Community Care staff were among those recognised this week at the British Association of Social Workers’ (BASW) inaugural awards for social work journalism.
Sharmeen Ziauddin, assistant careers editor, won the specialist features category for an article exploring the working lives of palliative care social workers.
And editor Mithran Samuel was among two winners of the outstanding contribution to social work journalism award – alongside the BBC’s social affairs editor, Alison Holt – in recognition of his 20 years covering the sector, including 18 at Community Care.
The BASW Social Work Journalism Awards were set up to champion high-quality journalism on the profession, with a view to encouraging more and thereby improving public perceptions of practitioners.
BASW chief executive, and judging panel member, Ruth Allen said: “We are delighted to honour these journalists who have demonstrated such an outstanding understanding of social work.
“Being part of the judging panel makes you realise that there really is some great journalism out there and some fantastic journalists reporting on our sector.
“They deserve our recognition because we know social work is not an easy sector to report on. We hope other journalists will follow their lead – and we very much look forward to recognising more great journalists the future.”
Social work journalism award winners
- Mainstream print news – Richard Youle, for a Wales Online article highlighting the millions of pounds spent on agency social workers in Wales.
- Mainstream print in-depth features – for Britain’s lost children, a New Statesman piece looking at the crisis in children’s social care in the wake of the murders of Star Hobson and Arthur Labinjo-Hughes.
- Mainstream broadcast news – Lucy Kapasi, for a day in the life of a social worker piece, also in the wake of the Arthur Labinjo-Hughes case, for ITV Central.
- Mainstream broadcast in-depth features – Terri White and colleagues at the BBC for an episode from their podcast series, Finding Britain’s Ghost Children, on the role of social workers.
- Mainstream broadcast in-depth features – Producer Ben Robinson for an investigation for BBC Radio 4’s File on 4 on how the cost of living crisis is driving more children into care.
- Specialist news – Jessica Hill, for an investigation into ‘unscrupulous’ tactics used by children’s social care agencies to recruit social workers, in the Local Government Chronicle.
- Specialst in-depth features – Sharmeen Ziauddin, assistant careers editor, Community Care, for a piece exploring the realities of palliative care social work.
- Outstanding contribution to journalism featuring social work – Alison Holt, social affairs editor, BBC.
- Outstanding contribution to journalism featuring social work – Mithran Samuel, editor, Community Care.
Commenting on her award, Sharmeen said: “It was really unexpected, but I feel very proud to have won this award. I wrote about palliative care social work as part of a series of features about social work in unusual settings, as I felt little is known about some of the more specialist work that goes on in the sector.
“The social workers I spoke to gave me a completely different perspective on end-of-life care. They also gave me a wonderful insight into the huge breadth of work social workers do.”
Following this week’s ceremony in Birmingham, Mithran 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.”