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Regional Award Nominations
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The Ohio Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers is proud to recognize the contributions of outstanding social workers and community leaders who reflect the values of our profession through our annual regional and state awards. For a list of previous regional award winners, click here.

 

Awards Process 

Regional award winners will be selected from the nominees for each of the eight NASW Ohio regions by that region’s Director and/or committee. Regional award winners will be recognized at a local event.

 

From the regional winners, one statewide award winner will be selected for each category by the NASW Ohio Board of Directors. Statewide winners will be recognized at the Annual NASW Ohio Social Work Gala, however all regional winners from the social work categories will be celebrated at the event as well (Regional Public Citizen of the Year and Public Elected Official of the Year award winners will not be recognized at the Gala).

 

Before submitting a nomination please ensure that:

  1. The nominee either lives or works in the region for which they are being nominated. You can view the eight NASW Ohio regions here.
  2. The nominee for the following categories: Lifetime Achievement Award, Social Worker of the Year, Outstanding Service Award, Emerging Social Work Leader, and Social Work Student of the Year, is an NASW Ohio member in good standing. 
  3. The contact information provided for the nominee is valid.

Annual Awards Timeline:

  • September 1st, 2020 – Nominations due
  • November 2020 – Regional winners notified/announced
  • January 2021 – Statewide winners announced
  • April 24, 2024 – Annual NASW Ohio Social Work Gala

Award Categories

The Lifetime Achievement Award celebrates an Ohio social worker's lifetime of accomplishments. In honoring the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, NASW Ohio Chapter recognizes the best social work values and accomplishments demonstrated in the social worker’s lifetime career.

 

Criteria: The award recipient must demonstrate repeated outstanding achievements, as well as recognition beyond the social work profession, contributions of lasting impact, outstanding creativity, meet all criteria for Social Worker of the Year, and be an NASW member in good standing.

 

The Social Worker of the Year Award honors a member of the NASW Ohio Chapter who exemplifies the best of the profession’s values and achievements through specific accomplishments. In honoring the Social Worker of the Year, NASW highlights superb accomplishments in the practice of social work.

 

Criteria: The award recipient must make a demonstrable difference in such areas as advocacy for clients, social policy, social work practice, program development, administration, research; demonstrate outstanding leadership; contribute to a positive image for the social work profession; take risks achieving outstanding results; and be an NASW member in good standing.

 

The Outstanding Service Award is given to a social worker for outstanding service to NASW. In honoring the recipient, NASW Ohio Chapter recognizes the best social work values and accomplishments demonstrated in the social worker’s NASW activities.

 

Criteria: The award recipient must be actively involved in regional and/or state level NASW activities over a period of years, made significant contribution to an NASW project during the past year, demonstrated a consistent adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics, and be an NASW member in good standing.

 

The Emerging Social Work Leader Award recognizes outstanding contributions of members who have been in practice for five years or less. In honoring the Emerging Social Work Leader, NASW highlights the exemplary contributions of social workers who are new to the field.

 

Criteria: The award recipient must hold an MSW degree from an accredited graduate school of social work and have 5 or fewer years of post-masters practice experience; demonstrate contributions to the field (through community service, advocacy, practice, education, research, management and leadership, etc.) that are above and beyond that which is expected for someone with less than five years’ experience; contribute to the positive image for the social work profession; demonstrate capacity for leadership in the profession; and be an NASW member in good standing.

 

Elected Official of the Year Award Elected officials make decisions about a broad range of issues that, when enacted into law, represent the collective values of our society. Of particular interest to the social work profession are policies that affect social justice, health care, education, civil and human rights, and social work practice. In recognition of the responsibilities and challenges of public service, NASW recognizes the outstanding service and contributions of an elected official. Special consideration will be given to social workers elected to public office.

 

Criteria: 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 the area of vulnerable populations, civil and human rights, or social welfare; demonstrate leadership on behalf of the protection and advancement of social work practice; and exemplify social work values and ethics.

 

**Regional winners in this category will be recognized at a local event, but not at the Annual NASW Ohio Gala.

 

Citizen of the Year Award The NASW Ohio Chapter established the Public Citizen of the Year Award to honor an outstanding member of the community whose accomplishments exemplify the values and mission of professional social work. The award recipient is not a social worker.

 

Criteria: The award recipient must make a significant contribution to an area or population of concern to the social work profession such as at-risk or vulnerable populations, quality of life in communities, or social issues; act with courage; demonstrate outstanding leadership; and exemplify social work values and ethics.

 

**Regional winners in this category will be recognized at a local event, but not at the Annual NASW Ohio Gala.

 

The Student of the Year Award recognizes social work students who have demonstrated great passion and aptitude for the field of social work.

 

Criteria: Nominees must be currently enrolled in an MSW, BSW, or Associate/Pre-Social Work program. The award recipient must demonstrate excellence academically, in their field placements (if applicable), and through extra-curricular activities both on and off campus. They must exemplify the NASW Code of Ethics, be passionate about the field of social work, show great promise as a future social worker, and be an NASW Ohio member in good standing.

 

Agencies of the Year Award honors agencies that best exemplify social work values in the field. Using best practices to make positive change in their communities.

 

Criteria: The agency should promote and uphold NASW standards and Code of Ethics; develop and implement innovative approaches for the provision of more effective services; make a significant contribution to a population of concern to the social work profession (i.e. advocacy for consumers or social workers, impact on social policy, exceptional program and program creation, excellent administrative development, innovative research, etc.); and have a diversity of employees that reflects their clientele and/or has policy that implements culturally competent and anti-racist practice.

 

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