Entries for the 2017 Social Worker of the Year Awards are open! Visit our website for more information & to download entry forms #SWA17

Joanne Lowe, Birmingham City Council

Adult Social Worker of the Year



Joanne has spent 15 years as a social worker in Birmingham, working across a variety of specialisms including dementia care, mental health and for the past 12 months, learning disabilities.


When Joanne joined the learning disabilities team there was a long waiting list of service users awaiting assessment. Many of the cases were incredibly complex but, utilising her background in mental health, she focused as a priority on finding suitable placements for one of the most vulnerable groups, the long-stay patients in psychiatric units.


Prior to her involvement, some psychiatric units had not discharged a patient for three years. Joanne turned this around and facilitated the discharge of five long-stay patients into the community within 12 months.


Joanne is an extremely innovative practitioner – despite strains on budgets she strives to achieve the best possible outcome for her clients in the most cost effective way, often negotiating with care providers to ensure the needs of her service users are met within budget. This practice has led to a revised model of working for social workers in Birmingham.


After 15 years, Joanne’s passion and enthusiasm is unwavering and she continues to go the extra mile to improve the lives of her service users.  


What was said about Joanne


“Joanne’s determination, innovation and constant drive to improve practice and outcomes for vulnerable adults in Birmingham are what make her stand out from other social workers.” Alan Lotinga, Service Director Health and Wellbeing, Birmingham City Council


“This is a welcome opportunity to say thank you to Joanne for her continuing hard work and commitment. She is a real asset to any team.” Paul Craddock, Team Manager, Birmingham City Council


“Joanne is what I would perceive a good social worker to be – innovative and committed not only to the support of people that use services, but to the support of her colleagues and students too.” Brian Mitchell, Practice Teacher of the Year 2013

“Nothing was too much trouble for Joanne. She went far beyond the call of duty and I know she will continue to provide outstanding service.” Parents of a service user


  • Brian Mitchell, Practice Teacher of the Year 2013
  • Joe Godden, BASW
  • Patricia Fifield, Adult Social Worker of the Year 2013
  • Annie Hudson, The College of Social Work
  • Lyn Romeo, Chief Social Worker for Adults



  • Jeanette Jackson, Derbyshire County Council – SILVER WINNER
  • Heather Fuller, Focus Independent Adult Social Work
  • Suzie Holmes, CLIC Sargent
  • Chris Atherton, Haringey Council
  • Amanda Jones, Birmingham City Council
  • Joanne Lowe, Birmingham City Council – GOLD WINNER