For the first time since the awards was founded over 10 years ago, two Overall Social Worker of the Year accolades were awarded, one to an individual social worker, and one to a social work team. This is also the first time a team has won this award. The Overall Social Worker of the Year is selected from the gold winners of each category by the Board of Trustees of The Social Work Awards, the registered charity behind the annual event.
The Team around Kasibba*, a multidisciplinary social work team from Camden CLDS was named Overall Social Work Team of the Year after winning the gold winner of Team of the Year, Adult Services earlier in the evening. On this occasion, our work as rights based advocates has been complimented by worked alongside the team at Camden. We have not been a lone voice, but an element of their wider vision. Their dedication and ambition to and for Kasibba is unrivalled and our collaborative relentlessness has furnished her with an ordinary life.
Our achievements must not be underestimated – this is a complex situation and one where the ‘law’ kept Kasibba segregated and vulnerable, resulting in untold damage. In our professional experience Kasibba’s story is as bad as it gets, merely existing in Long Term Segregation for a quarter of a century. A Black African woman with an impoverished life, feared and mythologised through a lens of racism.
Together we have fought tirelessly for Kasibba’s rights to be heard and upheld by demanding accountability, navigating and directing a complex system and connecting the people that work in it. We never strayed from the end goal of giving life, freedom and dignity to Kasibba. The empathy and drive Camden have sustained, the strength and challenge they have asserted and their belief and values around ordinary life outcomes is simply immense and one that as an organisation we fight for everyday and is at the heart of our approach.
*Not Kasibba’s real name.