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The entries, submitted in five categories, are shortlisted by a selected panel of experts and voted online. In line with ESN’s ethos of promoting peer relationships and a social service community, the 6th category, the ESN Excellence in Social Services Award will be voted live by all those gathered at the ceremony from the social service community across Europe.

All entries must fulfil the following general criteria:

  • Projects may be submitted for more than one category
  • Each organisation may submit up to three projects (please fill in an individual submission form for each project)
  • Entrants may self-nominate
  • Entries must fulfil the criteria for each relevant category as described above
  • Entrants agree that their photographs and details of their project may be used by ESN for promotional purposes

Excellence Award

Excellence Award

The headline award, the annual excellence award, recognises a stand-out project or team working in the area of the annual theme, for 2020, community care. Applications from any field of care or sector are eligible, so long as they fulfil the criteria.

In addition to meeting the general criteria, applicants must demonstrate:

  1. An outstanding contribution to or achievement in social service practice, either through an individual project or a continuing discernible practice
  2. An achievement specifically related to community care, including but not limited to:
  • the development of a foster care programme for children and youth,
  • the development of tools to support children and youth in child protection,
  • coordinated children’s services initiatives involving family and services partnerships,
  • the development of procuring and contracting for quality with a range of social providers,
  • developing of wellbeing and life quality indicators for community-based social services,
  • improvement programmes for community-based services,
  • improvement programmes for the workforce,
  • crisis-preparedness plans to support the most vulnerable in light of health and social emergencies,
  • crisis-preparedness plan to support the workforce in light of health and social emergencies,
  • co-housing community developments for older adults,
  • replacement of institutional with community-based services for any population group,
  • intergenerational programmes,
  • children and adults safeguarding programmes.

Innovation Award

Innovation Award

Awards for social service innovation are open to applications demonstrating practices which show initiative in creating, implementing or promoting a new approach to the delivery of social services in the community. In addition to the general criteria, entries should demonstrate:

  • The innovative nature of the project or practice at hand -how was it before the programme was implemented; how it is now or what is new about it.
  • Evidence supporting the success and benefit of the new approach; for example, those for whom the programme was set up (the beneficiaries), practitioners and the provider(s).
  • Potential lessons for other social services wishing to innovate in community social services.
  • Specific examples may include a newly established service/programme for emerging need(s), a new case management approach, newly set up agency, or newly created team.

 

Collaborative Practice Award

Collaborative Practice Award

As a social services network, ESN believes strongly in the importance and value of collaboration between organisations and sectors. This award recognises such collaborations and is jointly awarded to organisations or teams who have collaborated across agencies and sectors. In addition to the general criteria, entries should:

  • Include partners from different sectors (private, public, non-profit) who have collaborated, either in a specific programme or through a more long-term collaborative arrangement, although the submission itself can be made by one organisation.
  • Have worked together on establishing, managing, funding or delivering community-based social services.
  • Specific examples may include a jointly set up service; an agency pooling services or professionals from across agencies, sectors or budgets; or an integrated case management approach.

 

Outstanding Team Award

Outstanding Team Award

Whilst the other awards are granted for specific practices, the outstanding team award is granted to a group of people who have made an outstanding contribution to the provision of care in the community. Nominations may be made for a contribution to an individual project or for a broader professional achievement over time. Nominees may be from any organisation which itself provides social services, and nominations must show:

  • An outstanding contribution which goes beyond the expectations of the work inherent to their professional role;
  • A tangible achievement in the measurement, management and/or improvement of social services and care in the community.
  • Specific examples may include completing a major project significantly under budget or extraordinary time pressure; receiving repeated internal or external recognition for extraordinary service; demonstrating how the team benefited the organisation or the service beneficiaries; or specific accomplishments that improve internal processes.

Technology Tools Award

Technology Tools Award

Technology tools all play a key role in the success of the care provided by social services in the community. This award recognises the contribution that tools make in helping decision-makers and professionals take decisions about the services they provide or how technology and IT can help deliver specific policies and services. In addition to fulfilling the general criteria, entries should show:

  • The contribution made by the tool to specifically delivering care in the community.
  • Specific examples may include new technology (e.g. AI, Blockchain) to help professionals make decisions about the care they may provide; IT case management systems supporting implementation of community-based services; assisted living technologies supporting people in community-based services and in their own homes; or tools to help social services provide care in people’s homes.

Research Project Award

Research Project Award

Excellence in social services practice and research are mutually dependent, as reflected in the number of ESN Members who work not only in practice but also in generating new knowledge. The research project award recognises the contribution of a research team that created knowledge in community care/community social services in a range of populations. In addition to fulfilling the general criteria, entries should show:

  • How their research product (e.g. their study, guidance or framework) may support professionals and organisations managing and providing community social services in the work they do.
  • How their research product has impacted/is expected to impact on community care services (e.g. on their organisational/case management, improvement in provision) or people supported by community care services (e.g. their quality of life).
  • Specific examples may include a study/framework/guidance on the development of community-based services for a range of populations; studies showing costs-benefits of community-based social services programmes; or evaluations/ of the improvements made (organisational or in people’s quality of life) following the introduction of a community-based social service.