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

Harprit Rai, Birmingham City Council 

Adult Social Worker of the Year



Harprit’s “sheer determination” in the face of very difficult circumstances impressed the judges. Despite only qualifying in 2009, Harprit has excelled in Birmingham Council’s transitions team – not an area of practice that is easy to get to grips with – and her skillful management of complex cases has resulted in some very positive outcomes for the people she works with.


One notable example was Harprit’s involvement in obtaining a marriage annulment for one of her service users, who was deemed not to have the capacity to agree to the event taking place. Harprit used the Mental Capacity Act to protect her client’s rights as a vulnerable adult, as well as supporting the family through court proceedings.


She also demonstrated an exceptional ability “to think outside the box” during this particular case by tracking down a postman in rural Pakistan when she was asked by the judge to obtain the required proof that the service user’s wife had been informed of the annulment.


Harprit has since been appointed to the first level management position of senior practitioner in the transitions service, where she is clearly a valued and respected team member. As one colleague commented, “her continued presence, knowledge and expertise” is much appreciated. 


What was said about Harprit:

“Harprit works in one of our most challenging areas. She is very person-centred, willing to learn, share ideas and initiatives, and is an enthusiastic advocate for the social work profession. She is a true beacon for others.” - Alan Lotinga, Service Director for Health and Wellbeing, Birmingham City Council


“Harprit went the extra mile in a very persistent way –she saw this case through to conclusion and despite court processes saying this is not going to happen, she made it happen.” - Karen Goodman, Professional Officer, BASW


“Harprit has endeavoured to support us and is a good listener and an interpreter of information which is translated into need and support. Such determination, intelligence and integrity are only too rare these days.” - Family of service user


“This was an outstanding nomination. I have a sense that Harprit is a practitioner who is calm, assertive, knowledgeable, strong in values and demonstrably effective. The impact on others of her practice as colleague and advocate is plain to see.” - Cait Vulliamy, Director of Adult Services, Skylakes Social Work



  • Lyn Romeo, Chief Social Worker for Adults
  • Michael Mellors, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
  • Karen Goodman, BASW
  • Faye Wilson, Outstanding Contribution Award Winner 2014
  • Cait Vulliamy, Skylakes Social Work



  • Catherine Hilt, Rochdale Borough Council
  • Harprit Rai, Birmingham City Council - GOLD AWARD WINNER
  • Pauline Young, Durham County Council
  • Patricia Stubbs, Derbyshire County Council - SILVER AWARD WINNER