process personal data as part of the award nominations process in our capacity as the Awards owner, you have the right to object to our processing of your personal data. There are legitimate reasons why we may refuse your objection, which depend on why we are processing it.
For more information on your rights, please see 'Your rights as an individual'.
The BASW Social Work Journalism Awards were launched in 2023 to celebrate creative, informed and sensitive reporting that demonstrates an outstanding understanding of the profession.
The winners were announced at the BASW UK conference held in June 2023.
2023 Shortlist and winners
Print - News
- Social workers in England quitting in record numbers – Rachel Hall, The Guardian
- Fears of social work exodus with staff facing ‘impossible’ workloads – Jamie Roberton, Channel 4 News
- Northern Ireland ‘crushed by the cost of living’ event hears shocking impact of poverty – Maurice Fitzmaurice, Belfast Live
- The social worker crisis in Wales and the millions of pounds spent on agencies to plug the gaps – Richard Youle, Wales Online
- Wakefield: agencies poaching social workers, council told, BBC News Leeds & West Yorkshire
- Social work image issue as hundreds of jobs vacant, India Pollock, BBC Wales
- Social care costs see thousands chased for debt – Adam Eley & Alison Holt, BBC online
Winner: The social worker crisis in Wales and the millions of pounds spent on agencies to plug the gaps – Richard Youle, Wales Online
Print - In-depth features
- ‘High stress, high demand, high burnout’: life as a social worker in England - Rachel Hall, The Guardian (published together with news story Social workers in England quitting in record numbers)
- Britain’s lost children – Anoosh Chakelian, The New Statesman
- Funding cuts left the social care system in crisis even before Covid – Amy Borrett, Sky News
- I was used as a scapegoat when Baby P died – Sunak’s attacks on social workers are dangerous, Sharon Shoesmith, The Guardian
Winner: Britain’s lost children – Anoosh Chakelian, The New Statesman
Broadcast - News
- One in four children in Scotland referred to social care before their fifth birthday, Alan Jenkins, 5 News
- Staggering numbers of children of disabled parents being taken into care – Tessa Chapman, 5 News
- Chair of children’s social care review ‘angry’ with government funding – Jackie Long, 4 News
- ‘The care system is overwhelmed’, warns children’s charity chief executive - Jackie Long, 4 News
- Vulnerable children and over-stretched services - Charlotte Lynch and the Shelagh Fogarty show, LBC Radio
- Steep increase in money being spent by children’s services on agency social workers – Alison Holt, BBC News at Six
- The day in the life of a social worker as sector reels following Arthur Labinjo-Hughes’ death - Lucy Kapasi, ITV News Central WITH Meet Birmingham’s newest social workers supporting families
Winner: The day in the life of a social worker as sector reels following Arthur Labinjo-Hughes’ death - Lucy Kapasi, ITV News Central WITH Meet Birmingham’s newest social workers supporting families
Broadcast - In-depth Features
- Social workers for social justice - Ed Miliband and Geoff Lloyd, Reasons to be cheerful *Starts 10 mins in
- Protecting our children: a balancing act - Louise Tickle, BBC Panorama
- Finding Britain’s Ghost Children – episode 4 - Terri White, BBC Radio 4
- Cost of living forcing children into care – Ben Robinson, BBC File on 4
- Phone-in about social work [first hour only] - Nicky Campbell Show, BBC Radio Five
- Lives in Care - Tony Simpson, BBC Radio 4
Winner: Finding Britain’s Ghost Children – episode 4 - Terri White, BBC Radio 4
Trade - News
- 1,000 social workers deregistered after paying £90 fee and meeting CPD requirements – Mithran Samuel, Community Care
- ‘I feel out of my depth’: NQSWs report ‘unmanageable’ caseloads and lack of support – Rob Preston, Community Care
- ‘Unscrupulous’ tactics being used by children’s social care agencies - Jessica Hill, Local Government Chronicle
Winner: ‘Unscrupulous’ tactics being used by children’s social care agencies - Jessica Hill, Local Government Chronicle
Trade - In-depth features
This is proper social work, this is what I trained to do – Sharmeen Zaiuddin, Community Care
Neurodivergent social workers ‘exhausted’ from lack of understanding at work – Anastasia Koutsounia, Community care
Recruitment agency practices compound workforce pressures – Fiona Simpson, Children and Young People Now (top article only)
Burnout – it’s that deep/professional mental health & wellbeing – The Social Worker & The Mentor Podcast episode 4
Interview with Sir Peter Wanless – ten years at NSPCC (on safeguarding children) – David Niven, episode 143 Social World Podcast
Winner: This is proper social work, this is what I trained to do – Sharmeen Zaiuddin, Community Care
Outstanding contribution awards
The two winners of the Outstanding Contribution to Journalism Featuring Social Work award were Alison Holt, the BBC’s social affairs editor, and Mithran Samuel, editor of Community Care.
Alison’s award was in recognition of a long and distinguished career sensitively reporting on social work and social work-related issues and she said: “I’m thrilled to have received this award. The stories I report on are about the way we live and the impact of changing policies on people.
"Often this is the territory where social workers spend their lives trying to make a difference. Hopefully the new awards will encourage more understanding of and reporting about these really important issues.”
Mithran’s award was for consistent reporting on the social work profession in a clear and balanced way to a specialist audience.
He said: “Many congratulations to all the winners and shortlisted nominees for their excellent work highlighting the complexities, challenges and successes that constitute social work. It’s an honour to be recognised alongside these talented journalists and by BASW. The awards are an excellent initiative and I have no doubt they will go from strength to strength and promote much more high-quality journalism about social work in the future.”