MY LACES Winner at the Regional Social Work Awards


MY LACES Winner at the Regional Social Work AwardsCongratulations to all those involved in the MY LACES (Mentoring Young Looked after Children with Educational Support) project having won the ‘Learning and Development’ category at the Regional Social Work Awards held recently.

The 2018 Social Work Awards recognise and reward the efforts of some of the 5,000 social workers and highlights the positive impact they have on individuals, families and communities.

MY LACES is a partnership project between the Western Trust, Ulster University and local Primary Schools.  The project is unique in that it offers 10 young, looked after children the opportunity to be mentored by social work students at Magee Campus each Wednesday after school.   The project is distinctive in that it matches the children with student social workers for a three year period and is targeted at earlier intervention in primary school from Primary Five to Primary Seven.

The programme aims to provide consistent educational support through early intervention to those deemed most vulnerable, and to those who may not be able to avail of this in a normal home environment. It also provides an excellent enhanced employability resource to our students and establishes links/networks in which training programmes could be developed and delivered.

The project aims to assist children to make a positive transition from primary to post primary school.  At the same time as assisting the LAC children, the Project offers a unique opportunity for student Social Workers to develop their skills whilst in college and in partnership with Trust’s Looked After Service.

Stephen McLaughlin, Head of Service for Looked After Children at the Western Trust said: “We are delighted that the MY LACES programme has won at the Regional Social Work Awards. The project is exciting and unique and promotes the educational outcomes for looked after children.”

Stephen continued: “The programme began back in 2015 and we have seen very exciting outcomes as the children consolidate their learning and have developed positive relationships with their peers and mentors and have ultimately enjoyed learning.

“The Western Trust is grateful to the Ulster University and the social work students for their commitment to this great programme.”