The Irish Association of Social Workers (IASW) recently held their national annual awards ceremony in Croke Park. The awards recognise the achievements of Social Workers and Social Work Teams and highlight the positive impact of the profession on individuals, families and communities. Two of the award winners on the night were from the Dublin North City Adult Mental Health Service. Brian Donnelly won IASW Practice Teacher of the Year Award and Dublin North City Adult Mental Health Service won IASW Social Work Team of the Year of the Award.
Principal Social Worker in Dublin North City Adult Mental Health Service, Karen Murphy said “We are delighted to win awards in both the categories we had been nominated in. Given that we were only officially established as a Social Work team since 2014 after my appointment as Principal Social Worker, it is a testament to the hard work and commitment of the team over the past 18 months that we are recognised for having achieved so much in a relatively short space of time. It was also great that the new Minister of State for Mental Health and Older people, Helen McEntee, attended the ceremony and presented us with our awards. Her speech gave recognition and support to what we have achieved. It definitely gives us a renewed sense of confidence and enthusiasm in our work in that front line staff and managers are being recognised and valued for the work we are doing in the area of mental health.”
The awards presented on the night included Social Worker of the Year Award, Practice Teacher of the Year Award, Social Work Team of the Year Award and Social Work Researcher of the Year Award. Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Helen McEntee presented the awards.
Social Work Team of the Year Award
Dublin North City Adult Mental Health Social Work Service has 18 members on the team, including the Principal Social Worker. The geographical area of Social Work Practice is the Dublin North City catchment area. The overall purpose of the Social Work team is to deliver professional, competent, timely and safe Mental Health Social Work Services to Service Users and their families who come under the care of the Dublin North City Adult Mental Health Service. The team’s purpose is to ensure Service Users and their families gain access to appropriate, professional and community services to support their recovery process. These services are provided either directly by individual Social Workers or in collaboration with other mental health colleagues. The team also contributes to the overall development of the Mental Health Service in DNC and ensures that the contribution and value of Social Work is reflected in the different areas of mental health practice and in the overall development of mental health services in DNC. This includes members of the team contributing to the development of HSE policies and procedures, providing training and resources to other MDT colleagues, ensuring our services are user friendly and reflect a collaborative, inclusive approach with service users and their families and that any new developments in legislation and practice are reflected in the services provided.
The team was nominated for the award because:
- Placing the service-user at the centre of service development; the team has been active in expanding the services including Behavioural Family Therapy., Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, the Eolas programme, community meeting, etc.
- Each individual has worked hard in building a supportive, professional and innovative team. Supervision, peer consultation and 'buddy' systems offer support and acknowledge and share the many talents of each member of the team.
- Representing social work at local, national and EU level, their work is highly regarded by the service users, families and multidisciplinary colleagues; their work has also been recognised in successive Mental Health Commission reports.
IASW Practice Teacher of the Year Award
Brian Donnelly qualified with a Masters in Social Work from UCD in 2001. He has worked with children and families, homelessness, disabilities and medical social work. Brian completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Fieldwork Practice and Supervision (Social Work) in UCC in 2012 and the MA in Advanced Fieldwork Practice and Supervision (Social Work) in UCC in 2015. Brian has supervised a large number of students. He uses a variety of supervision models, creative teaching methods and techniques which have been helpful in identifying students’ strengths and in locating their learning needs. Brian is a highly valued member of the Social Work Team.
Brian was nominated because:
- He has supervised a large number of students. He uses a variety of supervision models, creative teaching methods and techniques which have been helpful in identifying students' strengths and in locating their learning methods.
- His commitment to the development of practice teaching has been exemplified through his completion of a Masters thesis 'An Exploration of the Motivations and Challenges that impact on Practice Teachers' sustained involvement in Fieldwork Education' which he presented at the IASW Research Practitioners Conference in UCC in May 2016.
- Brian is a committed and reflective practitioner. Insightful and considered responses to his peers, students and colleagues provide evidence of a high level of commitment to the reflective process.
Last updated on: 06 / 07 / 2016