SSAFA commended for innovative social work practice
SSAFA has received national recognition for its practical, emotional and financial support of military families after winning a top prize at the prestigious Social Worker of the Year Awards.
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The SSAFA Family Support Groups team won the award for Creative & Innovative Social Work Practice, a category that was sponsored by the British Association of Social Workers (BASW), during the awards ceremony which took place last week on Friday 28th November at the Lancaster London Hotel.
Formed in 2006, the team facilitates national and regional support groups for over 600 military families affected by bereavement or injury, focusing on mutual support between families. The groups are run in collaboration with elected service user committees and provide education on coping skills, healthy grieving and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Social work support for military families
Speaking just after collecting the award, Robert Templeton, Director of Health & Social Care Operations UK at SSAFA, said: “It’s absolutely fantastic to win this award. We really value the recognition of the need for social work for service families who have lost a loved one in recent conflicts and for the thousands of wounded, injured and sick service men and women. It is a privilege to work with military families and make a real difference to their lives.
“This award comes in a year when we remember those who lost their lives in World War One and when we have also witnessed British combat troops returning home from Afghanistan and from military bases across Germany. SSAFA is here for military families today, just as it was during World War One and in every conflict since.”
Creativity and innovation at the forefront
Jenny Molloy is the Patron of BASW England and presented members of the SSAFA team with their award on the night. She said: “The SSAFA Family Support Group Team truly deserve to be commended at this high level for the real, valued difference they are making to the lives of so many people across the country. Creativity and innovation is at the forefront of their practice and as a result they deliver flexible, user-focused and values-based service. There is no doubt that they are a lifeline for many people.”
The panel of judges were particularly impressed with the way in which the Family Support Group Team partners with charities to diversify support offerings. As part of their under 18’s group, they have joined forces with Winston’s Wish to offer special sessions for their youngest members who have lost a parent. They also partnered with the Department of Health and Ministry of Defence to introduce school-aged children of military personnel to alternative career paths.
About SSAFA Support Groups
SSAFA Support Groups we are a community of Forces families and individuals all facing similar challenges who help each other and offer mutual support.