Save the Date for the Celebration of Social Work Awards on March 31, 2023!

The purpose of the Social Work Awards is to celebrate the important work of social workers, raise awareness for the profession of social work, and highlight the tenants of social work ethics and values. We invite you to bookmark this page and check back for updates as the nomination and select process begins!

 

Learn more about the awards and the nomination process

We need your participation to keep the tradition moving forward. The NYS Social Work Awards recognize leaders in the profession and in our communities who embody social work values and ethics. Our award recipients have accomplished the extraordinary and we have been honored to recognize them. Please consider nominating a social worker or individual who exemplifies the best of the profession’s values.


The deadline for nominations is FEBRUARY 6, 2023.

Nominations will be reviewed by members of the NASW-NYS Awards Committee and staff. Award recipients will be notified by NASW-NYS staff followed by dissemination of a public announcement via the NASW-NYS website and other appropriate communication channels.

SOCIAL WORKER OF THE YEAR

The Social Worker of the Year Award recognizes the commitment and significant achievements of an outstanding member of our profession. Individuals considered for this award demonstrate exceptional professional qualities

Nominees must:

  1. Be a member in good standing of NASW-NYS;
  2. Demonstrate outstanding leadership qualities, (examples include demonstrated ability to communicate vision, inspire motivation, provide support, and promote goal achievement);
  3. Exemplify professional social work values and ethics as defined by the NASW Code of Ethics in chosen method and level of practice;
  4. Committed to implementing anti-oppressive practice and exhibit a consistent focus on social, environmental and/or economic justice.
  5. Show a willingness to advance human rights, take risks and advocate for improved human services and justice; and
  6. Contribute to the public’s knowledge and understanding of social work.

BSW STUDENT OF THE YEAR AWARD

The BSW Social Work Student of the Year award honors a Baccalaureate-level social work student who has demonstrated academic excellence and an active pursuit of the values, knowledge, and skills of the social work profession as defined by the NASW Code of Ethics. Current students as well as those who have graduated within six months of the nomination deadline are eligible for this award

Nominees must:

  • Demonstrate an understanding and commitment to the social work code of ethics
  • Exhibit academic excellence;
  • Demonstrate leadership skills and involvement within the University/College or greater community setting; and
  • Engage in work or volunteer commitments that emphasize a strong desire and capacity to make a difference in the lives of others, through the use of social work knowledge, skills and abilities; practice, and advocacy.
  • Current students as well as those who have graduated from a BSW program within six months of the nomination deadline are eligible for this award

MERITORIOUS HUMAN SERVICE ORGANIZATION

This award honors a human service organization that demonstrates a strong commitment to the community.

The organization must:

  • Be in good standing with NASW (e.g., no sanctions)
  • Be in operation 5 years or more.
  • Improve the quality of life in the community it serves or on those affected by the issue it addresses.
  • Develop innovative approaches for the provision of more effective services.
  • Make a demonstrable difference in such areas as advocacy for clients, impact on social policy, exceptional practice, program creation, administration development, and /or innovative research; and
  • Make a significant contribution to an issue, community, or population of concern to the social work profession.

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

The Lifetime Achievement Award honors a social worker who has devoted their careers to the social work profession and has been exceptional in their promotion of social justice, equity, inclusion and diversity.

Nominees must:

  1. Be a member in good standing of NASW-NYS;
  2. Demonstrate a history of outstanding leadership qualities, (examples include demonstrated ability to communicates vision, inspire motivation, provide support, and promote goal achievement);
  3. Exhibit a focus on social, environmental and/or economic justice and implement anti-oppressive practice principles and strategies;
  4. Show a willingness to advance human rights, take risks and advocate for improved human services and justice;
  5. Contribute to the public’s knowledge and understanding of social work;
  6. Exemplify professional social work ethics as defined by the NASW Code of Ethics;
  7. Exhibit repeated outstanding achievement in the field of social work;
  8. Display outstanding creativity and courage;
  9. Contributions have shown to have a lasting impact; and
  10. Is recognized beyond the social work profession.

MSW STUDENT OF THE YEAR AWARD

The MSW Social Work Student of the Year award honors a Master level social work student who has demonstrated academic excellence and active pursuit of the values, knowledge, and skills of the social work profession as defined by the NASW Code of Ethics. Current students as well as those who have graduated within six months of the nomination deadline are eligible for this award.

Nominees must:

  • Exhibit academic excellence;
  • Demonstrate leadership skills and involvement within the University/College or greater community setting; and
  • Engage in work or volunteer commitments that emphasize a strong desire and capacity to make a difference in the lives of others, through the use of social work knowledge, skills and abilities; practice, and advocacy.
  • Current students as well as those who have graduated from an MSW program within six months of the nomination deadline are eligible for this award

PUBLIC ELECTED OFFICIAL OF THE YEAR

This award honors an elected official who demonstrates leadership and a strong commitment to the values which underpin social justice and who has shown leadership in public policy issues important to social work.

The award recipient must:

  • Be an elected official serving, at the time of nomination, in public office at the local, state, or national level;
  • Make a significant contribution to public service while in office;
  • Demonstrate leadership in advancing public policy in civil and human rights, or social welfare and towards the promotion of social justice, equity, inclusion, and diversity; and
  • Demonstrate leadership on behalf of the protection and advancement of social work practice.

CHAMPION OF JUSTICE AWARD

The Champion of Justice Award honors an individual who has made significant strides working on a prominent social, environmental and/or economic justice issue. The individual considered for this award pursues social change, with and on behalf of vulnerable and oppressed individuals and groups at the individual, group, community, or system level. As part of their efforts, nominees promote sensitivity to and knowledge about cultural and ethnic diversity while striving to ensure equitable access to needed resources; promote equality of opportunity; eliminate oppressive structural and institutional barriers to ensure the protection of human rights; and encourage meaningful participation in decision making for all people above and beyond the standard commitment.

Nominees must:

  • Display a strong and continual commitment to anti-oppressive practice, and social, environmental and/or economic justice;
  • Pursues social change with and on behalf of those served;
  • Demonstrate compassion and leadership to promote equitable access, equality of opportunity, the protection of human rights and meaningful participation in decision-making.

DOCTORAL STUDENT OF THE YEAR AWARD

The Doctoral Student of the Year award is presented to a PhD or DSW social work candidate who has demonstrated academic excellence and active pursuit of the values, knowledge, and skills of the social work profession as defined by the NASW Code of Ethics. Current students as well as those who have graduated within six months of the nomination deadline are eligible for this award.

Nominees must:

  • Demonstrate an understanding and commitment to the social work code of ethics
  • Exhibit academic excellence;
  • Engage in timely and relevant research;
  • Demonstrate leadership skills and involvement within the University/College or greater community setting; and
  • Engage in research, work, or volunteer commitments that emphasize a strong desire and capacity to make a difference in the lives of others, through the use of social work knowledge, skills and abilities; practice, and advocacy.
  • Current students as well as those who have graduated from a Doctoral program within six months of the nomination deadline are eligible for this award

EMERGING SOCIAL WORK LEADER

The Emerging Social Work Leader award honors a NASW-NYS member at the beginning phase of their career who has demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities.

Nominees must:

  • Be an NASW-NYS member in good standing;
  • Have a BSW or MSW degree from an accredited graduate social work program;
  • Have five or fewer years of post-masters practice experience;
  • Contribute to the growth and visibility of the social work profession; and
  • Have demonstrated social work ethics and values in the commitment to make a difference in such areas as:
    • Community service/leadership
    • Advocacy
    • Social Work Practice
    • Education
    • Research
    • Management and leadership

Learn more about our past award winners!

2022 Social Work Award Winners