Pay £10,000 to show you care, Social Work Awards are begging for sponsorship

It’s a brand new year and it’s all about SWA23


Given that most of the sponsors are local authorities, they are reaching out to local authorities to show their caring side by giving the social work awards a nice chunk of public money.

How is that caring?

The Headline Sponsor level of sponsorship will be offered to, and taken by Sanctuary Personnel, as it is every year. Nothing says caring more than having your headline sponsor as a company who has a turnover of £100 million a year. That turnover is from public money and off instability in the social care system that leads to service users, especially children, getting a poor service.

I’ve heard of children having 12 or more social workers as they keep leaving, which is what happens with agency social workers. Sanctuary Personnel are making a fortune off LA’s inability to recruit social workers, which leads to poorer outcomes for children.

I’m not interested in the politics of the situation, i’m just interested in the outcomes for families, agency social workers bring about poorer outcomes for families due to the short lived nature of an agency workers employment within a social work team.

I’ve heard of parents being admonished for inconsistent parenting during periods where there have been over 5 different social workers involved with the family. Each social worker brings with them a different perspective and a different way of doing things. There needs to be consistency when working with families, children don’t need to be building up a relationship with the 5th social worker in the same amount of months.

If you want to flit about between jobs, whether it’s for more money, to give you more freedom, or just because you like to shake it up every couple of months, you need to give your head a wobble and think about whether you may be in the wrong career. If you chose a career where outcomes depend on consistency and you are the one who has chosen to be inconsistent, then you aren’t as committed to getting the best outcomes for families as you say you are.

There are now agencies who are refusing to send single social workers and instead sending whole teams, including admin staff. The benefit to the agency is obvious, they can charge the local authority ridiculous amounts of money and that is all that is important to recruitment agencies, the money. Of course this takes away money from service users and leads to a poorer service and poorer outcomes.

So why doesn’t The Social Work Awards Ltd act like they care about the most important people in social work, the service users, and stop partnering with Sanctuary Personnel? Why don’t they stop seeking donations from hard up local authorities when they know that money could be better spent on service users?

My guess is because it’s all about the money, when Sanctuary Personnel partnered with the social work awards they created a monster. What had been all about social work, including things like a debate during the awards, and actually meaningful, they are now bog standard corporate awards where it’s all about the sponsorship and the organisations who sponsor advertising.

It’s just a hugely glitzy event which is all about showing off, it’s disgraceful, especially during the current cost of living crisis which is only getting worse.

But yeah, charge local authorities between £2500 and £10,000 to advertise at the event, and tell them it will show that they are caring. Probably more than that this year, what with the cost of everything going up. The sponsorship pack for 2023 is not yet on their website.

So paying out up to £10k of public money to something that does not benefit the aforementioned public, is the right way to start the brand new year?

I’m a service user, Essex County Council will no doubt be starting 2023 ‘the right way’ and will sponsor a category like they always do, they may even go for two this year. So that is at least £10k of public money gone on something that won’t benefit service users, but will benefit the ego’s of the managers in charge of budget decisions, like wasting our money on the social work awards.

Given that Essex County Council and the Social Work Awards have a special relationship, between 6-8 ECC social workers/teams will be shortlisted for the final, which means ECC will spend another £7k on tickets. They will win gold in a couple of categories because ECC are a nice little earner for the social work awards.

What about The Frontline Awards?

The Social Work Awards do not reach millions of people, those figures are from where they have placed advertising etc and are what it has the potential to reach. Service users haven’t even got a clue they exist.

So it’s January and i’ve just written my first Social Work Awards post, this does not bode well for the rest of the year. The parliamentary reception is in March, so that will be interesting, well no, it will be incredibly boring, nobody cares except the managers using it as an ego boost.