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

Elizabeth Spencer, Birmingham City Council

Newly Qualified Adult Social Worker of the Year



Supporting young people to transition from children’s to adult services is a difficult area of social work practice but newly qualified practitioner Elizabeth has faced the challenges head on.


After just a few months in post, Elizabeth was assigned a particularly complex case involving a service user who had sustained life-limiting injuries in a fire caused by another family member. By providing extensive emotional and practical support, Elizabeth helped the service user regain confidence, return to college and obtain a direct payment that would meet her personal care needs. Elizabeth’s colleagues described her handling of this case as a “testimony to the dedication and support she provides to all individuals on her caseload”.


Elizabeth’s commitment to improving practice standards also made her nomination stand out. She has utilised research from her dissertation – which looked at the gaps in transitions services for young people with special educational needs – to inform her practice and also gave a successful presentation on the transitions model to an audience of over 50 professionals.


Elizabeth’s ability to manage complex cases really spoke to the judges and they praised her for demonstrating “real leadership skills” at such an early stage in her career. 


What was said about Elizabeth:

“This was such a rich and thorough nomination about someone who always goes the extra mile and demonstrates real leadership skills. Elizabeth has a very holistic approach to her work and the way she dealt with complex issues really spoke to me.” - Nushra Mansuri, Professional Officer, BASW


“I was impressed by Elizabeth’s support of student social workers and presenting to over 50 professionals is very brave. Her enthusiasm is something that’s taken her forward.” - Margaret Barrett, Principal Social Worker of the Year Award Winner 2014


“Elizabeth’s entry had some glowing testimonials and the team clearly feels very lucky to have her. She has some very promising career potential.” - Zoe Betts, Owner, iamsocialwork


“Elizabeth was placed, and has thrived, in arguably our most challenging of work – transitions – and she is helping to bridge the obvious gaps in needs assessment, support planning and review for our most vulnerable young people. Her work has been truly heart-warming and inspirational.” - Alan Lotinga, Service Director Health and Wellbeing, Birmingham City Council



  • Margaret Barrett, Principal Social Worker of the Year 2014
  • Zoe Betts, iamsocialwork
  • Nushra Mansuri, BASW
  • Michael Mellors, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
  • Zahraa Adam, Overall Social Worker of the Year Award Winner 2014



  • Aissa Rice, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with Northumberland County Council
  • Annabelle Austen, Hertfordshire County Council
  • Kate Moorhouse, Cheshire West & Chester Council - SILVER AWARD WINNER
  • Elizabeth Spencer, Birmingham City Council - GOLD AWARD WINNER